bill gates
by Ali Berman
Categories: Eats, Environment, Vegan
Tags: .
Photo: Flickr / OnInnovation

Philanthropist Bill Gates took to his blog to explore the environmental impact of meat consumption, and perhaps most importantly, alternatives to eating animals.

As Gates notes, meat consumption has doubled in the last twenty years alone. With more countries growing and developing, that number is expected to double again by 2050. But, raising livestock (who eat the plants we grow and drink fresh water) takes a whole lot of resources. More resources than this little blue planet can handle.

Gates writes, “Put simply, there’s no way to produce enough meat for 9 billion people. Yet we can’t ask everyone to become vegetarians. We need more options for producing meat without depleting our resources.”

So, what’s his solution? Companies that produce vegan meats. Products that are delicious but that don’t use any animal products.

Gates writes about two companies in particular, “Companies like Beyond Meat and Hampton Creek Foods are experimenting with new ways to use heat and pressure to turn plants into foods that look and taste just like meat and eggs. I tasted Beyond Meat’s chicken alternative and was impressed. I couldn’t tell the difference between Beyond Meat and real chicken. Beyond Eggs, Hampton Creek Foods’ egg substitute, doesn’t contain the high cholesterol of real eggs. Even spices are getting re-made: a company called Nu-Tek Food Science has found a way to make potassium chloride taste just like salt, with only a fraction of the sodium.”

Take a look at his entire argument for reducing your consumption of meat. Michael Pollan enters the conversation. He’s got graphs, video, recipes and more. Wouldn’t expect any less of a compelling argument from one of the greatest minds of our time. It’s an argument of pure reason if ever we saw one.

About Ali Berman

Ali Berman is the author of Choosing a Good Life: Lessons from People Who Have Found Their Place in the World (Hazelden) and Misdirected (Seven Stories Press). She works as a humane educator for HEART teaching kids about issues affecting people, animals and the environment. Her published work can be found on her website at In early 2012 Ali co-founded flipmeover, a production company with the mission to use media to raise awareness of social issues.

View all posts by Ali Berman →
  • Veggie07

    while he makes a good point about using resources to produce meat for so many millions, this will all lead to genetically modified foods which is a growing concern right now. We don’t need our entire food system turning into GMO’s — if you know nothing about this I suggest you do some research and watch some documentaries. The saying “what you don’t know can’t hurt you” is a complete understatement and should never apply in a scenario such as this.

    • Nick Altman

      You’ll have to do better than an appeal to naturalistic fallacy if you want to be taken seriously. GMO is not the bogyman. Context matters.

      • veginning

        Thanks for this answers, naturalistic fallacy always plays against serious argument.

  • Rebik Pulawnisko

    Bill Gates is a huge proponent of GMO foods. His advocating for plant based meats makes it that much easier to have our entire food supply be genetically modified. Sure, we might feed more people that way, but at what cost?

    • Nick Altman

      That price may just be bothering nitwits who automatically equate GMO with negativity because of romanticized notions of what is “natural”.

  • YummyNummy

    Linux is the future of computing.


    The Meat Industry is the reason there are GMO’s in the first place. Seventy to eighty percent of crops are going to feed farm animals. The meats that Mr. Gates is referencing, made with wheat and soy and other crops, use a fraction of the resources that are used in producing meat, thereby eliminating GMO’s altogether. Not to mention the horrific cruelty involved and universal laws of sowing and reaping that is sure to bring a harvest from hell down upon our heads if we do begin to respecting all life on this planet.


    If we DON’T begin respecting All life on this planet. Oops. Typo.

  • Dallas Weaver

    You get twice to three times as much meat by feeding fish instead of pigs and chickens. Fish don’t waste energy standing up or keeping warm, making them more efficient food converters.

    • Kahuna

      farm raised fish like tuna.. are fed huge amounts of good oily fish.. like saba that are healthier for humans..

  • Kahuna

    I agree.. so use your power to get a good tasting tofu veggie burger on the McDonald’s menu

  • 789123678

    stop eating meat you guys. do you want to have a rainforest? do you want to breathe air? co2 comes from trees, no? are they chopping acres/minute to house the animals carnivores eat – and grow the soy/corn etc to feed to animals that could be fed to starving humans? does anybody care? do we really want to live in a world where mobile graveyards for animals are our friends and neighbors? are we a graveyard for animals if we take in their corpse? does anyone have a beating heart anymore? why are some animals pets and other animals are dinner? do you really want to live in a world where people care more about their own precious taste than an animal living in misery and pain and then death its entire life … and people want to imbibe this mess and call it food?? how sick is THAT???