Water pollution caused by animal agriculture threatens both the health of aquatic environments and that of humans. As long as meat and other animal products continue to be produced on such a massive scale, excessive amounts of manure will continue to be produced and enter waterways. Farms producing all types of animal products contribute to this issue. One way to address the problem is to get consumers to eliminate their consumption of animal products, or at least reduce their consumption of them. If enough people decide not to give money to the industries creating the problem, or at least decrease their spending on products from these industries, the animal agriculture industry will lose its support. Additionally, if people stop demanding cheap meat and other animal products, the government will notice this reduction in demand and stop subsidizing these harmful industries. Thus, an entrepreneurial solution that reduces the rate of consumption of meat and other animal products has great potential to mitigate the problem of water pollution caused by animal agriculture.
As more people are becoming aware of the suffering of animals that takes place on factory farms, as well as the environmental and human health issues associated with animal agriculture, there will continue to be a rise in demand for vegan options at dining locations. Examples of such dining locations that may be experiencing this rise in demand is cafeterias and dining halls at schools and universities. As veganism becomes more popular, these dining locations will need to adapt to new preferences of their customers.
This demand for vegan option creates an opportunity for an entrepreneurial solution that provides vegan consultation services to dining locations at schools. As veganism, or simply reducing consumption of animal products is becoming more common, dining institutions at schools may not have the knowledge of how to prepare delicious and affordable vegan options to serve their customers. There is a common misconception that vegan options are always more expensive than their counterparts. The business will have professional vegan consultations provide information on affordable, healthy vegan foods, as well as vegan recipes that can be incorporated in the the menus of the dining institutions paying for the service.
This business offers its consultation serves to dining institutions located within schools that go all the way from elementary level to graduate level. The consultation service will be offered specifically to these institutions for two reasons. One reason for my choice is that the demand for vegan food is most prominent in younger populations. The current vegan population is made up mostly of young people. Close to half (42%) of all vegans are between the ages of 15 and 34, while only 14% of the vegan population is made up of individuals over 65. Therefore, my business is targeted at locations where the demand of the population will be highest. This will will allow for maximum
profit. The second reason my the services of my business are aimed at younger people is to change the social stigma around veganism, starting with those in younger generations. In the today’s world, children are falsely taught from a young age that they must eat meat and other animal products to be strong and healthy. Eating animals and their secretions is normalized at a very young age as parents do not usually tell their children where a hamburger comes from. Children are taught to simultaneously love animals and also eat them, without giving it a second thought. This detachment from our food has caused people to be complicit with how their food is produced. Eating animal products is normalized, while eating a vegan diet is stigmatized.
This business model is meant to have the social impact of getting rid of the stigma around eating vegan meals. By the business increasing delicious, healthy vegan options at schools, it is showing the younger generations that eating vegan does not have to be expensive, exclusive, or bland. Rather, vegan meals can be made using recognizable, affordable ingredients that taste amazing. When children at an elementary school enjoy a vegan meal, they will see from a young age that meals do not have to contain meat or animal products to be delicious and nutritious. If we destigmatize eating vegan meals for younger generations, we have the power to change the mindset of what “normal” food is for future generations. Additionally, if young children enjoy a vegan meal at school and then tell their parents about it, their parents will be more likely to try new vegan foods themselves, as well as cook these foods at home.
Key partners of the business will be school districts, as well as food manufacturing companies. In order for schools to hire a vegan consultation service, they most likely will need approval from the school districts they are part of. Additionally, the business must partner with food companies that make affordable, vegan ingredients. These will be the food companies the business recommends school dining halls to buy ingredients from in order to make the recommended vegan dishes. Key resources include staff, who in this case would be knowledgeable vegan consultations, as well as informational material to give to participating dining halls. This informational material would include recipes, prices, as well as nutritional information of the dishes the consultants recommend.
A possible unintended consequence is parents of children at these schools getting angry about the change in food options being served at schools. However, this does not have to be an outcome if the business is executed properly. The consultation service provides advice and recipes to show schools how to prepare vegan options in their dining institutions. However, the schools receiving the service do not need to make all their food vegan. Rather, they will most likely simply be serving more vegan options using what they learned. Therefore, parents will see that their children are not being forced to drastically change their diets. Rather, they are simply being offered vegan options.
Another possible unintended consequence is that only wealthier school systems will be able to afford this service, while others may not be able to. I propose that this can be prevented in two possible ways. One way to make sure the service can be accessible to all is if the federal government, or even local governments were to subsidize the business as it promotes the health and wellness of students. Another way to ensure the service is not only accessible to the wealthy is if environmental and animal rights nonprofit organizations provide funds for schools to pay for the service. Thus, governments and nonprofits could serve as possible additional key partners.
If government subsidies and financial support from nonprofits allow for the service to be accessible to schools of different financial status, I claim that the business would be a sustainable solution. Not only would people belonging to different socioeconomic backgrounds have equal access to the service but, it would also promote the economic and environmental sectors of sustainability. Those providing the consultation would provide the tools to make vegan meals with affordable, healthy ingredients. Some of these meals have the potential to be cheaper than those made of animal products. Additionally, the promotion of vegan options would mean that the dining institutions will be spending less money buying meat and animal products. Thus, the industries creating the water pollution will be receiving less financial support.
 Sarah Marsh, “The Rise of Vegan Teenagers: ‘More People Are Into It Because of Instagram’,” The Guardian, May 27, 2016, accessed December 04, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/may/27/the-rise-of-vegan-teenagers-more-people-are-into-it-because-of-instagram.