As has been mentioned in various newspapers of record, the majority of arable land in Switzerland and other European countries is used for livestock farming and its downstream industry. This ecosystem has a negative impact on the health of us all and causes long-term damage to the climate. Industrial production and economic cycles are geared towards optimisation and higher turnover. Evidently, people have gotten used to this and find it difficult to move away from it. Although various leading figures have been pointing out the problems involved and possible alternatives for some time now, it seems near impossible to motivate a majority of people to change their lifestyle and diet. Older generations in particular have difficulty with this or do not want to make a change, despite the fact that this group contains many actively involved, influential players who absolutely take an experimental approach and follow the zeitgeist.
The oft-cited level of self-sufficiency could in principle be easily attained in Switzerland by means of economical, vegan-oriented ecosystems. You would think that the potential for automation, sustainability principles and flagship projects would induce a “gold-rush mood” here. This has in fact already happened. Sufficient financial means (if used properly) are available, and the number of players is increasing every year. A long-term change such as this will take time. Health insurance premiums and the current global situation should provide a very clear indication of how urgently such a change is needed and should be a wake-up call. Meat lovers will still be able to enjoy a slice of meat even after a successful transition. However, the joint responsibility for negative global developments would be rescaled. Like in other sectors, various micro- and macroeconomic systems and companies would, of course, become established.
The constant shifting of the market already requires remodelling and changes in usage within the existing infrastructure. Consumer behaviour throughout the population must and will drastically change in the space of a few years. These days, staunch vegetarians and vegans account for nineteen percent of the population, and many others have a vegetarian lifestyle. It is true that the figures vary and are not that easy to nail down. But what cannot be overlooked or overheard is that this trend is continually developing over time. Small businesses and mini-projects have a particular tradition in Switzerland. People want to advocate for self-sufficiency and security. Life-long learning and active participation are prerequisites for this. There is a lot of interest in fauna and knowledge of the food sector within the population. Nevertheless, in the long-term, many society-related illnesses and our health system and its astronomical costs will cause young people in particular serious problems.
It is time to finally move in another direction. More players are needed to make the appropriate strategic decisions. Seriousness and assertiveness are also needed for the sustainable and healthy export of food and to avoid further damage to the climate. This would provide a boost to interested researchers, the already booming entrepreneurial scene in this area and the associated sectors, such as fashion and beauty. Having more forest land, increased protection in times of crisis, greater self-sufficiency, lower healthcare costs and more participation and innovation is in all of our interests. Taking into account socially acceptable adjustments, a societal and health-policy-related transformation could be achieved within a few years.
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