About the project
Meat: the four futures is a project and podcast about the polarised debate on meat. It aims to create a deeper understanding of scientific facts and increase the understanding of different types of arguments in this debate.
The project is initiated by SLU Future Food and run by TABLE, a collaboration between the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Wageningen University & Research (WUR) and the University of Oxford.
One podcast - four contrasting future scenarios
The project aim is to reduce polarisation in debates about livestock production and meat eating, by communicating the latest scientific evidence and engaging different perspectives through moderated dialogues. These dialogues will be synthesized and shared in a podcast series, published between April and June 2023.
The possibilities of four contrasting future scenarios will be discussed: 1) Plant-based 'no meat'; 2) Less meat; 3) Alternative 'meat'; and 4) Efficient meat 2.0. These four futures are adapted from Tara Garnett's essay Gut feelings and possible tomorrows.
A diversity of voices
The podcast will include various perspectives where food systems experts, agricultural researchers, animal scientists, economists, dietitians, behavioural scientists, and ecologists will be in conversation with farmers, food producers, and trade and interest groups that impact future developments.
Together they will unpack the promises and pitfalls associated with each future.
A dialogue platform and report
The podcast will be complemented by a digital dialogue platform to create the conditions for dynamic communication and continued conversations. At the end of the project, a summary report will be published that highlights the most important evidence and value-based arguments that support and contradict the different future scenarios, as well as areas where they overlap.
As a complement to the podcast and dialogue forum, a questionnaire has been developed, which allows participants to see which future scenario most closely aligns with their values. All participants' points will be illustrated anonymously so that everyone can see how they end up in relation to others. Do you already know in which corner you will land?
What are our objectives?
The project seeks to: 1) sort out evidence based arguments from arguments expressing values where possible, 2) find common ground while letting different perspectives’ best arguments be heard, and 3) identify where the REAL disagreements and tradeoffs lie.
Who do we want to reach?
The project is primarily aimed at formal and informal decision-makers, across the food value chain, who have influence over the food system of the future, e.g. politicians, industry, food producers, investors and NGOs.
Who is behind this project?
The project is initiated by SLU Future Food and run by TABLE, a collaboration between the University of Oxford, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) and Wageningen University and Research (WUR).
The four futures that are explored in this project evolved from the Gut feelings and possible tomorrows essay by TABLE director Tara Garnett in 2015. You can read the thinkpiece here.
You can read other Frequently Asked Questions.