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red_pepper wrote (edited )

I see a lot of hype for lab grown meat (mostly from silicon valley cultists), but I remain skeptical.

There are more vegans in the world than ever before, there are more vegan consumer choices than ever before, vegan food is more palatable than ever before, vegan food is cheaper than ever before, animal cruelty is more discussed... and yet more meat is consumed than ever before. If consumerism had any potential to help animals or the environment, it surely would have done so by now. It has not, because veganism can be easily absorbed into the economy right alongside factory farming.

All lab grown meat would do is provide another consumer choice right alongside factory farmed meat and vegan meat alternatives. If it ever managed to become cheaper than animal cruelty, then it might be able to displace meat eating (although it would still need to overcome fearmongering and meat-industry lobbying). If it can't, and it likely won't be able to for at least a decade if not much longer, then all it will really do is displace vegan consumption more than meat consumption. After all, vegan consumers are the ones paying for ethical consumption. Other meat eaters don't really care, and in fact, care more about "authenticity" than animal welfare or the environment. Lab grown meat and vegan meat alternatives will compete against each other, and meanwhile factory farmed meat will continue to dominate the market because it can externalize all its costs and rely on kickbacks from the government.

So, unfortunately, I'm not that excited about this. I might be wrong, though! I hope I am, even.


Cartoon_Cat wrote

Hopefully great news for animals, but what about our bodies? There's still heart disease and cancer risk to consider.

Additionally, I understand that many meats labeled 'halal' or 'kosher' are falsely advertised - I'd hesitate to tuck into 'lab-grown' meat until it becomes cheaper to produce than non-lab meat for fear of it being intentionally mislabeled.

Progress nonetheless!