Late in 2022, I dedicated a series of blogposts to meat replacement products and the question of how and when these products are likely to replace animal-based meat.

More recently, reducing the number of farm animals is being considered in a different context. Countries across Europe are working to fulfill their commitment to shift to a climate-neutral economy. Under the European Green Deal, the climate neutrality objective becomes a legal commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030. However, some countries are finding this goal difficult to achieve. Recently, Ireland’s Agriculture Ministry looked into various ways to reduce methane emissions, including culling 200,000 cows over the next three years. This would reduce agricultural emissions by 25%. Agriculture was the biggest contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) in Ireland, contributing 40% of the overall GHG emissions of the country.
Such a reduction in the number of farm animals could also contribute significantly to a reduction of GHG in other countries.
The table below shows the top ten ranking countries of cattle to population ratios in 2021.

Reduction of cattle numbers could substantially reduce GHG emissions of the countries listed above. Therefore, it seems likely that this will be considered as an option.

In August, the Swiss documentary NZZ Format asked the question, for how long we would continue to eat animals and discussed scientific and sociological research in this area. A combination of different factors drive conversion towards animal free diets by 2050:

  • Pressure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Scientific progress of replacement products
  • Efficient use of agricultural land
  • Concern for animal welfare

or as the Guardian titled in 2020 – “The Wurst is over”.

For the salt industry, the conversion will result in a drastic decrease of animal feed salt consumption.


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