The New Carnivores
Listen to the futures and select which future you think is preferable and which is probable
Future #1: The New Carnivores: A Growth Industry
The edible objects before you are samples of Jellyfish and Ant candy from 2030. Climate change had a devastating impact on food production in the 2020’s. Fires and floods disrupted food supplies and looking for new protein sources New World Foods took advantage of the increase in jellyfish and ants produced by the changing climate. New World Foods launched a global marketing campaign describing the ‘new carnivore’ a person who ate animal products but only if they did not contribute to the climate crisis.
The “New Carnivore” idea took off and soon the western diet was filled with animals previously not eaten. Ants were a particular delicacy as they contained a high amount of protein. As ants became the new dominant protein source many farmers switched from wild caught to intensively farming ants, even adjusting the temperature of the ant colonies to avoid the ‘rest period’ ants go through when temperatures dip. This brought about cries of green washing as people questioned whether these food products now contributed to the climate crisis. In a news making stunt in 2038 an activist released ants from an ant farm into a GAP store. The subsequent headlines of ‘ants in your pants’ made global news and brought renewed attention to this issue.
Future #2: The New Carnivores: A Degrowth Industry
The edible objects before you are samples of jellyfish and ant candy from 2030. Climate change had a devastating impact on food production in the 2020’s. In Australia, New World Foods - a small food co-operative based out of Eastern New South Wales - saw the opportunity to start experimenting with animal products that were in abundance. Their first product offering was ‘wild caught’ jellyfish, a by-product of other fisheries practices. The jellyfish were popular amongst a new type of eater dubbed the ‘new carnivore’ one that was climate conscious with their food choices.
The co-operative then introduced ants. They teamed up with various local Australian First Nations groups that had been using ants as a food source developing a network of food producers in the region. However climate conditions shifted again and ant numbers reduced dramatically. The co-operative responded by reducing sales of ants and investigating other alternative protein sources.
In a statement to the press chairman of the board Pete Jankovic said ‘we have got used to companies reporting growth like it is the natural state of things, but in nature nothing grows forever. We will search for new opportunities because our success has never been about profit, it is about how our place and our people can thrive together. ”
References and useful links:
Tyrant ant fluctuating populations
Edible Insects Roadmap with First Nations People