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Koekepan
I was looking out of my window at the sheep attacking a crabapple tree, and wondering about cyber-sheep.

Obviously a silly idea, for dozens of reasons, but that led me to wonder whether livestock might not change in other dimensions.

One dimension is that of breed preference. What if beef cattle move away from your usual Black Angus stock? They could. Given the resurgence of the wild, that's always possible.

What about the rise of other types of livestock? More beefalo, maybe? Perhaps rabbit rather than chicken? Maybe a general move towards rabbits because they're smaller, easier to keep, highly fecund, produce high quality lean meat and soft pelts?

Right now I'm not sure what the answer is, but as the Greengrocer thread highlighted, the risks of awakened critters might change the preference in stock.
binarywraith
The answer you're looking for is soy.
Jaid
QUOTE (binarywraith @ Jul 26 2016, 02:43 PM) *
The answer you're looking for is soy.


and krill.

also, probably insects. we're starting to see it more and more today that insect farms are by far the most efficient and productive of meat farms. it just hasn't caught on in the western world because most people here think it's icky to eat locusts or spiders or whatever (myself included, though i'm not sure it would bother me too much if they don't *look* like insects... i haven't really thought about it tbh).
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
Mycoprotein... smile.gif

And hey, research has reveialed that Cockroach Milk may be the most nutitious substance in the world. *yuck*
binarywraith
NERPS! It's Gluten Free, Vegan, Kosher, Halal, -and- Low Fat!
Mantis
I imagine since a lot of the old USA and Canada are now in the hands of the NAN, they are likely to go back to more natural (whatever that means) stock. Though they still have people to feed and I imagine the UCAS would be a big market for them so maybe it would just be business as usual.
I'm not entirely sure what the authors of the SR world thought was going to happen in the future to change farming from cattle, pork and chicken to mycoprotein, soy and krill. I suppose the thought process was just that much of the farm land currently used for that purpose would revert to the NAN nations and for what ever reason the NAN wouldn't want to raise livestock. Don't know why. The folks on reserves raise livestock now so with a vast increase in the available land, I see no reason why they wouldn't continue to do so.
It's not like soy doesn't require land to grow so whatever the source of this soy, the only reason to use it is because it is cheaper than some other crop. Krill requires ocean access or at least a salt water area to raise so it is pretty much a coastal thing. You won't be finding it inland unless they are making salt water ponds (yea like that won't cause problems). Maybe some sort of krill factory farm would be doable but just like fish farms, it is way cheaper and easier to just use the ocean.
So maybe this idea of soy and krill being a staple is just a Seattle thing since it has very limited farm land available. I just don't see that being the staple world wide or even over all of North America. Farmers grow the foods they do because they are profitable and grow best on the land available and with the water available (California is an exception). They aren't going to change that unless those factors change. The nationality of the farmer doesn't really matter.
Blade
You could borrow the chicken farms from Dr Adder. The chicken are never fully described but from what is told they are probably more or less at least human sized (and workers in the farm have sex with them).
Then there's also the possibility of vat-grown meat.
Medicineman
QUOTE (binarywraith @ Jul 26 2016, 02:43 PM) *
The answer you're looking for is soy.


And maybe Insects ?

with a snowpiercing Dance
Medicineman
Wakshaani
QUOTE (Mantis @ Jul 26 2016, 08:22 PM) *
I imagine since a lot of the old USA and Canada are now in the hands of the NAN, they are likely to go back to more natural (whatever that means) stock. Though they still have people to feed and I imagine the UCAS would be a big market for them so maybe it would just be business as usual.
I'm not entirely sure what the authors of the SR world thought was going to happen in the future to change farming from cattle, pork and chicken to mycoprotein, soy and krill. I suppose the thought process was just that much of the farm land currently used for that purpose would revert to the NAN nations and for what ever reason the NAN wouldn't want to raise livestock. Don't know why. The folks on reserves raise livestock now so with a vast increase in the available land, I see no reason why they wouldn't continue to do so.
It's not like soy doesn't require land to grow so whatever the source of this soy, the only reason to use it is because it is cheaper than some other crop. Krill requires ocean access or at least a salt water area to raise so it is pretty much a coastal thing. You won't be finding it inland unless they are making salt water ponds (yea like that won't cause problems). Maybe some sort of krill factory farm would be doable but just like fish farms, it is way cheaper and easier to just use the ocean.
So maybe this idea of soy and krill being a staple is just a Seattle thing since it has very limited farm land available. I just don't see that being the staple world wide or even over all of North America. Farmers grow the foods they do because they are profitable and grow best on the land available and with the water available (California is an exception). They aren't going to change that unless those factors change. The nationality of the farmer doesn't really matter.


Well, standard farming is much more efficient than raising animals. I want to say it takes nine times the yardage to raise a cow, counting in its feed, than just eating the plants yourself. The bonus comes from being able to use stock that you don't think of as food, like grass, converting "waste space" into protein.

With the loss of some territory (but not as much as you'd think!), doing this in North America got tricky. More importantly, prime cattle country in South America got erased by Amazonia, which was a huge kick in the pants.

From there, O.G. Shadowrun writers went with the future dystopia of the day, which included food shortages (Soylent Green is people!) and were tapping into things that were current in the day. ("Soyburgers" were being pushed into public schools in the early 80's, and had a few news cycles akin to "pink slime" today. For those that don't know how food is made, it looks horrible, but to people who handle the stuff, it's a case of, "Yeah, that's what processed meat looks like. And?"

In the real world, you're going to be seeing more insect-based things come to market, once they get a good way to process it akin to "pink slime" and can find a good name for it for marketing purposes.

It's all about output vs input, and bugs kick mammalian ass for that.
KCKitsune
QUOTE (Wakshaani @ Jul 27 2016, 12:04 PM) *
In the real world, you're going to be seeing more insect-based things come to market, once they get a good way to process it akin to "pink slime" and can find a good name for it for marketing purposes.

It's all about output vs input, and bugs kick mammalian ass for that.


Yeah, the insects might kick mammalian ass, but the the corps will have to have one hell of a marketing campaign to have it be successful in the West. It's the whole "Only 3rd world nations eat bugs." thing.

I think that soy protein and mycoprotein would be a lot more marketable in the west... especially soy.
Sascha Morlok
The main reason I can see (and more or less mentioned in the Target: UCAS Boston chapter) is that the old US lost a huge amount of it's agricultural base, while still has to feed (more ore less) the same amount of people. The NAN on the other hand didn't need these huge amounts of food production of the mid west, as it was by far more they needed compared to their relative small population. Also things like a "traditional way of life" may played a role. Because several NAN states still don't have good diplomatic relations with UCAS and CAS, I doubt they kept the agricultural production they "inherit" for trade. So from my perspective, they got rid of most of it (they certainly did with the hops, no beer for you).

To compensate the losses, the US and later UCAS needed a fast (and cheap) way to feed their population (thou they still rely on imports, see T:UCAS) and came up with soy "ersatz" products, krill, and so on. But other parts of the world did not have such an event, which forced them to completely rebuild their agricultural sector. Sure, you've lost Brazil/Amazonia and Africa, but that mostly affect luxury products (like coffee, cocoa, certain fruits, etc.).

As I've posted already in the regular SR forum:
Soy need a constant ground temperature of 10C to grow. This, for example, is achieved by exactly two areas in Germany (in the south western part). So If you want to grow it, lets say in the north, you have to use a modern greenhouse, heated all year long, which will give you a massive electricity bill each month. So it would be much easier, and even less expensive (or at least +/- 0), when you import your soybeans from France, Italy or Ukraine and process it here, like Germany does today. Or you could just like... you know... grow the same stuff you've grown before, like crop, potatos and so on, as there is no need to grow something else.

But this "problem" is not something you only have in Germany. Think of Scandinavia, UK, or other countries, not well known for its warm climate.
Tecumseh
I don't think PR is the issue, given Aztechnology's reputation for PR as well as their heavy involvement in consumables.

I just reread Native American Nations, Volume II. The section on the Athabascan Council mentions Farm-the-Sea, Inc. and it's plan to harvest grey whales for "consumable protein," much to the derision of the Shadowland commentators (p. 76).

The same sequence also mentions hydroponic farms having issues with storms. I think this is an oft-overlooked aspect of the setting, namely that the Great Ghost Dance completely upended weather patterns over North America and made them far more volatile, which in turn made farming more difficult. The recent Starving the Masses mission talks about Nature's Bounty (now a division of the Wind River Corporation) having underground hydroponic fields in the Sioux Nation for both security purposes as well as more reliable/dependable conditions.

To Sascha Morlok's point, Starving the Masses also mentions that "The dominant market in the Sioux Nation is agriculture," so I don't think it's fair to say that the Native American Nations intentionally got out of food production for cultural reasons. If anything, I can imagine the Sioux Nation ramping up production so that they could have some leverage over their neighbors. Given the automation opportunities offered by drones, I don't think the depopulation of the countryside would be a significant impediment.

Getting back to Koekepan's original question, the subsistence farmers I have known (all in Latin America, and thus not a particularly good sample size) have all favored chickens for the daily allotment of protein that comes via the eggs. Rabbits are an interesting idea and I may have to include them in my setting but unless you have an unwieldy herd you probably aren't eating them every day like you are eggs.

That said, the farmers I know also keep ducks much in the same way as they do chickens. (The ducks race in and out of the house at their leisure and sleep huddled together under the kitchen table at night, which amuses me.) The farmers like having them around but, when the time comes, the ducks make great tamales.
Sascha Morlok
Sure, now the Sioux are big in the agriculture business and achieve huge success with their drone supported farms. But the NAN formed in 2018, so they maybe brought it back to the former level (or even above) over time. Still I don't think the Sioux overproduction is sold (maily) to the UCAS.
Wakshaani
QUOTE (Sascha Morlok @ Jul 27 2016, 11:48 AM) *
The main reason I can see (and more or less mentioned in the Target: UCAS Boston chapter) is that the old US lost a huge amount of it's agricultural base, while still has to feed (more ore less) the same amount of people. The NAN on the other hand didn't need these huge amounts of food production of the mid west, as it was by far more they needed compared to their relative small population. Also things like a "traditional way of life" may played a role. Because several NAN states still don't have good diplomatic relations with UCAS and CAS, I doubt they kept the agricultural production they "inherit" for trade. So from my perspective, they got rid of most of it (they certainly did with the hops, no beer for you).

To compensate the losses, the US and later UCAS needed a fast (and cheap) way to feed their population (thou they still rely on imports, see T:UCAS) and came up with soy "ersatz" products, krill, and so on. But other parts of the world did not have such an event, which forced them to completely rebuild their agricultural sector. Sure, you've lost Brazil/Amazonia and Africa, but that mostly affect luxury products (like coffee, cocoa, certain fruits, etc.).

As I've posted already in the regular SR forum:
Soy need a constant ground temperature of 10C to grow. This, for example, is achieved by exactly two areas in Germany (in the south western part). So If you want to grow it, lets say in the north, you have to use a modern greenhouse, heated all year long, which will give you a massive electricity bill each month. So it would be much easier, and even less expensive (or at least +/- 0), when you import your soybeans from France, Italy or Ukraine and process it here, like Germany does today. Or you could just like... you know... grow the same stuff you've grown before, like crop, potatos and so on, as there is no need to grow something else.

But this "problem" is not something you only have in Germany. Think of Scandinavia, UK, or other countries, not well known for its warm climate.


A couple of interesting points. First, today figures:

California produces the most food (by value) in the United States followed by Iowa and Nebraska. Twelve (12) states generate over $10 billion in agricultural cash reciepts: California, Iowa, Nebraska, Texas, Minnesota, Illinois, Kansas, Wisconsin, Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio & South Dakota

California's off on its own, Iowa is fully in the UCAS, as is most of Nebraska. Texas is in the CAS now. Minnesota and Illinois are fully inside the UCAS, virtually all of Kansas, all of Wisconsin, Indiana, and Ohio, North Carolina's in the CAS, and half of South Dakota's still in the UCAS.

So, overall? Doing pretty good on the food front, having lost only three states entirely (including, however, the largest).

The map always messes with my head.

http://cdn.shadowruntabletop.com/wp-conten...ront.jpg?b979cc

I always thought that the NAN ran up to the Mississippi, back in first ed, and while that was quickly proven to not be the case, it's still what I think of until I catch myself. America didn't lose all THAT much, until California and the CAS broke off. Arizona? Nevada? Wyoming? These are not A-list, high-value, high-population states.

The NAN kind of got boned.

Sascha Morlok
Stupid foreigner...

Ok, but are these states enough to feed the same amount of population? The old US (and later UCAS/CAS) lost a lot of land, but only a very small amount of population. As mentioned earlier I can't think o a mahor trade system between all the NAN and former US countries among each other - at least in the beginning - because of all the bad blood. This might have changed in the 60s and 70s, but I think it was on an "all time low" in the 20s and 30s. At least in the 60s UCAS still relied on food imports from the NAN and CFS in the 60s (Target: UCAS, p.26).

As for Germany, I still think they have "traditional" livestock, but as mentioned in Market Panic, it was breed and later genetically modified to produce the highest amount of meat, milk or eggs as possible, which more or less resulting in the animals to get sick real quickly - only surviving by a big pharma cocktail injected every now and then.

Last year there was an newspaper article about one of the bigger meat "factories". They specially hired seasonal worker from Romania, or other poor countries of Europe and forced them to work long shifts for a small amount of money. During their shifts it is said that they have to wear diapers, so they don't need toilet breaks and after work some of them sleep in cardboard boxes near the factory.

Well, that's enough Shadowrun for me. Don't need soy for that.
KCKitsune
I do not honestly see how the Caribbean League could have held on to Southern Florida. Honestly the CAS should have stomped all over them. I can see the League holding on to the Keys, but mainland Florida... no. Just No.
Sascha Morlok
A different topic, but as a short answer I think this would end the CAS up in a similar situation like Russia after annexing the Crimea and would threatening the NAN and Aztlan, which in return would prepare for military actions against the CAS on their own. So, understandable from the nationalistic point of view, it would be very stupid diplomatically.
LurkerOutThere
Why are you under the impression the NAN had less people, didn't that get retconned? They have less but they also have less farmland.
Sengir
QUOTE (Wakshaani @ Jul 28 2016, 07:31 AM) *
California produces the most food (by value) in the United States followed by Iowa and Nebraska. Twelve (12) states generate over $10 billion in agricultural cash reciepts: California, Iowa, Nebraska, Texas, Minnesota, Illinois, Kansas, Wisconsin, Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio & South Dakota

As of today. However the prehistory of SR includes far more nuclear and toxic accidents than there should have been, add in calamities like acid rain, ozon hole (80s perspective, remember) climate change, erosion, desertification, sinking water table and so on, and formerly fertile territories might be a giant dust bowl in 2070. On the other hand, places like the British Isles saw magically enhanced forest growth, the same tricks might also have worked to increase the fertility of farmlands in the NAN.
Speaking of magic, the weather control and volcano eruptions from the GGD probably did not help, either -- see what happened exactly 200 years ago


I think the intro from Hardwired is quite evocative:
QUOTE
For eleven generations Cowboy’s ancestors farmed an area of southeastern New Mexico, living as dots on a featureless red plain as different from the world of the Sangre de Cristos as is the Ukraine from Peru. Every so often one of Cowboy’s family would shoulder a rifle and march off to fight for the United States, but they concentrated most of their energies on fighting the state of Texas. The Texans were water-hungry, consuming more than they could ever replenish, building at the finish vast pumps just a few inches over the Texas side of the border, sucking the alkaline New Mexico water across the line, stealing what others had so carefully preserved. Cowboy’s people fought them, holding on to what they could until the last pump rattled dry and the dusty red earth rose on the wind and turned the world into a sandblasting hurricane.

Cowboy remembers his days in the dust bowl, living at his uncle’s ranch after his father broke himself trying to hang on. Existing inside a gray assortment of bleached planks on the edge of the desert the Texans had made a place where red earth drifted inches deep behind the door whenever the wind blew, and days passed without seeing the sun as anything brighter than a ruddy warm vagueness behind the scouring sand. Farming was impossible, and the family ran cattle instead, an occupation only slightly less precarious. The nearest town bragged about the number of churches it had and Cowboy was raised in one of them, watching the congregation grow bleaker week by week, their skin turning gray, their eyes ever more desperate as they asked the Lord to forgive whatever sin had led them to this cleansing. Texans, once the enemy, wandered through on their way to somewhere else, living in cardboard boxes, in old automobiles that sat on blocks and had long ago lost their paint to the sand. The Rock War came and went, and things got harder. Hymns continued to be sung, liquor and cards foresworn, and notices of farm auctions continued to be posted at the courthouse.
Blade
QUOTE (Sengir @ Jul 28 2016, 01:34 PM) *
As of today. However the prehistory of SR includes far more nuclear and toxic accidents than there should have been, add in calamities like acid rain, ozon hole (80s perspective, remember) climate change, erosion, desertification, sinking water table and so on, and formerly fertile territories might be a giant dust bowl in 2070. On the other hand, places like the British Isles saw magically enhanced forest growth, the same tricks might also have worked to increase the fertility of farmlands in the NAN.


Don't forget paracritters causing trouble (and related to the topics, possibly among livestock as well) , maybe some awakened plants that could cause trouble. There was also the Resource Rush, when corporations might have used destructive methods to get the resources (think fracking).
And finally, there are stuff like monocultures killing all other crops or buggy GMO that could really cause trouble with the agriculture.
Sengir
QUOTE (Blade @ Jul 28 2016, 02:23 PM) *
There was also the Resource Rush, when corporations might have used destructive methods to get the resources (think fracking).

I'm thinking more about classic stripmining wink.gif

The Ghost Dance War also offers some reasons: Whatever environmental concerns remained during the Resource Rush would have fallen by the wayside in favor of increasing war production. War-related shortage of equipment meant falling back on more primitive and therefore wasteful methods of agriculture, like plowing instead of spraying, or irrigation channels instead of drip irrigation. Rural populations being displaced by the war (and especially its aftermath), drafted into the military, or migrating into industrial centers where war production needed workers left large swathes of farmland uncared for; robbed of all natural defenses by heavy cultivation and with an already damaged ecosystem, the land eroded faster than any natural plant cover could take hold again.


Not sure how scientifically sound that is, but IMO it sounds like a decent ecocalypse biggrin.gif
Mantis
QUOTE (Sengir @ Jul 28 2016, 05:38 AM) *
I'm thinking more about classic stripmining wink.gif

The Ghost Dance War also offers some reasons: Whatever environmental concerns remained during the Resource Rush would have fallen by the wayside in favor of increasing war production. War-related shortage of equipment meant falling back on more primitive and therefore wasteful methods of agriculture, like plowing instead of spraying, or irrigation channels instead of drip irrigation. Rural populations being displaced by the war (and especially its aftermath), drafted into the military, or migrating into industrial centers where war production needed workers left large swathes of farmland uncared for; robbed of all natural defenses by heavy cultivation and with an already damaged ecosystem, the land eroded faster than any natural plant cover could take hold again.


Not sure how scientifically sound that is, but IMO it sounds like a decent ecocalypse biggrin.gif

Not very. Modern farming doesn't require a bunch of farm hands pick crops. For many of the crops it is just 1 or 2 guys on tractors. The US already has the most well equipped military in the world. There would be little need to ramp up production right away and the war didn't last very long anyway and mostly fought guerrilla style. The farming practices you describe are already in place so they aren't going to rip them out and go to a less efficient method just because of a war. If you leave the land fallow, it recovers pretty damn fast, even with a resurgence in magic. Magic would likely accelerate the growth in many areas. It won't be farmable crops taking over but it also won't be a barren waste land.

The main issue with the whole soy/krill thing still isn't answered by any of this though. Where are they growing this soy and krill? If the land is in too rough a shape to run rangeland cattle, raise chickens or pigs or grow staples, then how the hell do you grow soy or raise krill? The basic issue is that the OG writers for SR were not farmers and did not understand food production. The same is true as the game has evolved. There is no reason for soy or krill to be a staple, at least not in North America.

Another issue is the idea that there were food shortages. Most folks seem to reference the incident in New York that led to Seretech decision. The food shortage there was due to a truckers strike. The food existed, it just wasn't being brought to the city. So not a famine and not a world wide thing either.

While the old USA and then UCAS would have a large population to feed it would be smaller due to things like VITAS (wiped out 25% and then 10% of the world population). The NAN states were protected from this effect somewhat due to being in reeducation centers and isolated from the plague. The world population in 2010 was @6.8 billion. VITAS took that down to @5.1 billion by the end of 2010. The USA would be down to @231 million from 309 million in that time frame. That is about the same as the US population in '82. Combine that lower population with more efficient farming methods and you aren't going to get famine.

Regardless though, soy still needs farmland to grow and krill still needs an ocean to grow. If the land and ocean is too polluted to grow standard crops then it isn't going to allow these crops to grow either. Realistically the soy/krill thing just shouldn't exist. If you want to put it down as a cyberpunk thing, fine but it doesn't make sense to me. I tend to ignore it.
Jaid
all it needs is for there to be some land, but less than there used to be.

anyways, it might be simpler to just assume that with lower comparative wages, it isn't a matter of being impossible to grow food, but rather too expensive. with the soy and krill, it seems like the various food corporations have figured out how to cheaply make a truly absurd variety of products with that one crop, including food machines that can produce a variety of products right in your own home. you have to imagine the production process (especially transportation) when you're mainly working with one material is going to be a lot more streamlined.

regular food may not be used not because it isn't possible to produce, but because the market for it is gone... the great majority of the population can only afford to buy the cheapest stuff, and the cheapest stuff is made from soy and krill, and probably insects if we were to update it to today (plus a bunch of additives to get the food to the point where you won't die of malnutrition from eating it).

i mean, i haven't seen anything that suggests that if you really really want, say, a steak, and have the money for it, that you *can't* get it. i mean, it's not availability 20 or anything, it just isn't something you can buy at the local stuffer shack. just, most people don't have the money to afford it. the majority of the world's population is at a point where they have to buy the cheapest option available, and that option is not cattle or even chickens. as a result, real meat (and other foods) have become somewhat of a status symbol, which in itself would have kept the prices high.
Sascha Morlok
From a Discounter near me:

400 gram of ground beef: 1,79
320 gram of beef minute steaks: 3.33
100 gram Bacon: 0.79
1 liter of Milk: about 0.50
10 eggs: about 1

When we have lower comparative wages... then, wow, I mean...
Sengir
QUOTE (Mantis @ Jul 28 2016, 06:34 PM) *
the war didn't last very long anyway and mostly fought guerrilla style.

The war lasted three and a half years, and guerilla wars tend to be extremely brutal on the civilian population...considering that one side was willing to commit genocide in broad daylight and with all legislative frills, the Ghost Dance War certainly wasn't an exception. In other words, plenty of displaced persons abandoning their land. Those remaining would be hampered by exactly the modern tech run by just two people you described: The SAIM bomb a few chemical factories and the rest are requisitioned because the US is running out of bombs again, suddenly plowless farming is no longer feasible. The government returns to Selective Availability for GPS, so much for GPS-guided farming. Either side decides that the guy maintaining your irrigation system is working for the other side and disappears him.


QUOTE
The main issue with the whole soy/krill thing still isn't answered by any of this though.

IMO the whole point of krill, mycoprotein and vat-grown meat is that they can be grown in tanks or reactors, no farming needed. Soy does need farmland, but AFAIK it'S a pretty efficient crop, tolerates warmer climates, and as Jaid says seems to be pretty much a "one fits all" deal -- probably aided by the fact that (IRL) soy was among the first plants whose genome was sequenced. Soy might just have been the best candidate for utilizing the remaining arable land.
Mantis
Most times with guerilla war the targeted areas are cities, not the farms out in the country. If you are going to fight that way, you target things that will hurt the government and boost your standing in the eyes of the common folks. Blowing up their food supply is a good way to make sure everyone hates you. Besides which the SAIM fighters had to eat too. Bombing chemical factories is kind of counter productive from the SAIM perspective since it would pollute the very land they want to take over. Not to say that people don't make stupid decisions in the name of war and ideals. So unless both sides were out there burning crops and slaughtering cattle and chickens left and right, those crops and livestock would still be available.

As for food crops, potatoes make a better choice than soy. They provide nearly 4 times the calorie output per acre compared to soybeans and will grown places you can't grow soy. They contain nearly all the nutrients you need to live by default (no need to add extra things it lacks) and can be made into a variety of things. Soy offers more options in making fake meat or whatever because it tastes of nothing so you can add flavours to it easily. Soy makes a good protein substitute but as far as being an efficient food replacement, potatoes make a better option.
As for krill, most of that currently comes from the Arctic and Antarctic and most of it is used for fish farming. They are also susceptible to climatic changes and pollution. If they die off so does all the things that feed on krill. So if we assume fish (tuna, salmon, whatever) aren't available to eat because of the pollution, then there sure as hell isn't going to be krill to eat either.
Vat grown meat might be an option but it isn't mentioned anywhere in the fiction because it is relatively new. Really though, if they can make cloned people and bioware then they can make vat grown meat and once more, soy and krill make no sense.

I know these things are embedded in the fiction and the game world but they don't make sense from a food production perspective. There are better choices available and I think they were chosen as much to establish the dystopian theme of the world than for any other reason. People are eating soy cakes with flavouring packages and sea bugs. No 'real' food available. See how dark and edgy it is? Thing is, it makes no sense from a real world perspective.
Blade
It doesn't make sense with the current situation, but you can force a switch to a situation where it makes sense:

- Corps came up with a soy GMO that is optimal for nutrition and grows easily anywhere, making it more interesting than potatoes or anything else.
- Some soy GMO went out of control and started killing every other crop that wasn't soy.
- Non-soy crops were affected by some disease.
- The easier flavoring of soy allowed the corps to make all foodstuff with only soy so they switched a lot of production to soy, the cost of other options rose, making them less interesting to the consumer than the soy-flavored ones, phasing them out.
Sendaz
Monocrop growing like Soy (or even potatoes as the more efficient alternative) is really dumb in the long run as its a classic all the eggs in one basket scenario just waiting for a new disease/bug to wipe out wide sections in one go.

But then it probably does make for a good story down the road where someone is threatening to deal a major blow to the food chain, whether its a crazed Toxic or one corp trying to undermine another and not realizing just how much they are playing with fire.
Beta
From the point of mainstream culture in the 80s, food was still very much about meat. My recollection is of a few vegetarians around, but considered pretty weird, few restaurants offered anything of substance for them, etrc.

So I always read the emphasis on soy being about meat replacement. At the same time the lack of "real food" reflecting the lack of fresh vegetables and non-processed food - - something that many neighbourhoods have issues with currently.

When it comes to protein, soy will give you a lot more per hectare than livestock will (and more cheaply by far).

So that brings it back to what changed from the status quo?

- the was no signing of the Montreal Protocol, so the ozone layer kept getting worse instead of better.
- there was not the same environmental emulations brought in, and eventually governments lost much of their enforcement abilities, so acid rain in particular and pollution in geneal got no better, then got worse-- and those are things that have cumulative impacts.
- the US may not have lost a lot of good farm/ranch land to the NAN, but Canada sure did. Canada lost of the Prairie grain belt.
- farming takes more than land and bodies, at least these days. The most productive farms are technology, knowledge, and capital intensive. The NAN would have been short on all three in its earlier years, as well as some elements were back-ti-tradition types who would have ejected modern farming. For that matter, I'm sure there was some time needed to simply decide who had rights to what land, and much longer before financial institutions trusted the status quo enough to lend money, offer insurance, etc. (Look at Zimbabwe and Venezuala for how a thriving agricultural sector can largely collapse due to politics--both places the government meant well, but it didn't work out so well)
VITAS and goblinization were both huge disruptions, resulting in more Los of farm experience, uncertainty disruption of supply chains, etc.

So there would had been a prolonged period of disruptions that probably did result in food scarcity. Whether due to market demand or government demand, less animals were raised in the still productive areas and more soy as a cheap protein source.

After that, it was more habit. Soy is cheap and available down the street at Stuffer Shack or the like. Real meat and vegetables are priced as luxuries, only available at the Whole Foods off in a nice neighbourhood. Why bother when that money could go to an upgraded matrix subscription, you know?

That iss how I see it, anyways.
Wakshaani
QUOTE (Sendaz @ Aug 1 2016, 08:19 AM) *
Monocrop growing like Soy (or even potatoes as the more efficient alternative) is really dumb in the long run as its a classic all the eggs in one basket scenario just waiting for a new disease/bug to wipe out wide sections in one go.

But then it probably does make for a good story down the road where someone is threatening to deal a major blow to the food chain, whether its a crazed Toxic or one corp trying to undermine another and not realizing just how much they are playing with fire.



This kicked Aztlan in the teeth recently. When Sirrurg flattened NatVat, and did a number on a good chunk of Puerto Rico in the process, it was bad.

When the Atlacoya Blight hit days later and wiped out their corn crop, it was devastating.

In a week, they lost over 90% of their harvest and, while they had already-created food and food stores, the bleak future was staring them in the face.

It got bad for a while there.

The famine didn't continue, but they're damn nervous about atlacoya breaking out again and, due to that double-tap, worldwide food prices jumped and still haven't come back down. The major food producers, like Shiawase and Renraku, made a killing, and turned those profits into expanding their empire.
Sengir
QUOTE (Mantis @ Jul 30 2016, 09:48 PM) *
Most times with guerilla war the targeted areas are cities, not the farms out in the country

No, not really. The term "urban guerilla" already shows what is the norm and what needs a qualifier wink.gif

Assuming that the power centers of the NAN were away from the cities, it would actually make a lot of sense to disrupt the food suppy to population centers. Keep in mind that the NAN wasn't about winning everybody's hearts and minds, their explicit aim was that Anglos should GTFO. Given that, forcing the government to deal with a lot of displaced and starving persons sounds like a plan.

QUOTE
As for krill, most of that currently comes from the Arctic and Antarctic and most of it is used for fish farming. They are also susceptible to climatic changes and pollution.

Which is why you'd grow the stuff in tanks, in controlled environments wink.gif

And yes, of course the meta reason is that "fake soy food" sounds darker than "everybody eats potatoes". But that doesn't mean one can't find a decent in-universe reasoning for it.
Beta
Saw this article in the paper this morning .... Thought it kind of fit in well here.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/...?service=mobile
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