In 1978, the first GMO was insulin. By creating a new form of life, cattle and pig slaughter was no longer required to obtain lifesaving insulin. Maybe in the distant future, raising animals for food might become obsolete. This may occur when genetic engineering methods for creating totally novel animals and plants becomes reality. Then the ethical questions would become much greater than raising livestock. Animal welfare issues on today’s farms can be corrected. Environmental issues should be addressed by integrating crops with livestock and better grazing management. The best soils in the U.S. were created by grazing bison. The animals are part of the land.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused major disruptions in the livestock industry. The sector that was most adversely affected in the U.S. was the pork industry. Thousands of pigs had to be destroyed on the farm when the processing plants were either completely shut down or ran at greatly reduced capacity.