This article below, from BEEF Magazine. is revealing both for its frank recognition that the world will continue to modernize, swell to billions more clamoring human beings in need of food and basic resources, and the challenge of meeting these demands.
Yet is it Panglossian, utterly delusional, and captive to a 5 hundred year old and completely obsolete and dysfunctional modernist ideology of Infinite Progress and Endless Growth, with Science, Technology, and Markets solving any and all problems science, technology, and markets generate.
Of course, in this insane, completely discredited, pathological, obsolete, and dysfunctional worldview, the key way to feed all the hungry mouths, especially those of the emerging Asian world (with the highest population growth and development rates and is on a fast-track to global economic hegemony) is through PRODUCING EVER GREATER QUANTITIES OF MEAT!
Needless to say not only are the health and holocaust issues ignored, which will escalate considerably, but also the fact that the world is running out of vital resources such as arable land, potable water, oil deposits, and foods supplies. Far more credible and less tendentious visions of the near future predict the near inevitability of runaway climate change, chronic resource wars, world wars, tens of millions of ecological refugees, the onslaught of diseases like malaria and deadly bacterial plagues resistant to antibiotics; it seems the options we are being presented with are the manifestation of a horrific but indifferent Malthusian vision of nature paring human numbers and appetites down to sustainable levels; the Hobbesean vision of a nightmarish world in which life is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short”; or a Mad Max gladiator spectacle of cutthroat competition among scattered bands of desperate survivalists, driving full speed into the abyss of extinction.
This vision below has arisen from the bowels of the economic, political, military, scientific, and technological elite, in other words – from sociopaths, one-dimensional, money and power hungry, ruthlessly self-serving and nihilistic, utterly insane and delusional lunatics, who in all their thintelligence are totally captive to a wholly false worldview and unmitigated disaster of a society ten thousand years in the making, which — as ironic as baptizing this failed species “Homo sapiens” – we have perversely dignified with the epithet “civilization.”
The mystifications you are about to read, thick layers of anthropocentric, speciesist, capitalist, and bureacratic ideology, is our future. The only way it will not be our future is through a global uprising organized by a democratic alliance of revolutionary social movements. But somehow, that strikes me as quaint and obsolete as the paradigms of Rene Descartes, Francis Bacon, and Adam Smith, such as inform the nihilistic worldview of the global capitalist omnicidal machines.
Draw your own conclusions, while I experience the full depth and angst of the nauseau Sartre described as a fundamental human experience that erupts into our porous brain once the lies and absurdity of our Being are revealed in their full, naked, awesome, revolting, and repulsive power. Revealed, that it, to those sensitive enough to be open and receptive to the raw consciousness of our absurdity. But it is a purposelessness, I would add, that has failed to yield positive meaning, and rather has morphed into utter malignancy and something profoundly evil.
Speaking at the annual meeting of the National Institute of Animal Agriculture this week in Denver, Barr said population growth will drive those shifts. The challenge is that most of that population growth will occur in two areas – Asia and Africa. Each will come with unique and widely different challenges. Africa can’t feed itself, while Asia will continue to be the fastest-growing economic region in the world with a rapidly rising middle class.
Looking at the major export markets of Brazil, Russia, India, China and Mexico, Barr says only one, China, is in the top six world economies currently.
“As I go forward to 2025, which isn’t all that far away, all of a sudden we have two of those economies in that top six. China has moved up to No. 2 and India is No. 4. By the time we get to 2050, four of those economies are in the top six and China is now the No. 1 economy in terms of total size (the U.S. slips to No. 2). India, Brazil and Mexico have moved up. So the scale of economic growth is going to be outside the U.S. and that’s going to reshape a lot of strategies with a lot of companies,” he says.
Equally important, he says, are shifts in income. About 10% of China’s population, defined as $10/day, is in the middle class. Over the next 20 years, it could be as high as 75%. “So the next 20 years, you’re going to see a dramatic movement of people into that middle class, and that will dramatically increase their dietary requirements and their ability to pay,” he says.
Typically, Barr says, the acceleration in meat consumption occurs in the early stages of income growth. “We’re going to see about 2-3 billion more people in the middle class,” he says. “Almost all of it is going to be in Asia. That will be the driver in food demand going forward.”
Clearly, there will be constraints in the world’s ability to feed all its people. Those include land availability, water supply, technology, climate, and food waste and loss. In Barr’s mind, that means production efficiency must become the linchpin.
He estimates total meat production will need to increase 73%. “The reality is, you’re not going to meet those increases simply by having twice as much poultry, 80% more small ruminants, 60% more cattle, and 40% more fish. We’re not going to do it with animal numbers. It’s going to require that the production systems increase efficiency and minimize waste and loss in the value chain.”
The dynamics of global markets will continue to press the meat complex, he says. “And I think the challenge is, will it reshape the livestock industry going forward?”
He thinks that may be inevitable. Livestock producers have always had to deal with volatility. Now, U.S. producers are becoming more reliant on the export market. “When you take a sector and make it more export-reliant, you introduce a lot more volatility,” he says.
So, can we feed 9 billion people? Barr thinks the answer is yes. “The question is, what are the relative levels of prices for inputs that are going to be on the table? Are the balance sheets strong enough or flexible enough with sufficient liquidity to match the risk that’s out there? I would suggest to you as we go forward, as we try to satisfy this global demand, we will introduce more volatility in the sector and we will reshape the companies that are in play,” he says. (For more, go to www.animalagriculture.org.)