In Vitro Meat; would you eat it?

by Jessica.Zilic on June 8, 2013 - 9:53pm

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/business/technology/130307/freaked-out-horse-meat-try-vitro-beef-burger

I’ve been a vegetarian for quite for some time now and although I do not preach to others about what kind of dietary choices they should be making, I always encourage others to expand their knowledge about the types of food they eat, especially when it comes to processed foods. With this I invite you to read the above article which introduces a new alternative to producing and consuming meat and poultry. The concept is called in vitro meat, where animal organisms are taken and multiplied to produce an edible replica of animal flesh.

I choose this topic after learning that PETA, one the most predominate animal activist groups is promoting the research and production of lab grown meat. The experiment of test tube meat was launched earlier this year by Dutch scientist Mark Post. According to Post, lab grown -meat would relive major signs of global warming, such as greenhouse gases and shortage of fresh water supply. Along with that it would prevent animals from becoming scarce resources and would potentially put an end to world famine. Granted that the research conducted so far has been promising should the development of cultured meat for consumption be permitted?

Given that in words the idea sounds as wonderful as that of living in common ownership, duplicating meat does not address the larger, global picture that we should be reducing meat consumption. Additionally, I find it interesting that humans would prefers to alter the nature of things to better fit with their lifestyle rather than changing their behaviors to respect their surroundings that have been around longer then the existence of man. Even more it came as quite a shock to me that PETA would support the idea of lab-grown meat. I truly believe there are many more factors that generate the want to live a meat free lifestyle besides the common argument of animal abuse. Although it is a great alternative to stop animal abuse, it is equally as important that people become more attentive and careful about what they put in their body and how much of it they take in. According to Health Canada, the average person should eat 2 serving a day of meat and poultry which is roughly 150grams, the size of one’s palm. This is nothing in comparison to the daily consumption of meat per person, and rather than reducing the amount we consume and distribute, scientist are creating an even larger supply to continuously meet with the highly unnecessary demands. This in turn kills humans by the million, because eating all those animals can lead to health conditions like heart disease and cancer, which then requires us to seek cures that in affect torture and kill more animals for medical experimentation. As a result we mask one issue but create another.

As it stands right now people are unaware or what they are really eating. For instance, when your parents or you go to the grocery store to buy chicken, do you know if what you’re buying is actually a chicken or its close relative the rooster? Moreover do you know how the chicken lived and what it was fed, or better yet how it was killed and whether the slaughterhouse it was taken too meets with the sanitation requirements issued by the FDA. In contemplating this, the idea of eating a piece of meat that was grown in a lab seems a lot safer despite its unappetizing appeal. With this I ask; if meat was no longer available tomorrow would you resort to cultured meat as your new source of staple-food?

Comments

Even though meat produced in laboratory may not seem very appetizing, in vitro meat has a lot of advantages as you mentioned in your text. I believe one of the main reasons why scientists want to produce in vitro meat is that it would be a source of meat for everybody around the planet including developing countries. You said in your post that the demand for meat is highly unnecessary. While the demand may be too high in developed countries, it may not be so in other places. Even though developed countries such as Canada and United States can easily have access to meat, some countries don't. I think it is mainly for these developing countries that the scientists want to produce in vitro meat. Furthermore, since Earth's population is constantly increasing, there will also be an increase in meat demands. As mentioned in the article, we only have limited agricultural lands on Earth and half of these lands are used for raising animals that we will eat. Therefore, in vitro meat will allow a diminution of animal slaughtering since it does not require to kill animals. Moreover, people eating in vitro meat would know where their meat comes from like you said in your text. According to me, the ideal solution would be to produce in vitro meat and to warn people about the effects of consuming too much meat at the same time. The goal is to find an equilibrium between a diet without enough meat and a diet with too much meat.

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