This is a pretty good introduction to the issues surrounding vat grown meat. We covered a lot of this in the food session at Cyborgcamp, which was my favorite session. I’m in favor of vat grown meat, if it can be cleanly manufactured and reasonably safe.
In the “pro” column, vat grown meat may:
Be tasty. The yuck factor may be temporary and overblown. PETA co-founder and president Ingrid Newkirk told me that she attempted to serve vegetarian hot dogs at a baseball game in Virginia just 12 years ago. The baseball fans recoiled and reached for the real ones. “Do you know what’s in a real hot dog?” she asked in disbelief. “Pigs anuses, bits of their inner snouts, nipples, tail, and fecal matter?” The point is that a food’s acceptance is cultural. “So it’s not really that there’s a grossness factor [to test-tube meat],” she insists. “It’s a visceral reaction to something new. A new generation will come along and not believe that generations before them actually ate the decomposing corpses of tortured animals.”
Be no less natural than, say, yogurt, cheese, or bread, which, according to a New Harvest FAQ, “all involve processing ingredients derived from natural sources. Arguably, the production of cultured meat is less unnatural than raising farm animals in intensive confinement systems, injecting them with synthetic hormones, and feeding them artificial diets made up of antibiotics and animal wastes.”
December 11, 2008 at 1:01 am
“Humans have grown like cancer. We’re the biggest blight on the face of the planet.” – PETA co-founder and president Ingrid Newkirk.
Ingrid Newkirk has ethical control over exactly one cell of that cancerous blight. I hope she does the right thing.
December 12, 2008 at 6:51 pm
Is vat grown meat more efficient, in terms of protein output per space/energy input, than vegetables or Algae? I’ll have to dig into this…thanks for the heads-up, K.