The ultimate ethical vegetarian’s quandary: Meat grown in a lab

What happens when you’re a vegetarian by choice, purely because of the way animals are treated before they’re slaughtered, and science creates lab-made burgers? What then? I know there are millions of you out there, I try to be one before I’m enticed by some sweet bovine after a wild night of whatever, but this kind of adds a new twist, doesn’t it?

No cow getting hung upside down and having its throat slit, with poor Bessy’s hot blood running down what’s left of her throat and into her eyes, mouth and down her nostrils. No pigs being led through a twisting labyrinth into a meat grinder. You know they make them turn corners so they can’t see their buddies getting mutilated in front of them, right? Yep. Pigs are as smart as dogs, and they will have a **** fit if they see that happen…

I don’t really care about the butchering of chickens though, they’re godless and are a few steps removed from a lizard in my book. Nothing deserves to get pooped on though, and chickens do get pooped on a lot. 

So what if all of that could go away on a large scale? What if Dutch scientists created meat from stem cells? Well, last week those Dutch scientists held a taste test in London for these stem cell burgers, and while the process is still very early in development — it was meat, people. This could possibly be the closest thing to hamburgers growing on trees, once more money is put behind the technology. 

The Washington Post held a brief QnA with the creators of this meat:

It could reduce the number of animals needed for the meat industry. Raising cows, pigs, chickens, etc., contributes substantially to climate change through the production of methane gas. Growing meat in the laboratory could reduce the impact on agricultural land, water and resources.

How long does it take?

At the moment, a long time. It has taken two years for scientists to refine the process to grow enough meat. To actually grow enough meat for a couple of burgers would probably take about eight weeks. Actually forming the lab-made meat into a hamburger patty takes about two hours because scientists must put many separate strands together.

What I want to know is this: could we all be eating Kobe beef, theoretically, through this technology? And if so, would that bring down the prices astronomically over the next few years? Oh yeah, we can’t give the Kobe beef burgers to the starving people right away, they won’t appreciate the delicacy. We have them eat some McDonalds or something for a few years first. Man, if giving starving people McDonalds and reducing cruelty to animals is what we get out of this, then it was a hell of a discovery. Good job, Dutch scientists. 

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