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MichaelDickens comments on Quantifying the Impact of Economic Growth on Meat Consumption - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: MichaelDickens  (EA Profile) 22 December 2015 03:33:29PM 4 points [-]

It is bizarre to focus on only this one long-term effect when there are so many others that seem as significant or more so. To start with, a richer world means more researchers working on better meat-replacements, and a bigger market for any business that succeeds in developing such a product.

The causal connection between making people wealthier and them eating more meat is pretty strong. It's much less clear that donating to GiveDirectly will lead to better meat-replacements (or pretty much any other technological benefit).

Comment author: tomstocker 30 December 2015 06:58:07AM 0 points [-]

You say its strong but doesn't development also reduce fertility? I hate to bring another argument that is positioned in a hypocritical farm owner mentality to wonderful and often downtrodden people,, but within your frame, how do you know that this doesn't just bring forward a bit of raised meat consumption while reducing the eventual human numbers after 20 years on a permanent basis, reducing total animal suffering?

Comment author: MichaelDickens  (EA Profile) 30 December 2015 03:47:08PM 1 point [-]

Development reduces fertility, but developed countries still eat way more animals than developing countries do. According to Wikipedia, rich countries eat about ten times as much meat per person as poor countries, which overwhelms differences in population size. Also consider that rich countries use factory farming more than poor countries do, so the animals they eat suffer a lot more.