A study by American management consulting firm A.T. Kearney says the world's total 'meat' consumption will evolve to mainly consist of cultured meat and meat alternatives in the next twenty years. Traditional meat will fall to a market share of just 40 %.
The transition from traditional meat to cultured meat or alternatives will save of billions of lives and result in a lot less waste: it would be sufficient to take one cell from a living animal and grow it in laboratories, without producing any waste products. The first commercial products using this technique should become available between this and a few years' time.
Food industry experts call the current meat industry untenable, as 46 % of all crops nowadays are used to feed cattle - but meat only makes up 7 % of the total of calories produced worldwide. The pressure on natural resources is becoming way too big in the current industrial system, especially given the expected growth of the human population of another 50 % to 10 billion people in the next thirty years.
The same experts also point to the damaged image of the meat industry, which is both very damaging to the environment (polluting water, overuse of fertiliser, greenhouse gas emissions) and has to cope with one scandal after the other (both regarding the treatment of animals and the contents of their products - think of the horse meat scandals in the United Kingdom).