The farmers and ranchers who supply the nation with hamburgers, pork chops, T-bone steaks and chicken fingers now confront several crises at once: Large processing plants are shutting down as workers fall ill, many producers were already strained by the trade war with China, and the sudden rise of plant-based “fake” meat alternatives had been starting to capture Americans’ imaginations.
On top of that, the meat business had been attracting growing scrutiny for its climate change consequences in recent years, with scientists and environmentalists urging Americans to eat less meat, particularly beef.
So bad for the climate and bad for workers. Like coal, it also bad for global health (pandemic potential). Though meat is distinctive in one category: the incalculable suffering it inflicts on billions of animals every year.