# How to make an entire westernised country go vegan? [closed]

What methods could be used to make a very westernised country, such as England, turn mostly vegan without too much resistance?

So far I have thought about putting high tax on animal based products such as meats, milk and eggs etc . This along with a massive marketing campaign that emphasise the dangers of this life style.

I initially thought about fines, but people would just do it in secret or even protest for their own rights.

The faster the method the better but I'm looking between 5 and 10 years.

## closed as too broad by Aify, James♦, Azuaron, L.Dutch♦, MołotApr 11 '17 at 8:46

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• @JDługosz it might be "or a priest for use in his rites". – WRX Apr 10 '17 at 16:00
• Make a civilization go vegan? Shouldn't there be an apocalypse tag on this too? – Joe Kissling Apr 10 '17 at 18:41
• @Mark just claim it's "for the environment" or "to prevent upsetting minorities" and you can get away with most anything in Europe these days. – jwenting Apr 11 '17 at 6:40
• start by burning down the last rainforest to create more palm oil for your vegan cheese... – Burki Apr 11 '17 at 7:18
• OK, OK, once livestock disappeared, and any kind of meat prohibited, we accepted our fate and start a vegan diet. Vegans are delicious properly roasted, they taste like chicken! – roetnig Apr 11 '17 at 10:18

Kill all the livestock.

They're all gonna die anyways. Seriously hear me out...

If everyone would turn vegan, then there is no nice way of preserving all life. Right now society has inhumane, but efficient ways of feeding livestock. If every vegan wanted these animals to be treated well (free roaming, normal food, live longer etc) then they will die anyways, because we cannot maintain the needs. It's even worse if they are set free, it would be a huge ecological disaster and then they would die.

Disease

They need to die for your needs. Like Alexander said, if the animals fall sick to a disease, then you probably won't need conviction anymore. Just make sure the disease is highly infectious, deadly and epidemic or even pandemic. To have the best result the disease also has to be zoonotic, meaning it's transferable to humans. Also make sure the disease "stays in the air" so no one would try to import new animals. I see no other way. Even if eating greatly increase the chance of a new cancer, people would still stubbornly eat them. Don't believe me? Just check the tobacco industry. They NEED to die.

The result could be that there is no livestock left, or maybe a really small percentage, making the price and risks insanely high. But after this event, only the insane would still eat animal.

• Complete disagree. While human are omnivorous, but if they going to vegan, livestock still have their natural enemies in other shape of other animals and question do not force people to save livestock from other animals. So nature's food chain should be going on despite humans choose to be vegan or not. Also I do think that livestock still able to find food by their own instead of dependencies on humans. What impacts on humans itself that will be separate concern. – kuldeep.kamboj Apr 11 '17 at 8:32
• If you won't kill all livestock all over the world, you will have meat imported from eastern countries. And you will still have hunters - or will be forced to kill all animals in the woods. So I upvoted this answer as a first, and needed, step, I also think it is significantly incomplete. – Mołot Apr 11 '17 at 9:09

It's pretty difficult to 'make' an entire population do something unpopular - see Prohibition. Rather, you need to persuade them to follow your recommendations. For that, you need a couple of things in place.

## 1. Provide plausible alternatives

Alternatives have to be real, appetising replacements, not something totally different made to look like meat. They need to have similar taste, texture, and nutrient values.

Depending on exactly why this is being done, the best option might be lab-grown meat, if you can get it to industrial levels.

## 2. Propaganda and Education

With your alternatives in place, you can start your program. Sponsor detailed, explicit adverts about the practice of meat farming, similar to those shown about smoking or drunk driving. Sponsor media about anthropomorphic animals trying to avoid the meat market. Avoid mention of the livestock species that will go extinct and the livelihoods that will be destroyed by the change.

## 3. Taxation and regulation

Add heavy taxes to all stages of meat production. Enforce rigid 'safety standards' at all levels of the process, from the hoof to the shelf. Ban the import of animal products that don't meet the same standards. At the same time, cut taxes on replacement foods.

## 4. Phase out meat production

Buy out small farmers who can no longer afford to raise livestock. Provide subsidies for them to switch to arable production. If possible, provide large subsidies for them to switch to producing your replacement foods or their precursors. Hide the slaughtering of their herds.

• Why should one avoid mentioning extinction? Wouldn't it only promote the cause? – OldBunny2800 Apr 11 '17 at 0:59
• If we're not eating the animals, there's no reason to keep farming them. Without that economic value, what are we going to do with those herds of cattle, flocks of sheep, etc? Domesticated species would be going extinct pretty quickly. If you're trying to push veganism on moral grounds, you'd want to steer away from pointing out that all those farm animals are going extinct. – Werrf Apr 11 '17 at 1:54
• Note that taxation and regulation are a milder form of banning (if taxes are too high the gray market flourish as market on cigarettes in some countries). I'm a bit afraid that given that despite vast education and taxation we still have DUI and cigarettes you need to have a major cultural shift to change it. – Maciej Piechotka Apr 11 '17 at 5:53
• @ Werrf - I can't think of a single species that would go extinct if everyone switched to Veganism. Note that species is equivalent to 'capable of having offspring that are capable of having offspring'. So domestic pigs are the same species as wild pigs. I believe the word you are looking for is 'breed'. quora.com/What-is-the-difference-between-breed-and-species – Scott Apr 11 '17 at 6:14
• In the propaganda and education - offer recipes and cookery programs that don't hinge on meat substitution. Switching dietary patterns is much harder if you're constantly thinking of what you're missing out on, and stuff like vege-burgers and nut cutlets don't help in the slightest with convincing people to go meat free - because they're always judged in comparison. You will never convince me that vege sausages are nicer than meat sausages. You can convince me that a particular dish (that happens to be vegan/vegetarian) is a nice meal. – Sobrique Apr 11 '17 at 8:12

Realistically doing it in 5-10 years is not possible. If you try taxes or restrictive laws, England will see revolts it haven't seen since the days of Cromwell. Monetary incentives are not good enough too. Quite a few people would not give up their steaks for any amount of money.

It can only be some natural or human-caused disaster that would turn people away from animal food. Imagine that a new "Mad cow disease" has broken out. Only this time it's not just cows, but sheep and chickens too. Milk and eggs are also contaminated. There is no cure, only sad death for non-vegans. In that case, turning entire country's population to veganism is possible.

• There is a book where tomatoes carried some virus and wiped 90% of non magic humans, generations later they still hate ketchup and tomatoes and stuff – DonQuiKong Apr 10 '17 at 19:14
• Your new disease would also have to affect fish, pigs, goats, rabbits, squirrels, birds, etc, even cats and dogs. And somehow the leather from animals would also have to become dangerous. – please delete me Apr 10 '17 at 20:49

The simple answer is that you can't. In addition to going against hundreds of thousands of years of evolution, your claim about "the dangers of this life style" - that is, eating animal products - is demonstrably wrong.

Thus you can perhaps use your marketing campaigns to convince a part of the population to become vegans, but you'll never manage to convince everyone. In fact, the harder you market something, and the more ridiculous your claims become, the more you will create resistance among the general population. (Consider for instance the attitude of most people towards PETA &c.)

Since persuasion doesn't work, you'll have to try to do it through coercion. Unfortunately for you, historical experience - Prohibition, the War on Drugs, &c - suggests that that's not only not going to work, it's going to have the opposite of the intended effect. The prohibited activity gets driven underground, becomes fashionable among the rebellious and profitable to a criminal element, and the upshot is that you wind up with more of it than you started with.

So if you want to continue down this path, you wind up with extermination camps for meat-eaters.

• I don't think you can quite compare meat etc. to alcohol/drugs. The alcohol prohibition could only be as utterly undermined by illegal trade using spirits (high value density, producable on a small scale, easy to transport hidden, long shelf-life). This might also be possible for some luxury animal products (artisan cheese, dried sausages & hams...), but the vast bulk of consumption in Western countries is dependent on infrastructure and quick, open, large-scale production & distribution. On the black market, most animal products would be much more expensive than they are now. – leftaroundabout Apr 10 '17 at 22:56
• @leftaroundabout: While you have a point WRT urbanites, rural folk would simply hunt their meat. I speak from some experience here: I grew up in Appalachia-without-the-folklore, and probably ate as much wild meat as store-bought. – jamesqf Apr 11 '17 at 4:34
• @jamesqf And considering under vegan plans you're gonna need to release, what? About a billion animals that are normally used to produce meat? People will be hunting for a long time. – SGR Apr 11 '17 at 7:19
• those billion animals would disappear within months if they weren't being legally bred for food – Weyland Yutani Apr 11 '17 at 7:51
• @leftaroundabout Being insanely expensive is what makes them proffitable enough for gangs to risk going to jail in order to provide the goods to its customers. – Rekesoft Apr 11 '17 at 8:17

Not quite science fiction, not quite on your table, synthetic meat is here, and at about \$12.00 a pound. It's grown from bacteria (like yogurt or cheese), and it's able to replace most ground beef. Or chicken breast. It's pretty neat stuff, but it costs too much for it to be economical. Handwave this to a popular price, and able to replace most cuts of meat (more than the two above we currently have). This should take the science about 20 more years from today, but you can handwave it away. If it's on the shelves in your world, it will likely be available but not wanted because it's made by BIG LABS and Doug Guacamole Fox will have everyone on regular meat. The sheeple will be convinced of toxins in this science-gone-to-far meat and only to use natural foods as advertised on his website, instead of the safer, more humane option.

The Mad Cow Scare really changed things. Cows were slaughtered left and right to combat the disease, and suddenly the price for beef shot through the roof. Suddenly the prices on the site go much higher.

## Stir in a scandal

Debunking a popular food leader with a scandal has always had a good precedent for changing the popularity of foods. For example, the Jake used in Prohibition Era threw plenty of attention onto some unsafe foods. These can cause people to turn away from their go to items and stop believing in trusted sources for food.

## Cook 2C warmer with global warming

By adding in some serious droughts, the rest of the farms are going to have a tough time to replace the beef lost by the disease with other animals. Knowing the inefficiencies of growing meat and you're not going to get a lot of help from governments to keep meat farms going.

## Season with an advertising campaign, served hot

With the meat scarce, and an affordable, humane option ready to be put on the table, the last step is to convince everyone who is left eating meat because of opinions (and not economics) that it is bad because of moral reasons. Why wouldn't you switch, and leave the animals alone, if it is better, cheaper, and easier, knowing you wouldn't kill an animal?

# By Banning Veganism

As many others have pointed out, with examples like the Prohibition and War on Drugs, whenever something is forbidden to the public, us lazy common folk suddenly get inspired to do what we're not allowed to do.

If you had a totalitarian government that forced meat to be eaten at every meal, the rebels (e.g. all of us) will create all kinds of underground ways to be vegan.

This will be extra effective if the government is seen as "evil", and perhaps if the meat industry slowly made the meat taste stronger and stronger, until it's repulsive.

You would need some very powerful incentive, not just a negative one.

You might come up with a new "miracle drug" that repairs animal cell DNA, thereby greatly increasing lifespan and curing most types of cancer, as well as other degenerative diseases.

There would be only a small catch. The drug will operate badly, or not at all, on the DNA of creature X (say, a human being) whenever there are traces of DNA of different animal sources (e.g. poultry) in the bloodstream. It would turn out that in most people, simply eating meat was enough to noticeably thwart the process (in reality, eaten DNA gets denatured in the stomach, but let's handwave it away).

So, to be on the safe side, you either denature meat DNA before eating - turning it in an uneatable pulp, which some people still might need to do for health reasons - or if at all possible, follow a strictly vegan diet. Depending on the size of the effect, even drinking milk might be undesirable, or even dangerous.

You can choose whether it is the diversity between DNAs that trigger the undesirable effects, or just it being the DNA of another animal. In this latter case, you would also need to adopt suitable precautions during certain sexual practices.

Also, you need to come up with some way of disposing of all the animals that will be slaughtered after they have become un-economic to keep. The small population of short-lived, cancer-prone carnivores is not going to be enough to sustain the whole animal husbandry sector.

• Eating pork or beef or chicken or fish will not bring pig or cow or chicken or fish DNA in the bloodstream. There a great difference between digestion and transfusion. – AlexP Apr 10 '17 at 17:28
• I know. That's why I proposed to handwave it away. The exact mechanism might even be left unexplained: There's a similar plot device in one of Sturgeon's short stories (that one regarding wanted pregnancies). – LSerni Apr 10 '17 at 17:59

As mentioned above, the only "fast" way to make a country transition to a new food source is to make the old food either incredibly dangerous or incredibly scarce. There's no way to force people 100% (some people will hunt, for instance), but we can assume broad adoption is "good enough."

First you start a livestock epidemic, like mad cow, swine flu, Asian bird flu, etc. Easiest way to do this is to put something in the feed stock (pesticide?) that poisons animals in a way that mimics disease. This keeps humans protected but leads to die offs and eventual widespread culling of herds to "stop the epidemic." Tricky part is making sure no one puts 2 and 2 together that it's the food making the animals sick. Otherwise you could engineer a virus, but that can be much riskier.

You'd have to find some excuse to ban imports of meat, perhaps by saying the infected livestock came from abroad, allowing you to impound any shipments at the border.

This next step is critical: someone has to use their political capital to "save the farmers" to transition those who raise livestock to some other food source, such as aquaculture or algal protein. This would probably take the form of job retaining and loan programs to allow the purchase of new equipment. Put onerous requirements on raising livestock (to "prevent disease") and subsidize these new food sources so farmers stick with cheaper plants rather than reverting to livestock once the initial "crisis" passes.

This could all be done over a few years, but it would require quite the conspiracy. And people would be vegetarian by force, not choice. If you could keep it up for a long while, the younger generations should easily transition into voluntary vegetarianism, but the older folk who miss the taste of bacon will complain until their dying breath...

If you could convince people to bring up their children in 'the new, healthy way', then perhaps it could happen within 50-75 years.

The government could make meat super expensive by adding a ton of tax -- to animal feed, to butchering, to redistribution, transportation -- so that like smoking, fewer people 'waste' the money. Your chicken leg could cost £100 -- or more.

Make eating meat a 'taboo', like cannibalism.

This would take 50-75 years. All laws about blackmarketting would already cover misuse or law breaking.

I confess that I'm not fully conversant with the difference between a vegetarian and a vegan, so I will confine my answer to the basic idea of not eating meat.

The easiest way to do it is a world war. In war time meat is expensive and scarce. Germany during both World Wars, and England and Japan during the second, went meatless. In war time, with international trade stopped, every calorie counts, and wasting perfectly good calories on luxuries such as meat is heavily restricted. (Farm animals are quite inefficient at converting vegetable calories into meat calories.) Meat becomes a rarity, traded on the black market, much like alcoholic beverages in the U.S.A. in the times of Al Capone and Eliott Ness.

If a world war is not available then one can try a Communist revolution. Communists have this divine gift of making the richest country dirt poor as if it was involved in a world war. The consumption of meat will plumet, due to the collapse of agriculture: in a Communist country every calorie counts, and wasting perfectly good calories on luxuries such as meat is heavily restricted.

The problem with war is that it eventually ends, and people revert to their sinful ways and start eating meat again. The problem with Communists is that they are eventually toppled, and people revert to their decadent capitalistic ways and start eating meat again. A more long-term solution involves the fall of civilization, ideally accompanied by a good number of barbarian invasions and a touch of the plague. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, most of the population of Europe went meatless for about twelve centuries: during the Middle Ages the average peasant ate meat maybe four times a year -- at Christmas, at Easter, and possibly at two other feasts. Hence the dual meaning of the word "feast".

None of those solutions drops meat consumption to zero. There will always be rich war profiteers or Communist Party cadres who will be able to afford meat. But I don't see this as a problem; after all, alcohol consumption is not actually zero in Saudi Arabia, and historically some popes and cardinals were known to indulge in meat and wine during Lent. What counts is that most people most of the time won't have any meat to eat.

• Please stop spouting bullshit. Eastern Germany had one of the highest meat consumption in the world: 1985 it was approx. 100 kg per year and person. In communist countries the problem was getting luxuries and variety: staple food was extremely cheap, but everything else (banana, chocolate etc.) was simply very rare and once available, it was hoarded. – Thorsten S. Apr 10 '17 at 22:06
• @Thorsten: I was born, raised, educated and started my professional carreer in a Communist country. – AlexP Apr 10 '17 at 22:40
• And every communist country contained exactly the same people and the same culture which would allow this sweeping generalization? I can assure you that Eastern Germany had enough meat (and potatoes). I am simply tired and annoyed if I hear these depictions; while it was bad, the description does not fit what people in Eastern Germany experienced. If it was like that in Romania, then it was in Romania. – Thorsten S. Apr 10 '17 at 23:03
• No. One does not simply start a world war. Communist revolutions do not simply happen in "the richest countries". – Headcrab Apr 11 '17 at 5:26

The way I see it, you would need a ginormous catastrophe to happen, of historical and global proportions. Any non-catastrophical measure (taxes, regulations, phase out of meat, education...) is going to require longer than 10 years, or is going to face resistance from part or the whole population.

So there are three factors of which you could only have two at the most:

• Short time frame
• No resistance
• No catastrophe

Short time frame + No resistance

This is what you want in your question: short time frame and without people resistance.. and for that to happen, you need a catastrophe that forces an immediate change: either cultural (people changing their mind from one day to another) or in resources (a plague that kills every animal but/including humans).

You would need to make sure that the catastrophe is natural and not man-made (e.g. war, killing of livestock, killing all meat eaters...), or it is going face resistance from sectors of the country's population (if not from all of it).

Also that catastrophe would have to be at a global level affecting all the countries in the world, or otherwise that country would probably be able to import meat from a neighboring country, stopping or slowing the process to more than the requested 5-10 years.

No resistance + No catastrophe

If you want no resistance by the population and no catastrophe, then you won't be able to reach it in such a short time frame. You need a deep change of culture in that country's society, and that doesn't happen in 5-10 years: it would take generations.

Willow said 50-75 years in this answer, I am going to risk and say it would be more than double (or even triple) that. You would need a full reset in the country's population to achieve it: and by that I mean until no-one alive in the country knew anyone alive when the cultural change started...

And probably even then, there wouldn't be a total cultural change. Imagine something as "simple" as accepting people regardless of their skin color. It has been over 150 years since the US Civil War, and there are still many Americans that suffer discrimination and hate based on the same beliefs that caused the war (I understand that this is an oversimplification).

Short time frame + No catastrophe

If you want short time frame and no catastrophe, you are going to find resistance:

• Old people will refuse to change their old habits;
• The general population will complain that taxes are too high;
• Farmers will complain of the new regulations (or cheat);
• Rich people will find ways to circumvent the change...

Again, you would need a deep cultural change, and that doesn't happen overnight or without a fight: big changes will bring big resistance in one way or another. It will be unavoidable.

And the way that you deal with the resistance will probably create more resistance. For example, if you punish the meat eaters in harsh ways, many people may change out of fear, but many people will also join the resistance.

To Make a country religion or ethnic group abolish or quit something it must be villainized, Made hard to get, and an anti-farm animal campaign would do that spread rumors about cows polluting the earth how that land could be used to cultivate the more bountiful crops the world has to offer instead of smelly dirty animals.Following this, there would have to be a pandemic in cow farms across the specified region making them unsanitary, disease-ridden, smelly dirty, oxygen breathing animals who take up to much space in a growing world.

I think the only way would be if there was synthetic meat tasting as good as normal meat but cheaper and healthier.

Also while eating too much meat as most Westerners do, eating a little bit of it is generally considered healthier than not eating meat at all.

The biggest question is how do you sell an unhealthy lifestyle (vegan) for a healthy lifestyle (omnivore)? Veganism is a lifestyle based on shame thats full of contradictory rules that make no sense.

My approach would be to look how the fast food lifestyle of excess carbohydrates (mostly vegan) has become a worldwide phenomenon which has lead to obesity, diabetes and heart failure. All over the world we have turned to sugary drinks, fast food snacks and fast food meals to become dangerously unhealthy. Diabetes from lifestyle choices is already one of the biggest killers in the world and it used to be a rich mans disease.

We eat it because it tastes great and lifestyle marketing and sheer convenience. It's cheaper and easier to eat junk food than healthy food.

Start marketing vegan sodas, vegan snacks sold at fast food places for a comparable price. Convince chains like McDonald's or Subway to offer tasty vegan alternatives. If they see a profit in providing those items, capitalism will sell the idea worldwide.

• Why do you assume Veganism is an 'unhealthy lifestyle'? – Luka Apr 11 '17 at 8:24
• It's a lifestyle not based on sound nutrition, it's based on shame. Any lifestyle where you eat mostly carbohydrates is not a sound lifestyle choice. – gwally Apr 11 '17 at 18:18
• As a vegan myself, I can assure you it is not based on "shame", just a positive desire to reduce animal suffering. Or are you of the opinion that any time one's ethics informs their decisions that this is "shame"? – dn3s Apr 11 '17 at 20:02
• Applying your ethics to another and telling them if they don't follow that lifestyle, you resort to shame to force your opinion on others. All forms of vegetarianism is based on one feelings of superiority and guilt. As an example, pescetarians feel it's OK to eat fish because they feel superior to them, but feel guilt if they eat chicken or something they feel is a superior life form. Plants have the ability to attract insects that pollinate and defend them. We don't understand how they do this. Yet in your mind they are inferior and fine to eat. But I digress off the topic. – gwally Apr 11 '17 at 20:49
• I am not even going to bother. – Luka Apr 12 '17 at 8:07

It would be hard to do it in such a short time period. If it were done quickly, then it should be done forcefully as well. I'm talking about severe punishment for not being vegan. Otherwise...

1. Shaming those who are non-vegan
2. Propaganda promoting veganism - in the media and schools
3. High taxes on meat industry and sellers of meat, while having tax breaks on produce (and make fruits and vegetables really cheap for consumers)
4. Banning meat-eaters from entering your country, and maybe voting or owning property - just arrest anyone who resists
5. Serving vegan-only items at government sponsored events and in schools

I can imagine the secret "meat-easies" now. Moo twice to enter.

One way might be to modify vegan food so that the benefits of being totally vegan far far outweigh eating meat. Let's say through research, you find a way so that vegan food on average gives a person a lifespan of 200 years. Which means barring accidents, a person lives healthily well into 2 centuries. As long as this cannot be replicated in meat, a large population will voluntarily switch to a vegan diet. Given a choice between living for 84 years (the current average lifespan in UK) and living for 200 years, most would choose the latter isn't it ?

• Hi, welcome to worldbuilding! As this is a reality-check question, it's not asking for idea generation, but whether or not it's actually possible, so while I agree this would be a great way to 'turn everyone vegan', for this to be a better answer, you need to explain how this is possible in real life. Thanks – Mithrandir24601 Apr 11 '17 at 7:03

Have a look at the recently released mockumentary Carnage by Simon Amstell if you can. It's centered around more or less the same premise, 'documenting' the story of how the UK becomes vegan by 2067. It presents more or less an extrapolation of already existing trends, such as animal rights activism and health scares surrounding animal products, along with some more fantastical elements. It's a longer timescale than what you're looking for but maybe there's something you could use in there.

# Education + True cost of manufacturing and disposal

No more subsidies but the actual cost (environmental too) of producting meat and animal-related products.

• Welcome to WorldBuilding. Could you elaborate what you mean in greater detail? Right now it's pretty short and looks more like a comment. How different would the costs be and why would that change the whole country? And what do you mean with education? You only mentioned that point once and didn't explain it. – Secespitus Apr 11 '17 at 8:48
• How to make an entire westernised country go vegan? - and the answer is simple Education + True cost of manufacturing and disposal - what else can I add? – Mars Robertson Apr 11 '17 at 9:56