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Cultivated meat may be on the way


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There has been so much exciting news on that in the past year. I cannot wait. It is going to mean such great things for animal welfare and the health of the planet. I personally am most looking forward to being able to buy lab grown food for my dogs and cats.

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18 minutes ago, ktgrok said:

Interesting article on the future of cultivated meat. I'd be on board!

https://reason.com/2021/03/11/cultivated-meat-projected-to-be-cheaper-than-conventional-beef-by-2030/

I'm very excited. I've gone mostly vegetarian for ethical reasons, but I LOVE the taste of meat, and I can't imagine that ever changing. 

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Sounds way better than trying to convince me to go vegan. I feel better when I eat meat, and I am from a farming community where people treated their animals well, so I try to buy meat from sources I know are careful with their livestock. 

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6 minutes ago, kbutton said:

Sounds way better than trying to convince me to go vegan. I feel better when I eat meat, and I am from a farming community where people treated their animals well, so I try to buy meat from sources I know are careful with their livestock. 

This is what I want to find around here.  I think there's a really good pork farm, but I'm not crazy about pork enough to go buy it.  Maybe though, I should give it a shot.  There is a place with good beef, but I don't want to buy it again until I ask how they kill their livestock.   I haven't figured out a polite way to ask a farmer that question yet.  

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The thought of lab grown meat creeps me the heck out.  I have a general opinion that the further our food gets from natural source the less good for us it is and this will be no different.  
 

On the other hand I’m not a fan of day old chickens going through the macerater either.  

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55 minutes ago, Selkie said:

There has been so much exciting news on that in the past year. I cannot wait. It is going to mean such great things for animal welfare and the health of the planet. I personally am most looking forward to being able to buy lab grown food for my dogs and cats.


I have my doubts that this will be a good thing for the welfare of food animals.  I think it’ll mean they all get processed or relegated to zoos if demand for consumption isn’t there.  Not exactly what I’d consider a great outcome.

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3 minutes ago, Sdel said:


I have my doubts that this will be a good thing for the welfare of food animals.  I think it’ll mean they all get processed or relegated to zoos if demand for consumption isn’t there.  Not exactly what I’d consider a great outcome.

Animals used in the production of meat, milk, and eggs are not allowed to live long lives. They are typically slaughtered at a young age. It’s not like there will suddenly be vast quantities of animals with nowhere to go. Producers will adjust to decreased demand by breeding fewer animals. Fewer animals born into lives of misery is absolutely a great thing.

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1 hour ago, Selkie said:

There has been so much exciting news on that in the past year. I cannot wait. It is going to mean such great things for animal welfare and the health of the planet. I personally am most looking forward to being able to buy lab grown food for my dogs and cats.

This. I have no desire to eat meat, whether lab grown or natural, but I'll be thrilled when I can buy lab-grown pet food. I feel guilty knowing that other animals suffered terribly so that I can have the luxury of a pet. 

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17 minutes ago, Corraleno said:

This. I have no desire to eat meat, whether lab grown or natural, but I'll be thrilled when I can buy lab-grown pet food. I feel guilty knowing that other animals suffered terribly so that I can have the luxury of a pet. 

I can’t speak to the United States but at least some of the commercial dog food here is produced using kangaroo carcasses from culling programs.  If people switch to lab grown meat those kangaroos will still be culled and the meat will simply be left to rot and waste.  So that will be wasted as well as the extra energy etc required to grow the lab meat.  Not really a net win for the environment.  

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1 hour ago, Selkie said:

Animals used in the production of meat, milk, and eggs are not allowed to live long lives. They are typically slaughtered at a young age. It’s not like there will suddenly be vast quantities of animals with nowhere to go. Producers will adjust to decreased demand by breeding fewer animals. Fewer animals born into lives of misery is absolutely a great thing.

I understand that....but I’m not convinced that the alternative is going to be a great life.  A best case is a natural life (and that is a slim possibility)....one that is not any longer or more free of “pain and suffering”.  It’s just different circumstance.  
 

Once there is no purpose for them....they’ll won’t be living free happy lives....they’ll just be treated as a nuisance species and eradicated like everything else.  And you are wrong that it will be a slow decline and without a lot of animals being killed.  Any price drop/expense increase already causes producers to offload entire herds of animals in current market conditions.

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17 minutes ago, Sdel said:

I understand that....but I’m not convinced that the alternative is going to be a great life.  A best case is a natural life (and that is a slim possibility)....one that is not any longer or more free of “pain and suffering”.  It’s just different circumstance.  
 

Once there is no purpose for them....they’ll won’t be living free happy lives....they’ll just be treated as a nuisance species and eradicated like everything else.  And you are wrong that it will be a slow decline and without a lot of animals being killed.  Any price drop/expense increase already causes producers to offload entire herds of animals in current market conditions.

Right, any existing farm animals are going to be killed. That is their fate, unfortunately, and there’s nothing that can be done to help them. The beauty of cultivated meat is that so many fewer animals will be born into that fate.

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4 minutes ago, Sdel said:

I understand that....but I’m not convinced that the alternative is going to be a great life.  A best case is a natural life....one that is not any longer or more free of “pain and suffering”.  It’s just different circumstance.  
 

Once there is no purpose for them....they’ll won’t be living free happy lives....they’ll just be treated as a nuisance species and eradicated like everything else.  

No one thinks farmers are just going to open their barns and set their cows and chickens free to roam the countryside once lab-grown meat is available. If the availability of lab-grown meat reduces the demand for farmed meat, the existing animals will still be killed at the end of their short, brutal lives; the important difference is that fewer will be bred for the next production cycle; lather/rinse/repeat as demand for farmed meat wanes. I think there will always be some demand for farmed meat, even if it becomes much more expensive than lab-grown meat. It may become a luxury item or status symbol, or it may become a homesteader/off-the-grid/self-sufficiency kind of thing, but in either of those situations the animals are more likely to be treated much better than they are currently.

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4 minutes ago, Corraleno said:

No one thinks farmers are just going to open their barns and set their cows and chickens free to roam the countryside once lab-grown meat is available. If the availability of lab-grown meat reduces the demand for farmed meat, the existing animals will still be killed at the end of their short, brutal lives; the important difference is that fewer will be bred for the next production cycle; lather/rinse/repeat as demand for farmed meat wanes. I think there will always be some demand for farmed meat, even if it becomes much more expensive than lab-grown meat. It may become a luxury item or status symbol, or it may become a homesteader/off-the-grid/self-sufficiency kind of thing, but in either of those situations the animals are more likely to be treated much better than they are currently.

If demand drops the most likely outcome will be a mass cull because commercial enterprises will not continue to pay to feed animals with not viable income coming from them.

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8 minutes ago, Selkie said:

Right, any existing farm animals are going to be killed. That is their fate, unfortunately, and there’s nothing that can be done to help them. The beauty of cultivated meat is that so many fewer animals will be born into that fate.

I guess I just don’t see any animal going the way of the lions, tigers, bears, and feral horses as a “great” outcome for them or be celebrated as some great humane gesture.  These animals would be eaten in the normal course of their lives.  It is not some great awful thing for us to be to eating them.

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8 minutes ago, Corraleno said:

No one thinks farmers are just going to open their barns and set their cows and chickens free to roam the countryside once lab-grown meat is available. If the availability of lab-grown meat reduces the demand for farmed meat, the existing animals will still be killed at the end of their short, brutal lives; the important difference is that fewer will be bred for the next production cycle; lather/rinse/repeat as demand for farmed meat wanes. I think there will always be some demand for farmed meat, even if it becomes much more expensive than lab-grown meat. It may become a luxury item or status symbol, or it may become a homesteader/off-the-grid/self-sufficiency kind of thing, but in either of those situations the animals are more likely to be treated much better than they are currently.

You do realize that the only animals that have short lives are the boys right.  At least half the population lives out a much safer, comfortable, and longer life than they ever would in a natural environment.  And no, they wouldn’t be turned out of the barn....they’d all go to mass slaughter.  Sometimes they just do it in the field and let them rot if they don’t think they can get enough money for them.  
 

Cattle, as opposed to pigs and chickens, are still a small farm operation where the majority of producers have 10 cows or less.  

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Quoting Allan Savory, a Zimbabwean ecologist not very popular with vegans:
"All beef is plant based. Either we let nature continue doing what she does and has done for many billions of years, or we use our new technology to falsely manufacture meat from monocultures of plants in agriculture, which is already the most damaging industry in history ever."

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10 minutes ago, KathyBC said:

Quoting Allan Savory, a Zimbabwean ecologist not very popular with vegans:
"All beef is plant based. Either we let nature continue doing what she does and has done for many billions of years, or we use our new technology to falsely manufacture meat from monocultures of plants in agriculture, which is already the most damaging industry in history ever."

Mm. Agriculture can't work sustainably without animal input, so where will that come from?

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17 minutes ago, KathyBC said:

Quoting Allan Savory, a Zimbabwean ecologist not very popular with vegans:
"All beef is plant based. Either we let nature continue doing what she does and has done for many billions of years, or we use our new technology to falsely manufacture meat from monocultures of plants in agriculture, which is already the most damaging industry in history ever."

Yes, monoculture because "humans can do it better" has devastated much of the nutrient base of the soil and created massive damage to water and waterlife with runoff of the fertilizers and chemicals required to continue growing plant products in unhealthy soil.

I've been in the pasture at my parents' farm this past week. Pastureland that has never been cultivated or planted. The only things "grown" on that land in the past 82 years have been cattle and horses. The only plants growing on that land: native wild prairie grasses that have been growing there for probably literally thousands of years. Fertilized  only by the natural digestive process of the animals who have lived and eaten there in the past. All part of the cycle of life. There are no longer any horses or cattle there, but that grass is tall, healthy and very robust, an indication that the soil itself does not require any man-made intervention. The skunks, raccoons, owls, deer, pheasants, coyotes, gophers, and geese quite enjoy it, just as they did when the cattle and horses shared the space with them.

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5 minutes ago, Sdel said:

You do realize that the only animals that have short lives are the boys right.  At least half the population lives out a much safer, comfortable, and longer life than they ever would in a natural environment.  And no, they wouldn’t be turned out of the barn....they’d all go to mass slaughter.  Sometimes they just do it in the field and let them rot if they don’t think they can get enough money for them.  
 

Cattle, as opposed to pigs and chickens, are still a small farm operation where the majority of producers have 10 cows or less.  

The idea that only male farm animals are killed at a young age while females live long lives of comfort is far from true.

For starters, many females are killed at young ages for meat, just like males.

Dairy cows are only allowed to live 5-6 years on average. Their short lives are spent being repeatedly forcibly impregnated, only to have their babies taken away from them as soon as they are born. After a few years of being used up and worn out in this way, it’s off to the slaughterhouse they go.

Same story with sows, who live in crates only just big enough for them to stand up and lie down, then are sent to slaughter at 3-5 years old.

Egg laying chickens are slaughtered before they reach two years old. 

Very few farm animals live in comfort. The sad fact of modern agriculture is that many animals spend their entire lives warehoused indoors in overcrowded, stressful conditions. For them, the only fresh air and sunlight they will ever experience in their short lives is when they are on the truck headed to the slaughterhouse.

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1 hour ago, Ausmumof3 said:

If demand drops the most likely outcome will be a mass cull because commercial enterprises will not continue to pay to feed animals with not viable income coming from them.

Do you think demand for farmed meat will literally drop overnight? One day it will be announced that lab-grown meat is now available, and the next day farmers will go kill all their beef cattle because there be no longer be any demand for farmed beef? Have there been mass cullings since the Impossible Burger and Beyond Meat launched? Any reduction in demand for factory-farmed meat will likely be a slow and gradual process, with fewer animals bred each year as demand declines.

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1 minute ago, Corraleno said:

Do you think demand for farmed meat will literally drop overnight? One day it will be announced that lab-grown meat is now available, and the next day farmers will go kill all their beef cattle because there be no longer be any demand for farmed beef? Have there been mass cullings since the Impossible Burger and Beyond Meat launched? Any reduction in demand for factory-farmed meat will likely be a slow and gradual process, with fewer animals bred each year as demand declines.

No it will be a more gradual and heart breaking process no doubt.  As each individual farmer realises they can’t meet costs and takes the decision to cull their flock. 
 

It already happens in drought years.

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1 hour ago, Sdel said:

At least half the population lives out a much safer, comfortable, and longer life than they ever would in a natural environment.  

"Safe" and "comfortable" like this?

Screen Shot 2021-04-06 at 10.24.23 PM.png

Screen Shot 2021-04-06 at 10.25.51 PM.png

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1 minute ago, Corraleno said:

And those aren't even close to the worst images I could post.

To me both these images of farming and lab grown meat at extreme ends of the same coin - the one where people are completely detached from the food supply.  
 

I have friends who run a free range piggery and it is nothing like that at all.  

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8 minutes ago, Ausmumof3 said:

To me both these images of farming and lab grown meat at extreme ends of the same coin - the one where people are completely detached from the food supply.  
 

I have friends who run a free range piggery and it is nothing like that at all.  

There are a very small number of farms in the US that still raise free range chickens and pigs, but they are dwarfed by the percentage raised on massive factory farms — 90% of chicken production in the US is controlled by three huge multinational corporations: Perdue, Tyson, and Koch. The chickens are raised in filthy, overcrowded conditions, are slaughtered at 6 weeks, and are processed in plants that exploit workers, especially undocumented immigrants who cannot complain about substandard wages and unsafe work conditions. Sixty percent of pork production in the US is controlled by three multinationals: Smithfield, which is owned by a Chinese conglomerate, Tyson, and JBS, which is owned by a Brazilian company. Every year 120 million pigs are slaughtered in the US, the vast majority of which "live" and die in utterly horrific, inhumane circumstances. 

Americans are used to cheap meat — and not having to think too hard about where it came from or why it's so cheap. If lab-grown meat is cheap enough that these massive factory-farming operations are no longer profitable, that will be a good thing. There will always be some demand for farm-raised meat, and it would be better for everyone — the animals, the farmers, the consumers, and the environment — if meat production went back to being small farms that raise animals in a humane and healthy way.

 

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14 minutes ago, Corraleno said:

There are a very small number of farms in the US that still raise free range chickens and pigs, but they are dwarfed by the percentage raised on massive factory farms — 90% of chicken production in the US is controlled by three huge multinational corporations: Perdue, Tyson, and Koch. The chickens are raised in filthy, overcrowded conditions, are slaughtered at 6 weeks, and are processed in plants that exploit workers, especially undocumented immigrants who cannot complain about substandard wages and unsafe work conditions. Sixty percent of pork production in the US is controlled by three multinationals: Smithfield, which is owned by a Chinese conglomerate, Tyson, and JBS, which is owned by a Brazilian company. Every year 120 million pigs are slaughtered in the US, the vast majority of which "live" and die in utterly horrific, inhumane circumstances. 

Americans are used to cheap meat — and not having to think too hard about where it came from or why it's so cheap. If lab-grown meat is cheap enough that these massive factory-farming operations are no longer profitable, that will be a good thing. There will always be some demand for farm-raised meat, and it would be better for everyone — the animals, the farmers, the consumers, and the environment — if meat production went back to being small farms that raise animals in a humane and healthy way.

 

Well I definitely agree with your last sentence anyway.  I’m just not sure that adding another artificial food source is the best way to get there.  

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Here’s a few of my concerns...

1 Putting the food supply in the hands of a few major players rather than diversified and closer to consumer- we’ve already seen a lot of what happens with supply chain issues etc this last year, things like GMO wheat that is non fertile makes farmers dependent on large corporations for seed

2 Health issues - most artificial foods seem to be in some way or other less nutritious or beneficial than the closer to nature version - often even when they seem scientifically identical / formula feeding, vitamin supplements versus nutritious food, etc.  if this becomes a cheaper alternative any health issues are likely to be disproportionately affecting low income earners. In the same way that cheap breads, fake foods etc do now.  

3 what happens when lab grown meat cells become contaminated with a virus or bacteria?  presumably virus can continue replicating because the cells are replicating and there is no animal immune system

4 What medium is the stuff being grown in and is it actually any better from the environment?  
 

It seems like such an elaborate complicated and risky approach to a problem that could maybe be solved in a better way by actually legislating better animal welfare standards and better farm and meat worker conditions.  The increased cost would automatically help to reset meat consumption to some degree.
 

 

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6 minutes ago, Ausmumof3 said:

Here’s a few of my concerns...

1 Putting the food supply in the hands of a few major players rather than diversified and closer to consumer- we’ve already seen a lot of what happens with supply chain issues etc this last year, things like GMO wheat that is non fertile makes farmers dependent on large corporations for seed

2 Health issues - most artificial foods seem to be in some way or other less nutritious or beneficial than the closer to nature version - often even when they seem scientifically identical / formula feeding, vitamin supplements versus nutritious food, etc.  if this becomes a cheaper alternative any health issues are likely to be disproportionately affecting low income earners. In the same way that cheap breads, fake foods etc do now.  

3 what happens when lab grown meat cells become contaminated with a virus or bacteria?  presumably virus can continue replicating because the cells are replicating and there is no animal immune system

4 What medium is the stuff being grown in and is it actually any better from the environment?  
 

It seems like such an elaborate complicated and risky approach to a problem that could maybe be solved in a better way by actually legislating better animal welfare standards and better farm and meat worker conditions.  The increased cost would automatically help to reset meat consumption to some degree.
 

 

The food supply here is already in the hands of a few multinational corporations — and we will never legislate better animal welfare standards or better working conditions in meat processing plants as long as those corporations also control the legislators. Koch Industries alone gave more that $1.5 billion to candidates in the last election (97% of it to one particular party). Why would the Senators and Representatives whose campaigns depend on Koch's donations want to bite the hand that feeds them by passing legislation that would hurt Koch's profits?

You would not believe the crap that is fed to factory farmed animals here, including things like feathers, manure, blood, and ground up dead animals, and they're pumped full of growth hormones and antibiotics because disease and infection are rampant in such unhealthy, overcrowded conditions.  Factory-farmed meat and eggs are high in pro-inflammatory Omega-6s because of feed containing cheap, government-subsidized, corn and soy instead of the grass they would naturally eat, which is high in anti-inflammatory Omega-3s. Nearly three-quarters of all Americans are overweight and 40% are obese, nearly half have high blood pressure, and more than a third have high cholesterol. We are already eating incredibly unhealthy meat, I don't think lab-grown meat will be any less healthy for humans than factory-farmed meat — at least we can assume the meat won't be grown in a medium of chicken shit and feathers.

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42 minutes ago, Corraleno said:

The food supply here is already in the hands of a few multinational corporations — and we will never legislate better animal welfare standards or better working conditions in meat processing plants as long as those corporations also control the legislators. Koch Industries alone gave more that $1.5 billion to candidates in the last election (97% of it to one particular party). Why would the Senators and Representatives whose campaigns depend on Koch's donations want to bite the hand that feeds them by passing legislation that would hurt Koch's profits?

You would not believe the crap that is fed to factory farmed animals here, including things like feathers, manure, blood, and ground up dead animals, and they're pumped full of growth hormones and antibiotics because disease and infection are rampant in such unhealthy, overcrowded conditions.  Factory-farmed meat and eggs are high in pro-inflammatory Omega-6s because of feed containing cheap, government-subsidized, corn and soy instead of the grass they would naturally eat, which is high in anti-inflammatory Omega-3s. Nearly three-quarters of all Americans are overweight and 40% are obese, nearly half have high blood pressure, and more than a third have high cholesterol. We are already eating incredibly unhealthy meat, I don't think lab-grown meat will be any less healthy for humans than factory-farmed meat — at least we can assume the meat won't be grown in a medium of chicken shit and feathers.

Looks like the current medium is foetal blood from calves?  They are working on a plant based alternative.

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I think taste and texture will be sm issue too.  If you are one of those people who have z low sense of taste, like my son in law, who puts hot sauce on most mear, lsb meatt lzy be zvfine alternative.  But for normal tasters znf particularly super tasters thzt mzy noy be the case.

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Apparently the consensus from people who tasted it was that it tasted like meat but was pretty dry due to the lack of fat, although they are supposedly working on the fat issue. I assume lab-grown meat will mostly be used to replace ground or shredded meat in things like burgers, hot dogs, sausages, chicken nuggets, "pulled" pork, etc., as well as processed foods like frozen lasagna or canned chicken soup. And of course pet food.

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11 hours ago, Corraleno said:

"Safe" and "comfortable" like this?

Screen Shot 2021-04-06 at 10.24.23 PM.png

Screen Shot 2021-04-06 at 10.25.51 PM.png

In a way, yes.  They have shelter, they have food, they have medical attention. Could it be done better/differently/more naturally, yes....but compared to having to compete in a truly natural environment.... it is a much cushier life.  Take away the demands of production and there is no reason for humans to provide inputs to these animals.

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I guess I'm glad that lab grown meat will be available, but personally . . . the thought of it makes me want to throw up. I've been a mostly vegetarian for over thirty years and I've gotten along just fine w/o fake meat of any type, so I guess I'll just keep on keeping on.

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13 hours ago, Ausmumof3 said:

If demand drops the most likely outcome will be a mass cull because commercial enterprises will not continue to pay to feed animals with not viable income coming from them.

Those animals are going to be killed anyway. 

11 minutes ago, Sdel said:

In a way, yes.  They have shelter, they have food, they have medical attention. Could it be done better/differently/more naturally, yes....but compared to having to compete in a truly natural environment.... it is a much cushier life.  Take away the demands of production and there is no reason for humans to provide inputs to these animals.

These are not natural species...there is no "natural life" to compare to. But if there was, I don't see how being confined to an area the same size as your body your whole life, living in your own waste with smell so bad that it harms human lungs, can be called "cushy". There is what is basically a miserable, unnatural existence that ends in death for the cycle to be repeated. Not repeating it so much would be a good thing. 

 

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7 minutes ago, Sdel said:

In a way, yes.  They have shelter, they have food, they have medical attention. Could it be done better/differently/more naturally, yes....but compared to having to compete in a truly natural environment.... it is a much cushier life.  Take away the demands of production and there is no reason for humans to provide inputs to these animals.

Take away the demands of production and these animals will never be born.

Again, there aren't going to be herds of farm animals trying to survive in the wild. Farm animals are brought into this world because of human demand to eat them or their bodily secretions.

You act like it is doing these animals a favor to be born just so they can be killed.

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We're not big fans of red meat except for the occasional burger or ground beef taco. 

This looks promising, especially if they get the taste and texture right (texture is a huge issue for me). Fewer animals bred for human consumption means fewer animals living horrific lives. And as the article pointed out, the environmental impact is a huge plus. 

 

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Animal cruelty and appalling standards of how we keep them up to "harvesting" is a serious problem. The photos above (and the much worse ones available) are not showing us as good stewards of these animals. Our bargain-mentality of how much we should pay for meat has made us discount how much an animal's life is worth. 

Realistically we aren't going to move to a majority free range approach. So, there's room for lab-grown meat to address the problem, but it's not going to be a fix-it-all solution, and like most solutions it's going to cause other problems I'm sure. It's not going to replace all natural meat production. The alternative of real meat has to be available for lab meat to be accepted widely, I think, at least by the next few generations. 

Ideally, I think if it helped eliminate/minimize mass-production farming and left the smaller traditional farms alone that would be a great outcome; positioning real meat as a luxury item worth the cost it actually takes to produce ethically.

Then, those of us like me who have an immediate knee-jerk aversion to lab meat can know that our real meat usage isn't doing as much harm, the corrected market price we are paying is supporting farmers with good practices .

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Have y’all tried gardein crumbles?   I used them in zucchini boats.  No one in my family of four could tell they weren’t eating meat (well, except me, but i would never have been able to tell the difference if I hadn’t cooked it).   They are the easiest thing to use.     And priced well, too!

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16 hours ago, WildflowerMom said:

This is what I want to find around here.  I think there's a really good pork farm, but I'm not crazy about pork enough to go buy it.  Maybe though, I should give it a shot.  There is a place with good beef, but I don't want to buy it again until I ask how they kill their livestock.   I haven't figured out a polite way to ask a farmer that question yet.  

Around here that would be a question you ask the butcher they take it to, not the farmer. One time we helped butcher a cow from a friend but even then they had someone come out to kill it. 

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re better ways to achieve some of the same objectives

12 hours ago, Ausmumof3 said:

Here’s a few of my concerns...

1 Putting the food supply in the hands of a few major players rather than diversified and closer to consumer- we’ve already seen a lot of what happens with supply chain issues etc this last year, things like GMO wheat that is non fertile makes farmers dependent on large corporations for seed

2 Health issues - most artificial foods seem to be in some way or other less nutritious or beneficial than the closer to nature version - often even when they seem scientifically identical / formula feeding, vitamin supplements versus nutritious food, etc.  if this becomes a cheaper alternative any health issues are likely to be disproportionately affecting low income earners. In the same way that cheap breads, fake foods etc do now.  

3 what happens when lab grown meat cells become contaminated with a virus or bacteria?  presumably virus can continue replicating because the cells are replicating and there is no animal immune system

4 What medium is the stuff being grown in and is it actually any better from the environment?  ...

Stewardship-minded omnivore/ generally uneasy with Frankenfood technology, living in a mixed family including folks drawing various other ethical lines here. I share many similar thoughts, and particularly your close:

12 hours ago, Ausmumof3 said:

...It seems like such an elaborate complicated and risky approach to a problem that could maybe be solved in a better way by actually legislating better animal welfare standards and better farm and meat worker conditions.  The increased cost would automatically help to reset meat consumption to some degree.

But that is, in US society, precisely the answer to why we HAVE to do it this way.

We do not have anything approaching a consensus on animal welfare standards.  We do not have anything approaching a consensus on agricultural labor and/or meat worker conditions.  (Much of that labor is undocumented; and we do not have anything approaching a consensus on *human* welfare standards, for undocumented people).  We do not have anything approaching a consensus on using regulation as a tool toward a More Perfect Union.

There is however on thing that we absolutely DO have a consensus on...

Food in general, and meat in particular, should be CHEAP.

57 minutes ago, Moonhawk said:

Animal cruelty and appalling standards of how we keep them up to "harvesting" is a serious problem. The photos above (and the much worse ones available) are not showing us as good stewards of these animals. Our bargain-mentality of how much we should pay for meat has made us discount how much an animal's life is worth. 

Realistically we aren't going to move to a majority free range approach. So, there's room for lab-grown meat to address the problem, but it's not going to be a fix-it-all solution, and like most solutions it's going to cause other problems I'm sure. It's not going to replace all natural meat production. The alternative of real meat has to be available for lab meat to be accepted widely, I think, at least by the next few generations. 

Ideally, I think if it helped eliminate/minimize mass-production farming and left the smaller traditional farms alone that would be a great outcome; positioning real meat as a luxury item worth the cost it actually takes to produce ethically.

Then, those of us like me who have an immediate knee-jerk aversion to lab meat can know that our real meat usage isn't doing as much harm, the corrected market price we are paying is supporting farmers with good practices .

That is what has delivered us to where we are: the consolidation of the food industry, the mechanization of the food industry, the forced-acceleration of the meat industry, the widespread use of undocumented labor with no rights or ability to organize or protest conditions: all of it.

Personally I was pretty surprised by my first Impossible Burger.  Not *quite* the same as a really great real-burger; but vastly closer than I expected and frankly better than a whole lot of pedestrian not-so-great burger made of processed beef-plus-whatever that I've had over the years.  At the moment, Impossible and Beyond are still running at 3x or 4x the price of commercial ground beef in supermarkets around here.  But if they continue to scale and improve, and/or lab-grown meat meets its promise, and costs become comparable: THAT is what moves America.

Because above all, we identify as consumers, much more sensitive to prices than any other factor.

Edited by Pam in CT
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17 hours ago, WildflowerMom said:

This is what I want to find around here.  I think there's a really good pork farm, but I'm not crazy about pork enough to go buy it.  Maybe though, I should give it a shot.  There is a place with good beef, but I don't want to buy it again until I ask how they kill their livestock.   I haven't figured out a polite way to ask a farmer that question yet.  

You don’t have to ask the farmer, you can ask them what processor they use and ask the processor

Eta sorry! I see some else answered that

Edited by saraha
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4 hours ago, Sdel said:

In a way, yes.  They have shelter, they have food, they have medical attention. Could it be done better/differently/more naturally, yes....but compared to having to compete in a truly natural environment.... it is a much cushier life.  Take away the demands of production and there is no reason for humans to provide inputs to these animals.

I don't think you understand the psychological torment that arises from this level of confinement. Pigs are smarter than dogs, smarter than some primates, possibly as smart as a 3-year-old child. They want to be social, to root outside, to give and receive affection. If a dog shouldn't be confined her entire life in a space in which she can't even turn around, neither should a pig.

As for the chickens, I have seen my canary--consistently, time and time again--chirp sympathetic peeps when someone is crying, show off her toys when asked, display happiness and joy at seeing a friend, respond to music, and on and on. She has tons of intelligence and personality packed into her little tiny body. No bird should be forced to live in a space in which she cannot even stretch her wings, in which she develops foot sores from standing on wire her entire life. 

It's shameful and disgusting to treat animals this way. Cushy my a**. 

Edited by MercyA
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