This past Sunday animal rights activists shut down the 146-year-old Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus after years of effectively exposing them for animal abuse. Can the meat and dairy industry be far behind?

The shift toward plant-based eating is everywhere. Fast-food chains like Chipotle, Quiznos, Starbucks, Subway, Taco Bell, and Wendy's offer plant-based options. Parade, Better Homes and Gardens and Eating Well are all touting vegan recipes.

Indeed, Global Meat News reports that nearly half of consumers are reducing their meat intake. Beef consumption has dropped by 43 percent in the past 40 years.

Google chief executive officer Eric Schmidt views replacement of meat by plant protein as the world's number one technical trend. The financial investment community is betting on innovative start-ups, like Beyond Meat, or Impossible Foods, while warning clients about “death of meat.”

Even Tyson Foods new chief executive officer Tom Hayes sees plant protein as meat industry's future. The industry needs to transition to plant-based foods or shut down like the Greatest Show on Earth.

In the meantime, every one of us can shut the meat and dairy industry out of our own kitchen by checking out the rich collection of plant-based entrees, milks, cheeses and ice creams in our supermarket.

Craig Horton, Decatur

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