Nothing radical will happen (I do not mean the scenario, what will happen if this is a one-time event - an economic catastrophe) - what happened - when humanity abandoned horse-drawn transport? The analogy may not be entirely correct, but I think the train of thought is clear ...
Animal protein is necessary primarily for a growing body, it is unacceptable to completely restrict children from eating meat (or products that replace them).
Let's consider one of the sides of the question: what will happen if meat consumption is reduced by 70%? In addition to all of the above answers about the benefits or dangers of vegetarianism, I suggest thinking about the dangers of animal husbandry and its impact on the environment.
Methane! A greenhouse gas with a warming effect of 28 times greater than carbon dioxide. Scientists estimate that each cow produces up to 500 liters of methane in 24 hours. The total number of cattle on the planet is 1.5 billion - that's about 750 billion liters every day. It turns out that cows increase the greenhouse effect comparable to cars!
Economics. The cost of meat is lower compared to the rest of the food.
I am against the directive rejection of meat. Every citizen must decide for himself. I propose to think about the diversity of the diet - about seafood, cheese, cottage cheese, nuts, greek, beans, etc.
By the way, the environmental damage from poultry meat is less impressive. And the health benefits are higher because less fat ...
"The meat industry, whose profitability is questionable, is called one of the causes of hunger in the world. Today, about a billion people are hungry in the world. Meanwhile, if we take statistics for the United States, 90% of all soybeans, 80% of all corn and 70% of all grain there it feeds slaughter cattle. These volumes would be enough to feed at least 800 million hungry. "
They write here about the fear of unemployment, which will begin in connection with the possible cessation of meat production. Are you not afraid that if meat production is not reduced (even better, it is completely stopped), then the question of how to provide the population of the earth with ordinary drinking water will arise? And further! If every person consuming meat simply inquired about how it is produced, read it, or even better was forced to work a day at a slaughterhouse, then the question of meat consumption would disappear by itself.
This is interesting, take a look !
PS I am 60 years old, I am healthy! I go in for sports: fitness barbell, yoga, etc. and sometimes running and climbing ...
Consider from the point of view of biology.
A vegan diet can be completely harmless, but only if certain rules are followed. And there are many such rules. And the pace of life is such that there is no time to do this, and "what will happen to us." That is, there is a very small probability that all of humanity will master the new rules of nutrition to perfection.
Needless to say, following these rules does not just take time - it also takes away consumers' money. There will be no money due to high unemployment. And the suppliers do not have enough acreage.
What will we have if we add up illiteracy and lack of money? Huge health problems and high mortality. Let's not go too far, but take examples from our daily lives - newborn babies of vegans sometimes die from the wrong diet. nytimes.com
This will be the greatest genocide in the history of mankind: millions of people will die out, just because they do not know how to eat anything else (Amazonian tribes, northern tribes and peoples, nomads), millions will be severely malnourished (it is not just that in Asia they eat insects and other nasty things), millions of people will have to move and change their profession (fishermen, livestock breeders), thousands of cities will cease to exist (most of the city of Norway, for example). Hunger, economic crisis, migration of peoples, wars - this is only what is on the surface
If this happens in a fairly short time (six months or a year), then almost all animals raised for meat (and this is a large number of heads of various types and sizes on a planetary scale) will either have to be somehow kept further (most likely due to the population of the Earth who became sharply vegetarians), either set free as cows in India (which is also unlikely), or sent for slaughter and disposed of by burial or incineration, which most likely will not please those who have given up meat.
So This refusal should be gradual, over the course of 20-30 years, so that the business of growing and producing meat could be painlessly rebuilt and people previously employed in this business began to grow vegetarian food with the same success without disturbing the natural balance on the fragile planet Earth.
Millions of people will lose their jobs and livelihoods. Nowadays livestock products consist of two components: the animals themselves (meat, fat, skin) and what these animals produce (milk, wool, eggs). Refusal from meat is practically equal to refusal from everything connected with slaughter of livestock: to kill animals, and just throw away meat is irrational and expensive. Keeping animals forever is even more expensive. Thus, the rejection of meat will drag with it to the bottom of almost the entire livestock industry.
Workers of meat processing plants and feed factories, many farmers, veterinarians, as well as participants in the entire chain on the way from producer to consumer will be left without work - people providing packaging, transportation, storage, sale of meat products, etc.
Animals already living on livestock farms will be abandoned: no one will feed them and take care of them, but to life in they will not be adapted to nature.
Industries associated with the processing of wool and leather will stop or significantly suffer.
In addition, there will be a shortage of other products containing protein (cannot be replaced in a year or even in five years, all meat production for soybeans, for example), these products will become more expensive and redistributed among the population. Those who previously did not have enough money for meat, but had enough vegetable protein, will find themselves in distress.