Predicting The End Of Animal Husbandry As We Know It



In her letter, "Seeing the world from the lobster's point of view," Susan Oliver of Pine, I think, has asked a question that troubles many thoughtful people.

Fortunately, in the long run, killing other creatures for food will slowly vanish from our culture. Eating meat, however, will not and need not.

Nonsense, you say. It may be nonsense, but I place my bets there.

Firstly, sugar, starch, cellulose, ethanol and vegetable oils will all be synthetically produced on an industrial scale, powered by solar energy, even as they are today. The necessary processes are under active investigation now. The price will be much lower than today.

Later, lumber and other structural materials will be produced on an industrial scale, again, powered by solar energy, even as they are today.

Still later, dairy products and finally meat having all the desirable characteristics and few or none of the undesirable ones, together with once more, lower prices.

Open field agriculture is doomed, as is animal husbandry. What will not be affected soon or ever will be truck gardening under glass.

Even here in Georgia, I can hear the hoots and laughter, but no matter, you will see. I am a bit too elderly to expect to see these changes, except in my imagination. With some luck, maybe I will see the sugar and starch outside the lab -- provided the Midwest corn lobby and other selfish people can be held sufficiently in check.

Allen N. Wollscheidt, Brunswick, Ga. (formerly of Payson)

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