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August 11, 2020 - Wired Magazine

Foodies and Factory Farmers Have Formed an Unholy Alliance

Foodies and Factory Farmers Have Formed an Unholy Alliance
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Their swipes at fake-meat products—Impossible Burgers, Beyond Meat, and all the rest—are pretty much the same.

One surprising result of the Covid-19 pandemic has been a spike in consumer demand for imitation meats. According to a Nielsen report, during the first nine weeks of the crisis in the United States, grocery store sales of faux meat products increased 264 percent. The reasons included concerns about illness at meatpacking plants, the possible spread of disease from industrial livestock operations, and even fears about the animal origins of Covid-19 itself.

This new boom in plant-based imitation meats is doubly surprising, since it came without any support at all from the leaders of America’s progressive “food movement.” Well before Covid-19, this movement had taken a stance against the new imitation meats. The reasoning behind this stance deserves a closer look.

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