Richard Branson Predicts All Meat Will Be Clean or Plant-Based In 30 Years

Richard Branson Predicts All Meat Will Be Clean or Plant-Based In 30 Years

Richard Branson, billionaire owner of the Virgin Group, and Bill Gates of Microsoft (the wealthiest  man on the planet) recently invested in Memphis Meats, a company growing “clean” cultured meat in a laboratory using stem cells instead of animals. Two billionaire business strategists investing in a company signifies a major innovation that will likely have an enormous impact on the future.

“I believe that in 30 years or so we will no longer need to kill any animals and that all meat will either be clean or plant-based, taste the same and also be much healthier for everyone,” said Branson in an interview with Bloomberg News.

Branson stopped eating beef a few years ago for environmental and animal welfare concerns. He also blogged about the Netflix movie Okja, starring a genetically altered “super pig” grown as large as possible. In reality, chickens, pigs, cows, and other animals are fattened up with food and hormones to sell more flesh and make more money. In some instances the animals gain so much weight they can barely walk.

Beyond Meat Burger, Photo Courtesy of Beyond Meat

Gates, a self-proclaimed hamburger lover, is concerned about the effects of meat production on the Earth. Animal agriculture requires copious amounts of water and huge swaths of land. The grain fed to farmed animals could instead be shared with countries suffering from famine. Massive amounts of methane emitted by the cows contributes to global warming. And meat is not healthy, in part because it’s often filled with antibiotics. Studies conclude that meat contributes to heart disease, high cholesterol, obesity, and cancer (meat produces carcinogenic compounds when cooked). And the suffering of factory farm animals living crammed together in filthy conditions until slaughter is tragic, unethical, and unnecessary.

The world’s population is growing exponentially. The United Nations projects it will reach 9.8 billion in 2050, and 11.2 billion in 2100. The only way to feed everyone  is to change our food system to eliminate all the waste involved in the meat industry. Which brings us back to plant-based and synthesized meat.

The cultured meat is manufactured with stem cells of a cow, chicken, pig, or other animal. Carnivores will be sated because it is actual meat. (Gates has also invested in Beyond Meat, which makes savory plant-based products that taste very close to the real thing.)

Will we be meat free by 2047? Many countries have told their citizens to reduce their meat consumption. China, The Netherlands, the UK, Australia, Brazil, Qatar, Canada, and Germany have all instructed people to decrease intake of animal products.

According to the Good Food Institute, plant-based food sales have grown by 8.1% in the last year to $3.1 billion. Plant-based meat sales grew at a rate of 6%, and plant-based milk sales grew 3.1% as cow’s milk sales declined by 5%.

We must act now to save the planet because human beings, other animals and vegetation won’t survive on a scorching, hot Earth. We can’t say if real meat will be off the shelves in 30 years, but so much progress has been made in creating healthy substitutes in the last five years alone. Imagine the innovations to come in the next three decades.


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  1. Thomas

    How do they get the stem cells? No one ever mentions that.
    I trust that peckerhead Branson about as far as I could throw him.

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  2. barbara

    This concept is wonderful. I sincerely hope it becomes a success!!!

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  3. susan

    I think this sounds like a wonderful idea my only concern is how safe the consumtion of these alternatives will be to human health in the long run. I agree meat prodution has gone mad over recent times and if this alternative really is safe and solves issues of animal welfare and helps world famine then it would be brilliant 🙂

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  4. hexenbeest

    It’s a start but let’s stop avoiding the FACT that animals are as sentient as we are. They are not on this planet for our use and abuse. They do not want to be killed just as we don’t want to be killed. Dairy farming, including eggs is just as abhorrent

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  5. Carolyn K. Doswell

    Great. Forward with it.

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  6. Ann

    Is Mr Branson going to design planes that do not pollute the atmosphere, Or is it just cows he has a problem with.
    He is an incredibly wealthy man, What about farmers etc. who rely on breeding and selling cattle and other animals for a livelihood.
    I am a great animal lover and rarely eat meat but I think Man has messed about with our food quite enough already , and who knows what effects this kind of experiment will have on health in the long term.

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  7. Ann

    Mr Branson makes a vast amount of money with his Virgin planes. I would think the pollution from these is rather more than cows. I am not a great meat eater and it would not bother me if I didn’t eat meat again. I will not be here in 30 years time but my grandchildren hopefully will and I am worried about what the side effects will be by messing around with nature.
    What about the people like farmers . What about their livelihoods. Shall we have millions of more houses and no green places to enjoy. Of course that will mean more people to use the airways
    Nature has a way of kicking back I don’t think we should play around with her too much.

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