A Real Meat (Almost) All Vegetarians Can Eat. Now Animal Free.
Advancements in creating artificial meat raise questions.
Would you eat meat that was grown in a lab? Many millions of dollars have been bet on the idea that you would. Memphis Meats, a company that hopes to produce competitively priced lab grown meat, has recently been given large investments by big names such as Bill Gates and Richard Branson. With the huge impact on our environment that modern animal husbandry can have, the UN estimates producing meat creates more greenhouse gases than all of our gas-powered vehicles combined, many environmentalists are praising the idea of lab-grown meat.
But many of you are wondering, “Is it real meat?”. And if it is, should vegetarians still be concerned?
The meat is grown from the cells of animals encouraged to reproduce without a larger animal attached. So, strictly speaking, yes. It is really animal tissue. It is also, generally, placed in a growth medium that is similar to what animals are exposed to at some point in their lives; the first publicly available lab meat was grown in a culture made with fetal calf serum.
But, is it real enough to mean that vegetarians cannot eat it?
Yes and no, it depends not only on who you ask but on why they choose not to eat meat.
Historically, many vegetarians have been dedicated to the idea of animal rights. Such thinkers as Peter Singer have argued that eating an animal is wrong along lines of feeling compassion for anything sentient or that can feel pain. For these people, eating meat that was never part of a larger living thing might prove more palatable.
More recently, an objection to eating meat has been for the effects on the environment of producing meat. With so much carbon output, degradation of soil, antibiotic use, and destruction of wildlife habitat having livestock production as a root cause, lab grown meat offers an alternative that is much more environmentally friendly.
However, some objections still remain unsolvable. In some Hindu philosophy, any food that came from an animal is viewed negatively. While the cells of a lab grown burger might never have been able to feel pain, their donor animal did. For these vegetarians, no amount of technological mastery will ever grant them a cutlet they can eat.
On an economic note, the high level of technological sophistication required to produce lab-grown meat may increase dependence on large corporations for the maintenance of the food supply. Something that many people find objectionable, and which grants a great deal of power to a small group of people.
And, of course, many people are still queasy about the idea of artificial meat.
Would you eat a lab grown steak? Fortunes have been bet on the idea that you would. But would you be willing to agree that a major ethical hurdle has been cleared? Perhaps, perhaps not.
Giving our solar system a "slap in the face"
- A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
- It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
- Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
Bernardo Kastrup proposes a new ontology he calls “idealism” built on panpsychism, the idea that everything in the universe contains consciousness. He solves problems with this philosophy by adding a new suggestion: The universal mind has dissociative identity disorder.
There’s a reason they call it the “hard problem.” Consciousness: Where is it? What is it? No one single perspective seems to be able to answer all the questions we have about consciousness. Now Bernardo Kastrup thinks he’s found one. He calls his ontology idealism, and according to idealism, all of us and all we perceive are manifestations of something very much like a cosmic-scale dissociative identity disorder (DID). He suggests there’s an all-encompassing universe-wide consciousness, it has multiple personalities, and we’re them.
Once again, our circadian rhythm points the way.
- Seven individuals were locked inside a windowless, internetless room for 37 days.
- While at rest, they burned 130 more calories at 5 p.m. than at 5 a.m.
- Morning time again shown not to be the best time to eat.
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