NBC’s Craig Melvin reported on the Beyond Meat breakthrough, and challenged Matt Lauer, Al Roker, Carson, Tamron and the rest of the anchors to identify it in a taste-test. (Spoiler: They failed.)
What may well be one of the biggest media events of the decade (or century!) took place almost under the radar on NBC’s Today Show in late April (2014). That morning Beyond Meat joined the Today Show crew for a two-part segment on Beyond Meat, a new manufacturer of a variety of plant-based animal “meats” that can definitely fool the palate.
The list of advantages is impressive, but the most colossal part of this breakthrough is the potential it carries for our planet and most of its living creatures—humans and nonhumans. Among humans—aside from people who have long consumed meat substitutes for ethical or health reasons—many seek an alternative to a food addiction that forces them to consume animals, incurring frequent moral pangs and contributing wittingly to the destruction of a gravely besieged environment.
For non-human animals the arrival of meat substitutes of Beyond Meat quality, represents a potential liberation from the horrors of factory farming and other forms of animal husbandry destined for the abattoir. If non-animal meats advance in popularity, the enslavement, torture and death of countless creatures just to become food on a human platter will no longer prove necessary.
For the planet itself, this is also enormously important news. A variety of ecological disasters are directly linked to meat consumption: ranching that destroys primeval forests, ecosystems, and displaces aboriginal peoples; runoffs that pollute rivers and oceans (the Gulf of Mexico a prime example), eventually toxifying most of our waterways; the destruction of the land by creating gigantic waste lagoons and other misuses; and massive reliance on antibiotics to prevent disease flareups in tightly confined animals, a practice which degrades the ability of antibiotics to combat infections, and introduces these substances into the human genetic pool with calamitous consequences.
Those are just some of the utilitarian benefits. For those of us who work on animal liberation out of sheer compassion, and a belief that our planet deserves better, there’s also major cause for celebration. Now we know that history is on our side, at least on this issue.
On the Today Show
The first part had Ethan taking Craig Melvin on a tour of the Beyond Meat facility in Colombia, Missouri to give them a look where the Bill Gates endorsed “Future of Food” is being made each day and being shipped out nationwide to stores like Whole Foods, Sprouts, HEB, Publix and thousands of other stores including soon to be Safeway, Target and more!
The next part took the tour back to the NYC studio with the whole Today Show crew including Matt Lauer and Al Roker as they sit down to taste our Beyond Beef Chili and Sesame Beyond Chicken Salad live as it goes up against a dish created from animal proteins.
The segment aired at 8am local time nationwide. Beyond Meat’s Today Show debut was a complete success. We hope they change how America meats, one bite at a time!
We don’t know yet to what extent ethical vegetarianism or a desire to promote the liberation of animals played a role in the creation of these industries. History has many surprising contradictions. In the 1970s a brusque downturn in the fortunes of Wall Street almost put the fur industry out of business. Something similar may now happen in the near future as global warming makes the use of furs less frequent or unnecessary. As well, digital models are beginning to replace biomedical research reliance on animals. In the case of Beyond Meat and similar companies, business itself, for its own reasons, may have unwittingly joined the progressive and moral side of history. If so, hooray for them.
—P. Greanville is editor in chief of The Greanville Post
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