Three Points in Support of In Vitro Meat

Alessia Andreotti
September 20th 2014

In vitro meat is a broad project that bonds many worlds together: animal rights, environmentalism, sustainability, public health, science and the list goes on and on.

The Modern Agriculture Foundation aim is simple: to make the day cultured meat will become a commercially available product arrive as soon as possible. They are hoping in a major step towards the replacement of the conventional meat industry - worldwide. While cultured beef research is getting the focus today thanks to Mark Post’s first hamburger, recently the organization have started a new campaign, for the promotion of cultured chicken meat research.

At the Modern Agriculture Foundation they truly believe cultured meat is the most effective, realistic, global solution to a lot of wrongdoings caused by the traditional meat industry.

Below they elaborated the top three aspects why we should support cultured meat.


1. From the animal rights perspective

The current meat industry is using and slaughtering more than 100 billion animals worldwide per year. These numbers are projected to increase in the following years on a global scale. There are many violations of animal rights in this industry no matter how hard farmers try to avoid them. These violations are inherent to traditional meat, and include: slaughter, internment, fattening, mutilation, forced fertilization and more.

Cultured meat will become a solution for all of these atrocities, since it will not necessitate the growing of a live animal. It will be made out of animal cells, and by using advanced technology, they will form eatable tissues like muscle and fat, through natural biological cell growth. Instead of growing animals for their products, only the products will be grown, so we still produce meat (with the exact taste and texture) but without hurting animals at all.

2. From the public health perspective

Cultured meat has the potential to improve public health in many aspects, such as bacterial resistance, production of reduced fat or nonfat meat, an increase in general hygiene in meat production and prevention of pandemics.
I would like to focus on one aspect that has an important worldwide affect, and influence all human beings across the globe. It is a common knowledge within the scientific community that evolution of Influenza viruses (caused especially by antigenic shift but also by antigenic drift) can cause a pandemic. How can it occur? When the environment isn’t hygienic, and is crowded, full of animals like swine, chickens etc, as well as farmers who visit them often, a mixture (reassortment) of the viruses is more likely to happen and to create an effective virus that can cause a pandemic. Examples for that are the swine flu, the Spanish flu, the bird flu, etc.

Cultured meat will solve this problem, since it will be grown in a more hygienic environment, and there will be no use of live animals.

3. From the environment perspective

The traditional meat industry has many negative aspects on our environment. These include deforestation, air pollution, water pollution, global warming, water waste, energy waste, species (animal and plant) extinction and more.

According to a research carried out by scientists from Oxford University and the University of Amsterdam, cultured meat will be environment friendly as opposed to conventionally produced meat: “In comparison to conventionally-produced European meat […] cultured meat would involve approximately 7%-45% lower energy use, 78%-96% lower greenhouse gas emissions, 99% lower land use, and 82%-96% lower water use depending on the type of meat.”

To decide if you will ever be willing to eat meat from the lab, read also: Four Objections to Lab-Grown Meat.

Thanks to Koby Barak for the submission

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