Sustainability discussions bring in multiple competing goals, and the outcomes are often conflicting depending upon which goal is being given credence. The role of livestock in supporting human well-being is especially contentious in discourses around sustainable diets. There is considerable variation in which environmental metrics are measured when describing sustainable diets, although some estimate of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of different diets based on varying assumptions is commonplace. A market for animal-free and manufactured food items to substitute for animal source food (ASF) has emerged, driven by the high GHG emissions of ASF. Ingredients sourced from plants, and animal cells grown in culture are two approaches employed to produce alternative meats. These can be complemented with ingredients produced using synthetic biology. Alternative meat companies promise to reduce GHG, the land and water used for food production, and reduce or eliminate animal agriculture. Some CEOs have even claimed alternative meats will "end world hunger". Rarely do such self-proclamations emanate from scientists, but rather from companies in their efforts to attract venture capital investment and market share. Such declarations are reminiscent of the early days of the biotechnology industry. At that time, special interest groups employed fear-based tactics to effectively turn public opinion against the use of genetic engineering to introduce sustainability traits, like disease resistance and nutrient fortification, into global genetic improvement programs. These same groups have recently turned their sights on the "unnaturalness" and use of synthetic biology in the production of meat alternatives, leaving agriculturists in a quandary. Much of the rationale behind alternative meats invokes a simplistic narrative, with a primary focus on GHG emissions, ignoring the nutritional attributes and dietary importance of ASF, and livelihoods that are supported by grazing ruminant production systems. Diets with low GHG emissions are often described as sustainable, even though the nutritional, social and economic pillars of sustainability are not considered. Nutritionists, geneticists, and veterinarians have been extremely successful at developing new technologies to reduce the environmental footprint of ASF. Further technological developments are going to be requisite to continuously improve the efficiency of animal source, plant source, and cultured meat production. Perhaps there is an opportunity to collectively communicate how innovations are enabling both alternative-and conventional-meat producers to more sustainably meet future demand. This could counteract the possibility that special interest groups who promulgate misinformation, fear and uncertainty, will hinder the adoption of technological innovations to the ultimate detriment of global food security. All rights reserved, Elsevier.