Greta Thunberg says humanity must stop eating meat and switch to vegan diet or ‘we are f***ed’


Jack Beresford

BY: Jack Beresford
May 26, 2021

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GRETA THUNBERG has issued a stark warning to humanity: stop eating meat and switch to a vegan diet otherwise “we are f***ed”.

The grim prediction came as part of a video statement posted to Twitter by the 18-year-old environmental activist.

In the clip, Thunberg outlined why a reduction in meat consumption would help avoid more ecological and health issues in the future.

“The climate crisis, the ecological crisis and the health crisis – they are all interlinked,” she said.

“The way we make food, raising animals to eat, clearing land to grow food to feed those animals… It just doesn’t make sense.”ADVERTISEMENT

The impact of agriculture on the ongoing climate crisis is well documented.

It is estimated that raising animals like cattle and poultry for food accounts for roughly a quarter of all carbon emissions, globally.

By switching to a vegan diet, humanity would effectively eliminate anywhere up to eight billion tonnes of CO2 which is currently being released into the Earth’s atmosphere each and every year.

“If we keep making food the way we do, we will also destroy the habitats of most wild plants and animals, driving countless species to extinction,” Thunberg added.ADVERTISEMENT

“This really sucks for us too – they are our life-supporting system. If we lost them, we will be lost too.”

In addition to the environmental impact, Thunberg urged the public to pay more consideration to the feelings of animals born and bred for food.ADVERTISEMENT

Thunberg, who is a vegan herself, noted that many animals born into such circumstances live “short and terrible” lives inside the heavily industrialised factory farms where meat is produced.

The Swedish activist’s warning is part of a video funded by the charity Mercy For Animals, an organisation that campaigns to prevent animal cruelty in the livestock industry and encourage more people to take up veganism.

A Comprehensive Chart of Vegan Protein Sources

When I first adopted a plant-based diet, I wasn’t sure how to best replace animal products with vegan ones.

Fortunately, it turned out to be easy to get enough protein without meat, fish, dairy, or eggs. Even better, I quickly discovered that vegan protein sources are delicious and incredibly easy to prepare.

The average person needs approximately 0.45–0.73 grams of protein per pound of body weight (1.0–1.6 grams per kg) daily, depending on your physical activity level. That’s about 70–113 grams for a 155-pound (70-kg) individual (1Trusted Source).

Because there are so many protein-rich plant foods, you can easily get enough protein on a vegan diet. Plus, experts agree that a well-planned plant-based diet provides all of the nutrients you need, including protein (2Trusted Source3Trusted Source4Trusted Source).

Here are some of the best vegan sources of dietary protein, plus a helpful chart.

vegan protein sources chart

Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds are naturally rich in protein.

You can enjoy them on their own, blended into nut butters, mixed into yogurt, oatmeal, or trail mix, or added to smoothies, salads, grain dishes, and homemade veggie burger patties.

Here’s the amount of protein found in a 1-ounce (28–30-gram) serving of various nuts and seeds (5Trusted Source6Trusted Source7Trusted Source8Trusted Source9Trusted Source10Trusted Source11Trusted Source12Trusted Source):

  • Walnuts: 4.5 grams
  • Almonds: 6 grams
  • Cashews: 4.5 grams
  • Chia seeds: 6 grams
  • Flax seeds: 6 grams
  • Hemp seeds: 9.5 grams
  • Sunflower seeds: 5.5 grams
  • Pumpkin seeds: 8.5 grams


A small, 1-ounce (28–30-gram) serving of various nuts and seeds offers roughly 4–9 grams of protein. You can eat them raw or add them to various foods, such as a smoothie, oatmeal, or salad.

Nondairy milks

A growing number of nondairy milks are available today, but not all of them are great sources of protein.

If you’re hoping to use nondairy milk as a source of protein, be sure to buy one of the varieties below. These can be used just like dairy milk in coffee, soup, and batter for baked goods, as well as smoothies, cereal, and cream sauces.

Here’s the protein found in 1 cup (240 mL) of the nondairy milks highest in protein (13Trusted Source14Trusted Source):

  • Soy milk: 6 grams
  • Pea milk: 8 grams


Soy and pea milk are among the most naturally protein-rich nondairy milks, packing 6–8 grams per cup (240 mL).

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Legumes, which include beans, peas, and lentils, are great sources of protein for people on plant-based diets.

Plus, you can eat cooked legumes on their own, as part of a marinated grain salad (or other salads), and in burritos, quesadillas, soups, and nachos.

The list below outlines the protein content of 1/2 cup (80–93 grams) of a variety of canned legumes (15Trusted Source16Trusted Source17Trusted Source18Trusted Source19Trusted Source20Trusted Source):

  • Black beans: 8 grams
  • Pinto beans: 7 grams
  • Chickpeas: 7.5 grams
  • Kidney beans: 8 grams
  • Lentils: 8 grams
  • Peas: 8 grams


Legumes like beans, peas, and lentils are packed with protein. Eat these as a side dish or in burritos, soups, and salads.

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Soy products and vegan meat alternatives

a grain bowl with tofu, nuts, avocado, and lettuce
Nataša Mandić/Stocksy United

Vegan meats go beyond packaged plant-based burgers and hotdogs.

Soy foods like tofu and tempeh work well in breakfast scrambles, roasted in the oven, and in stir-fries, burritos, and sandwiches. Seitan, a savory protein made from vital wheat gluten, is great in soups, salads, grain dishes, tacos, and sandwiches.

Similar serving sizes of various vegan meats provide the following amounts of protein (21Trusted Source22Trusted Source23Trusted Source24Trusted Source25Trusted Source):

  • Tofu (3 ounces or 85 grams): 4 grams
  • Tempeh (3/4 cup or 100 grams): 13 grams
  • Seitan (3 ounces or 100 grams): 19 grams
  • Beyond Meat meatballs (5 total, 100 grams): 20 grams
  • Impossible Burger (1 patty, 113 grams): 19 grams


Soy foods, seitan, and various prepackaged vegan meats offer 4–20 grams of protein per serving.

High protein grains

Grains are a lesser-known source of plant protein but offer a great way to supplement your protein intake.

You can use cooked grains as the base of a meal, incorporate them into homemade veggie burgers and granola bars, top salads and soups with them, stuff bell peppers with them, and eat them in breakfast bowls and burritos.

Here’s the protein content of a 1/2 cup (100–126 grams) of several popular grains when cooked (26Trusted Source27Trusted Source28Trusted Source29Trusted Source30Trusted Source31Trusted Source32Trusted Source):

  • Quinoa: 4.5 grams
  • Brown rice: 3 grams
  • Amaranth: 4.7 grams
  • Millet: 3.5 grams
  • Oats: 3 grams
  • Spelt: 6 grams
  • Teff: 4.9 grams


Whole grains are an excellent choice to supplement your protein intake. Spelt, teff, amaranth, and quinoa are all particularly high in protein.

High protein fruits and vegetables

All fruits and veggies contain small amounts of protein, but some more than others.

Fruits and vegetables are most often enjoyed raw, cooked, or blended into smoothies and sauces. You can enjoy them at any meal or snack.

Similar serving sizes of high protein fruits and veggies pack the following amounts of protein (33Trusted Source34Trusted Source35Trusted Source36Trusted Source37Trusted Source38Trusted Source39Trusted Source):

  • Broccoli (1 raw cup or 90 grams): 2.5 grams
  • Sweet potato (1 medium-sized, cooked, 150-gram potato): 2 grams
  • Artichoke (1 small veggie, 90 grams): 3 grams
  • Spinach (3 raw cups or 85 grams): 2 grams
  • Banana (1 fruit, 125 grams): 1.5 grams
  • Blackberries (1 cup or 145 grams): 2 grams
  • Guava (1 cup or 165 grams): 4.5 grams


Incorporating more fruits and veggies into your diet is a great way to meet your protein needs. Guava is particularly rich in protein.

The bottom line

Many people on vegan diets wonder how to get enough protein.

You’ll be glad to know that plenty of protein-rich plant foods provide more than enough of this nutrient to meet the recommended daily needs.

For example, legumes and vegan meat alternatives — and even certain nondairy milks, whole grains, and fruits and veggies — are great sources of protein on plant-based diets.

Just one thing

Try this today: One of my favorite high protein vegan dishes is a tofu breakfast scramble.

To make it, sauté your favorite chopped veggies (I like broccoli, bell pepper, onion, and garlic) with a little olive oil, then season them with turmeric, black salt, and nutritional yeast, and add a block of crumbled extra-firm tofu until it’s warm.

Optional additions include baby spinach, diced tomatoes, and vegan shredded cheese.

Where’s the “Impossible Burger” of cheese?

Plant-based food has come a long way, but we still don’t have a stretchy, melty cow-free cheese.By Kenny Torrella  Jun 5, 2021, 8:00am EDT

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Motif FoodWorks, a food technology startup in Boston, says it’s developing plant-based cheese that stretches and melts like the real thing.

Two years ago, Beyond Meat became the first plant-based food startup to go public. Its shares surged 163 percent on its first day and today it’s valued at $9 billion, with shares now worth about five times their original value.

Since then, analysts have wondered which major plant-based food company would go public next. Late last month, they found out: Oatly, the Swedish maker of oat-based milk, yogurt, and ice cream.

Oatly’s stock didn’t quite skyrocket like Beyond’s, but by the end of the company’s first day of trading, it was valued at about $12 billion. Now, Oatly is valued at $14 billion, over 50 percent more than Beyond’s valuation of $9 billion. Though Beyond and other high-tech vegan meat producers get much more attention than companies that make plant-based milks, Oatly’s valuation says a lot about the state of the plant-based food industry — namely, that plant-based milk has reached a point of maturation in the market that’s even more advanced than plant-based meat.

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According to a report recently published by the Plant-Based Foods Association and the Good Food Institute, two organizations that advocate for plant-based foods, plant-based milk alone accounts for 35 percent of the total plant-based foods market, worth $2.5 billion to plant-based meat’s $1.4 billion. Plant-based milks don’t just dominate the plant-based food sector, they also take up a sizable portion of retail milk sales — 15 percent overall, and 45 percent in natural food stores.

Plant-based milk is the largest segment of the overall plant-based food industry.

Oatly’s sudden rise since it came on the US market in 2016 has helped drive this growth. Almond milk sits at the top of the plant-based milk category, but oat milk recently pushed soy milk out of second place, thanks to Oatly and big brands like Silk (owned by Danone) and Chobani following Oatly’s lead with a range of oat-based dairy products.

In fact, Starbucks, which started using Oatly products last year in select US stores and rolled it out nationwide earlier this year, says its share of orders that use plant-based milk jumped from 17 to 25 percent after it introduced Oatly.

These shifts from traditional to plant-based dairy are important in the fight against climate change, as traditional dairy is an especially resource-intensive sector. According to a 2018 University of Oxford study, any way you slice it, cow’s milk uses much more land and water and emits far more greenhouse gases than any plant-based milk. For example, almond milk gets a bad rap for being water-intensive, but cow’s milk requires about 70 percent more water to produce, emits more than twice as much Co2, and requires more than 15 times as much land. Compared to almond milk, oat milk uses much less water but a little more land.

On top of the environmental impact of traditional dairy, most dairy cows, at least in the US, are raised in factory farms.

Yet despite the popularity of plant-based milks, they haven’t quite made a dent in taking the cow out of dairy, their raison d’être. Some farmers do say plant-based milk is affecting their bottom line, and a late 2020 report that was funded by the United States Department of Agriculture found that “increased sales of plant-based alternatives are negatively affecting households’ purchases of cow’s milk” but that it’s “not a primary driver.”

There are a lot of factors that affect dairy production and consumption, and adoption of alternatives is just one of them. But in order for plant-based startups to become a primary driver in displacing conventional dairy, stealing market share from the milk shelves of the supermarket isn’t enough. Oatly and its competitors need to figure out how to make a great alternative for another dairy product: cheese.

Milk sales are plummeting, but there are more cows than ever

Some vegan advocates say that “dairy is dying” (or already dead), in part because of the United States’ decades-long decline in milk consumption coinciding with the rise of plant-based milk.

Many dairy farmers are indeed hurting, but plant-based milks aren’t the biggest culprit — it’s Big Dairy, which has been consolidating and squeezing out small farmers, one of several factors that caused 11,000 dairy farms to shutter between 2014 and 2019. The pandemic only hastened this trend, as major dairy customers — schools and restaurants — closed down, resulting in farmers across the country dumping millions of gallons of milk. Seven percent of US dairies closed in 2020.

But dairy is far from dead: The number of dairy cows in production has increased slightly in the past decade, and they’re producing more milk — more efficiently — than ever.

This can be explained, in part, by Americans’ love for cheese; per capita cheese consumption has risen 25 percent since the early 2000s, which is one factor that has kept milk production high, since it takes nearly 10 pounds of milk to make one pound of cheese. (Butter consumption is rising even faster, and it takes more than 21 pounds of milk to make one pound of butter.)

There are plant-based cheese alternatives on the market, and they generally fall into two categories. The first are the pricey, fermented wheels or tubs of spreadable cheese, often made of nuts, seasonings, and cultures (and sometimes oils, gums, and starches), which have managed to impress the taste buds of omnivorous food critics. Bigger brands like Miyoko’s Creamery, Kite Hill, and Treeline Cheese dominate this first category, but there are dozens of smaller, artisanal outfits like the Herbivorous Butcher in Minneapolis and Rebel Cheese in Austin.

The second category consists of the bags of shredded or sliced mozzarella or cheddar, often made with oil and potato starch or cornstarch, which don’t melt and stretch (or taste) the way cheese from cow’s milk does. The problem is best summed up by the joke about how a vegan’s house burned down and the only thing that didn’t melt was their cheese.

But Americans eat a lot of shredded and sliced cheese, and the vegan versions haven’t improved much since I last heard that joke some years ago (though if you’re curious, I suggest giving Violife, Field Roast, and Follow Your Heart products a try). And even though the plant-based food industry has grown rapidly in the past few years, its startups loaded with billions in investment, no company has come close to making a “breakthrough” shredded or sliced cheese product akin to the Beyond or Impossible burger — or a carton of Oatly — that can bring in curious omnivores.

Not yet, anyway.

The future of animal-free cheese

The absence of great shredded and sliced plant-based cheese could be a problem of demand or innovation, or both.

Meat gets much more attention for its ecological and animal welfare harms than cheese, to the point where nearly a quarter of Americans say they are trying to cut back. But you don’t hear much about people trying to reduce their cheese intake, even though globally, the dairy sector emits more greenhouse gases than all meat sectors (except beef), and most dairy cows, at least in the US, are factory-farmed.

On the innovation side, it’s simply much harder to replicate stretchy, melty cheese made from cow’s milk than the soft, spreadable varieties.

“Achieving the stretchy quality and texture consumers expect from harder cheeses upon melting has proven challenging to date, which is why soft plant-based cheese may be more prominent,” Dr. Priera Panescu, a senior scientist at the Good Food Institute, told me over email.

Ryan Pandya, the CEO and co-founder of Perfect Day — a food technology startup based in Berkeley, California — shared a similar sentiment with Wired, explaining, “The melty, stretchy thing is absolutely the most challenging holy grail thing to do. Because there’s only one protein known to man that does this, and it’s casein.”

Through precision fermentation, which is used to make specific proteins, enzymes, or vitamins, Perfect Day has developed a microflora (fungi) that converts sugar into whey, another protein in milk, for its ice cream products. The company says it’s also working on cheese but doesn’t have plans for the shredded or sliced varieties in the near future.

Real Vegan Cheese, a nonprofit, open-science research project — quite rare in a field of venture capital-backed startups — is going for the “holy grail” of cheese by adding the genes for casein to yeast and other microflora, and then adding plant-based fats and sugars. New Culture, based in San Francisco, is also working to replicate casein, using microbial fermentation, similar to Perfect Day’s approach, to make shredded cheese. The company plans to launch its first product in late 2023.

When asked about the lack of stretchy plant-based cheese, Panescu said that “academic researchers are working to address these challenges by using biological interventions, optimizing more flexible, well-assembled plant-based proteins, and applying mechanical texturization processes.”

One of those researchers is Alejandro Marangoni at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. According to Marangoni’s research, zein — a protein found in corn — is an overlooked tool in the search to make plant-based alternatives to animal products. Most companies making shredded and sliced plant-based cheese use starches and gums for the melt and stretch effects, but zein could be a better route. When hydrated and heated above a certain temperature, it forms a “flexible, bendable mass which may be pulled, stretched, and sculpted,” sharing “melting characteristics with cheddar cheese.”

Motif FoodWorks, a food tech startup based in Boston that has received investment from the major dairy company Fonterra, recently signed an exclusive licensing deal to use a unique food processing technology Marangoni developed using zein.

Motif’s CEO, Jonathan McIntyre, told me their newly acquired tech will enable them to make a stretchy, gooey vegan cheese that’s better than what’s currently on the market. “This technology doesn’t solve all problems in plant-based cheese,” he said, and that “there are other aspects, like mouthfeel and creaminess” that they’re using other tools to address.

McIntyre isn’t yet sure whether Motif will develop its own products, work with a dairy company to make a plant-based product, or partner with an existing plant-based cheese company to upgrade its own, but he does envision it being used on nachos and, of course, pizza. You can see it in action below or here.

Given all the hype around plant-based food, it may come as no surprise that there are dozens more startups racing to make convincing cheese alternatives — but Impossible Foods isn’t one of them. While it is developing Impossible Milk, a spokesperson told me the company won’t be selling Impossible Cheese anytime soon.

Then there’s Oatly, which recently told Bloomberg it’s making “good progress” on developing oat-based cheese products, though its CEO didn’t specify what kinds. Given the $1.4 billion the company raised from last month’s IPO, it seems like it should have the resources to raise the bar on plant-based cheese, and a devoted customer base who will likely be curious enough to give it a try.

Why Beyond Meat Stock Climbed on Wednesday

Traditional meat processor JBS, with which the plant-based food company competes, has fallen victim to a cyberattack.

Evan Niu, CFA(TMFNewCow)Jun 2, 2021 at 1:39PMAuthor Bio

What happened

Shares of Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND) were up by 7.9% as of 1:21 p.m. EST Wednesday after traditional meat processing company JBS (OTC:JBSAY) had its operations disrupted by a ransomware attack. Based on Brazil, JBS is the largest meat processor in the world.

So what

The cyberattack, which JBS disclosed earlier this week, impacted the company’s servers and IT infrastructure in North America and Australia. The company immediately suspended the use of all affected systems and has been working diligently to restore them. In an update provided on Tuesday, JBS said that its operations in Mexico and the U.K. were not affected. Nine of JBS’s plants in the U.S. were shut down on Tuesday, but the company said that it expected the “vast majority” of its food plants to be fully operational Wednesday.Hand holding a Beyond Beef package at a grocery store


The hackers are believed to be based in Russia, according to JBS and the U.S. government. This ransomware attack comes just a month after a similar incursion temporarily crippled Colonial Pipeline, which significantly disrupted the supply of gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel to the East Coast. The attacks highlight vulnerabilities in the underlying infrastructure that many U.S. businesses rely on.

Now what

Pipeline stocks jumped last month on Colonial Pipeline’s woes, and some rival food producers’ stocks are similarly rising in light of JBS’s troubles. While a protracted disruption of the company’s operations could lead to higher meat prices, potentially making plant-based alternatives more attractive, any meat shortages caused by the attack are expected to be short term in nature.

Since the shutdowns of JBS’s meat processing plants should only last a day or two, it’s unlikely that the attack will translate into a meaningful boost for Beyond Meat’s business.

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Activists Stage “Eating Animals Causes Pandemics” Rally in NYC


The News

On May 1st, dozens of conservationists and animal rights activists staged a rally in Times Square to help members of the public connect the dots between eating animals and pandemics. Their message was simple: “Eating Animals Causes Pandemics.” The New York City rally was one of approximately 60 that took place in 20 countries around the world in support of International Pandemic Outreach Day.

The Eating Animals Causes Pandemics campaign is a collaboration among animal rights, environmental, conservation and religious organizations. It emerged as a result of the outbreak of COVID-19, which is believed to have jumped to humans in a live animal market in China. Like many of the pandemics that preceded it, including the catastrophic Spanish Flu of 1918, COVID-19 is a zoonotic disease — one that is transmitted to humans from a non-human animal.

On International Pandemic Outreach Day, advocates in New York City spoke to hundreds of pedestrians whose attention they captured with their hazmat suits and posters. Most were not aware that outbreaks of avian flu, swine flu and a human version of mad cow disease are caused by our consumption of chickens, pigs and cows.

Factory farms are a breeding ground for infectious diseases, which could easily spread among the animals and, if zoonotic, to humans

The COVID-19 pandemic shined a global spotlight on the infectious disease risks associated with live animal markets, but zoonotic diseases can – and do – emerge in factory farms, slaughterhouses and any other setting where animals are intensively confined and/or slaughtered for human consumption. Dr. Michael Gregor, the author of Bird Flu: A Virus of Our Own Hatching (2016) has said, “If you actually want to create pandemics, then build factory farms.”

Conservationists and animal rights activists staged a rally in Times Square to raise awareness about the connection between eating animals and pandemics