Shifting Taste for Canadians

by Nao Emzed on September 16, 2015 - 6:02pm

In a world where being vegan has now become trendy, some of us are questioning meat consumption and as always, we face the eternal moral dilemma between eating meat or not. Despite our heritage  of proud Canadian producers,  it seems like we are starting to change our consumer's habits: according to a Globe and Mail article, the profit margins in the food industry dropped by nearly 1% this year.

Many causes can explain this fact. First of all,with the aging population of the country, people tend to buy less red meat, as it's not recommended by specialists for health reasons. Then, there is the immigration factor: Canada welcomes foreigners that consume less animal proteins than us, either for cultural or religious motives. Moreover, since the economic recession of 2008, prices have gone up and people therefore explored other options. Since 1999, Statistics Canada mentions that the annual meat consumption per capita in Canada decreased by 31% for pork and by 19% for beef, even if the average income per family increased. 

Actually, the potential industry growth is very limited in Canada since the domestic market is already mature. Yet, Canadian companies found a way to continue to make profit: they changed their market, as the best way to boost the sales is to offer products in the U.S, where the recent value drop of the Candian dollar became an advantage. That's good news for us, as our food industry is the largest national sector of our production, employing around 260 000 people all across Canada. 

To conclude, even though Candians eat less meat, the global economy isn't suffering: creative and smart investors just found another way to sell products : exportation. However, reading this article made me wonder about another aspect of meat consumption : it's good to be worried about the economic cost of meat, but shouldn't we be more concerned about its environmental one?


I ultimately believe that it is a good thing people are eating less meat. With the demand of meats going down, the supply will also decrease. This is a good seeing as the conditions in which the livestock are raised in are, for the most part, horrendous. This article by Peter Singer whose link is at the end of this comment discusses the horrid conditions in which the farm animals must live through, if you can even call it living. We’ve turned what was once known as a farm into a factory, animals being seen as interchangeable pieces in a larger system. Society is so blind to the conditions these animals are raised in, we only see the package it comes wrapped in at the supermarket.

I also do agree that investors are finding smart and creative ways to sell their product even though Canadians have been eating less meat. Your argument is supported by relevant figures of authority such as Statistics Canada, a reliable source of information. Also, the premises follow a logical deductive style. In your article, you mention that even though the number of meat buyers have decreased in the past years, the economy did not suffer. In fact, it is even an advantage for Canadians since it creates more job opportunities. Thus, meaning that the sellers have found a way to sell their products using a different method. Because the connection between the premises and the conclusion is based on certainty and that all the premises are true, we can conclude that it is a valid and sound deductive argument.