Written by PETA
If the heartbreaking pictures of animals suffering on factory farms and in slaughterhouses bring you down (and if they don't, you need to worry), you'll be pleased to learn that scientists at the Medical University of South Carolina are developing a way to give die-hard carnivores an animal-friendly meat fix. With the help of a grant from PETA, the scientists are working on growing "cultured" meat in their laboratory, relying on techniques similar to those they are using in their research on growing human organs for transplant patients.
The list of benefits of bioengineered in vitro meat goes on and on. It is far less likely to be contaminated with bacteria such as E. coli, salmonella, and campylobacter, which are widespread on factory farms. Scientists can control how much fat is added to the meat, which could help people lower their risk for heart disease, cancer, obesity, and diabetes. The production of cultured meat wouldn't generate the tons of animal waste that factory farms do or contribute to climate change and massive water and air pollution. And, of course, if cultured meat became widely available, millions of animals every year would be spared from being scalded, skinned, or hacked apart or having their throats cut open while they are still conscious and struggling.Meat produced safely in a clean, controlled environment could someday make dead animal flesh look about as progressive as The Flintstones.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
I was on your site thinking to send the same story...and you are already giving him a grant. (Which I didn't notice in the story...?)
Suggestion: There are many meat eaters who I think might donate to this project specifically. There is a group of people who are both concerned about animals and also not going to stop eating meat, right or wrong. I am one of them, to be honest, though quitting has come under consideration. Regardless, this technology could upset the entire industry of cattle, poultry and so on. The sooner it is realized, the sooner the suffering of animals comes.
I would consider approaching carnivorous entities, such as meat dependent restaurant chains, to consider donating to the development of tissue engineered meat. I think some of these entities might be willing to donate, as it does not conflict with their business model as sellers of meat. If the funds help hasten the research by a year or two or three...then that many more animals will stop suffering.
The other issue to consider is that when this actually starts to become viable, it will be people like Peta who can best help overcome the strangeness factor it will elicit. Many people will at first be kind of disgusted by this, as it is strange and science fiction-ish. Of course the counterpoint is how horrible current animal husbandry is. Peta can do a smashing job of drawing the comparison. A bioreactor will end cruetly, be cleaner, safer, better...etc for those who want meat. (I think it will ultimately be cheaper.)
Finally, some kind of plan to encourage the existing industry to move towards the newer, will also help animals. If current poultry and cattle companies see that the future is not theirs, and there is guidance, then they may move to the new "ranching" faster, rather than fighting it to "save" their livelihoods. A few years here or there will save a substantial amount of animals.
This is an example where parties that might ostensibly be in conflict might eventually overcome that by advancing technology. Both sides can "win", though the health aspects of meat consumption are discounted for this conversation.
Anyway. I am glad to see you are funding this technology. I think a separate donation option for this work, would be of interest to many people who are not normally Peta "types".
My two cents. Sorry this was so long
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.