Paper No. 27-18
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM
MEAT CONSUMPTION AND THE ENVIRONMENTAL UNSUSTAINABILITY OF ECONOMIC GROWTH: THE CASE OF CHINA
The ethics of, and markets for, meat products must be included in the discussion of environmentally threatening markets. Due to the environmental devastation resulting from animal husbandry, careful attention must be paid to growth of this market. While markets may provide challenges to a successful government intervention on the supply side of the market, they may, however provide other opportunities on the demand side and in the production of alternatives to meat. Further, the ethical code of individuals, and collectively as a society, may facilitate innovations caused by changes in consumer tastes and demand. Consumers have demanded more environmentally friendly alternatives and demonstrated the willingness to pay for them. Can changes in dietary preferences through ethics be achieved? Such changes involve both education on environmental impacts and attractive alternative consumer options. Hence, ethics, economics, and policy considerations all should play a part in the future of meat consumption. China can adopt a more environmentally friendly relationship with meat products, and is uniquely poised to practice strong sustainability within this market.