Naturally, many people will ask: what about the farmers, meat traders, cheesemakers, butchers, and others, whose livelihoods will be affected if the demand for meat and milk falls? The answer is, as ever: the market will decide how, and at what speed, transitions occur within the economy. If there is one thing we know about capitalism it is that capital flows to where it can most profitably be employed and as the demand for plant foods grows, money and jobs will move from meat and dairy to plant food production.
The majority of today’s animal farmers will eventually have to choose between growing plant foods and doing something else, but they’ll have plenty of time, decades perhaps, within which to make up their minds. They ought not be too lax though because big shifts in the economy that are driven by ever-increasing social awareness have the capacity to grow exponentially and putting in a few hectares of olives or oranges today might well be the saviour of tomorrow for some.