Commentary

Will Al Gore Be the First Fake Meat Billionaire?

By Marc Morano | February 4, 2020 | 2:06pm EST
Former Vice President of the United States Al Gore arrives at the advance Fandango screening of Paramount Pictures' "An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power." (Photo credit: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
Former Vice President of the United States Al Gore arrives at the advance Fandango screening of Paramount Pictures' "An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power." (Photo credit: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

Former Vice President Al Gore, who saw his wealth skyrocket from his climate change crusade after he lost the presidency in 2000, has a new way to profit. 

Gore has sunk his teeth into investments that could deliver another huge pay day. Gore is involved with big investments in a company that makes fake meat substitutes, all the while he is pushing for climate-based anti-meat regulations. 

This pseudo-meat company, called Beyond Meat, was the most successful 2019 IPO in May, as determined by CBS News. Gore’s climate groups invested $200 million in this company, while studies from organizations to which he also has connections urged stores and consumers to look for meat alternatives – the very types of products in which Gore had just placed a massive investment.

The former vice president is a partner and adviser to Kleiner Perkins, an investing firm that is the single largest investor in Beyond Meat. 



 

In July, CNN pushed a new report that said Europeans needed to cut their average beef consumption by 22 percent because of climate change. Americans would have to cut their meat eating by a staggering 40 percent. This report was from the World Resources Institute (WRI), a “global research nonprofit.” 

Gore was previously on WRI’s Board of Directors. Not only that, but the current Co-Chair of WRI is David Blood.

David Blood co-founded Generation Investment Management with Al Gore, and Generation Investment Management has partnered with the same Kleiner Perkins that is the largest Beyond Meat investor.

Coincidence? Not at all. 

That same firm, mind you, invested in 11 greentech companies—with nine of those 11 in their portfolio receiving or directly benefiting from the 2009 stimulus bill passed in President Obama’s first term in office. Ten percent of that package -- or $80-90 billion in taxpayer money -- was set aside for “clean energy” funding. 

So, Al Gore is a partner to the largest investor in Beyond Meat and has direct connections to the organization calling for heavy meat restrictions across the world.

Gore’s investment in Beyond Meat also came just a few months before the United Nations report calling for more limits on meat eating. 

The UN’s International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published a report in August 2019 calling for less meat-eating around the world. “Some dietary choices require more land and water, and cause more emissions of heat-trapping gases than others,” said IPCC Working Group II co-chair Debra Roberts.

Not surprisingly, Mr. Gore has been a frequent critic of meat-eating in speeches and interviews. In 2013, he even declared that he was now vegan. 

Gore has also previously said that “industrial agriculture is a part of the problem” and that “the shift toward a more meat-intensive diet” throughout the world is also part of the problem.

Gore’s net worth is estimated at $200-300 million. With pseudo, lab-created meat alternatives poised to be worth $85 billion by 2030, Gore is expected to rake in more millions, if not billions, from this fake meat scheme. 

But the former vice president isn’t the only one pushing the anti-meat message.

In December 2017, Oxford University researchers urged governments from around the world to consider taxes—an estimated $172 billion— on red and processed meats to recoup healthcare costs. 

Finally, several Democratic candidates for president have come out in favor of policies that would inhibit meat consumption.

Sen. Kamala Harris said that, if elected, she would support editing the federal dietary suggestions in regards to red meat. Andrew Yang, while declining to outright ban eating habits, said we need to make meat-eating “more expensive” so that we could “end up changing consumption patterns.”

Yang was echoing the UK climate chief who said a “successful” UN climate pact “would lead to soaring costs for meat and other foods.” 

And former UN Climate Chief Christiana Figueres suggested in 2018 that meat-eaters should be banished and treated “the same way that smokers are treated”explaining “if they want to eat meat, they can do it outside the restaurant.”

If all these powerful organizations and leaders get their way in making meat more expensive to eat, humans will have to eat something to get protein. Some climate activists have gone even pushed for eating insects as a meat substitute. 

Al Gore and friends are ready to offer the alternative, and make good money while doing so. 

The meat substitute of Beyond Meat boasts 22 ingredients including cellulose from bamboo, pea protein, and potato starch. That sounds like a lot of agriculture, which is incredibly water and land-intensive. 

Even if an increase in demand for these plant products is being matched by a decrease in resource-intensive livestock raising, the world will still have to use an incredible amount of water and land to produce these vegan and vegetarian options. A 2015 Carnegie Mellon study found that vegetarian diets are three times “more harmful to the environment.”

Fake meat burgers are not winning awards for their health value either. CNN’s nutritionist, Lisa Drayer, was blunt, noting the amount of saturated fat and calories in Burger King’s Impossible Burger: “If you are choosing to eat these [fake meat] burgers solely for their health value, you may want to reconsider.”

The fake meat world isn’t the first time Gore has used political and government connections to profit off the climate issue.

Gore came out with a list of green tech firms and companies people should invest in years ago. During the Obama administration, the federal government used $2.5 billion in taxpayer money towards a “green stimulus” where, according to a 2012 Washington Post report, 14 green-tech firms Gore invested in received or benefited directly from grants, loans, and tax breaks.

While there’s nothing wrong, of course, with investing in companies, it is concerning when a public figure like Gore stands to directly profit from the government actions he is calling for to “save the planet.”

Perhaps Americans would be more open to the idea of eating less meat if doing so wouldn’t result in big money for the spokesman. 

At its core, the war on meat-eating has nothing to do with nutrition or health, but it is part of the regulatory states’ effort to ban and manage more and more aspects of our lives. There are even proposals to ban fast food drive-thrus to stop “climate change.” 

The climate establishment wants to tax, regulate or ban your burgers, your home appliances, your backyard grills, your SUVs, your airline travel, home thermostat control, plastic staws, fracking, coal, and determine how many kids you can have. The regulatory state is expanding not to control “climate change,” but to instead control more and more aspects of our lives. 

And Gore continues to find a way to cash in on these expanding efforts. 

Marc Morano is the publisher of CFACT’s Climate Depot and the author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Climate Change. 



 

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