Hi all! In the era of huge excitement, innovation and increased availability of plant-based meats -and anticipation of cultured meats becoming prevalent- I’ve been wondering about futures of meat eating and non-meat eating in fiction.
I read a lot of science fiction as a child, and so have all these possible futures in my head: futures in which eating ‘real’ meat becomes shocking/horrifying to everyone and all meat eaten is artificial (e.g. Isaac Asimov); futures in which animals grown for meat are genetically modified to be monstrous and helpless (e.g. Margaret Atwood); futures in which most meat is vat grown [as are replacement organs for humans] and meat from once-living animals is a luxury (e.g. William Gibson); futures in which most protein eaten is derived from algae or insects (e.g. Becky Chambers). These imagined images of the future definitely inform how I respond to new technologies or discussions about changing diet.
What fictions of meat-eating or non-meat-eating futures do you carry with you? Were they hopeful or dystopian? Dominated by big corporations, or governments, or more democratised? Did they centre animal suffering, economic inequality, malthusian fears of overcrowding? And do you think they affect your feelings about real meat, plant-based meat or (possibly, one day) cultured meat?