In Vitro Meat? 17/08/10
In vitro meat: a viable option to traditional meat? VeggieTips.wordpress.com asks the tough questions.
As ridiculous as it may sound, it has actually become possible to create animal meat without killing any animals. That’s right. In recent years, scientists have been able to produce what is called “in vitro meat”, which is actual animal tissue formed in a laboratory that has never been a part of an animal. By taking a single skin cell, animal flesh can be replicated without having to slaughter anything. At this point, however, the only meats that can be successfully produced with this method are minced or ground meat, as muscle tissue with blood vessels and so forth represents a much more difficult challenge. But supporters are optimistic that it’s only a matter of time.
The concept of growing animal meat has been around for decades: in fact, Winston Churchill was an advocate of the idea. Several of the scientists currently involved in the project are convinced that they are paving the way for the future of the meat industry. The animal rights organization PETA has even offered a reward of $1 million for the first company to successfully create in vitro chicken meat that is viable commercially.
So is this a good idea? Theoretically, I must say that it’s an appealing concept to me. The idea of creating viable alternatives to meat products that are chemically and anatomically identical to the real thing without involving animal suffering seems too good to pass up. (Meat substitutes have attempted to accomplish this, of course, but they will never be as close as in vitro meat potentially will.) I’m a little concerned with the idea on some level, however. The way I see it, there are most likely all sorts of hidden consequences to these products we haven’t yet been able to ascertain, such as health concerns. It isn’t hard to believe that in vitro meat could be harmful on some level to us, and I can’t bring myself to support the idea before I know exactly what its ramifications will be. I suppose as far as I’m concerned, I’ll stick with my vegetables and nuts for now.
Originally posted on veggietips.wordpress.com/
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