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Mmmmm, Lab Meat

Written by PETA | November 20, 2006
lab meat.jpg

I’ve been reading a lot of stories in the press lately about these new scientific breakthroughs which could enable meat to be grown from animal cells in labs instead of being removed from real animals in factory farms. Best case scenario is that test tube meat could hit the market in about 10 years, though there needs to be a lot more funding for it than there is at the moment. In addition to being kind of a cool concept, lab meat would obviously be a lot more pleasant for animals, who could be pretty much removed from the whole equation. If it works, I think I could see myself rocking the occasional lab-meat sandwich somewhere down the line, maybe with a little lab barbeque sauce for flavor. I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it, but in the meantime I definitely hope they get their funding.


Related Links

New York Times
University of Maryland’s Press Release

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  • Pcb says:

    In response to a comment by Michelle….. Although I have not worked in the production side of the meat industryI knew college friends that studied nutritiondietary foods as part of a syllabus in sports and fitness. In recent years Meat has been regarded through studies as a major catalyst for a variety of health problems Heart Disease Obesity Even certain hormonalblood levelimbalances. Genetic modification on turkeys I feel can have in some ways certain effects even though there is now absolute way to prove this. Hormonal Injections are regarded as safe but it’s impossible to determine side effects. Certain proceduresinjectionsare carried out by farmers to aid the turkey’s development by gaining weight altering appearanceincrease fertility even crossbreeding. I suppose that by this assumption vegetables would be harmful because most are sprayed with pesticides but again no proof just speculation. The only thing I can say if people are unsure about what they eat or where it comes from DON’T eat it

  • Mary says:

    SoniaYou made some very good points. I completely agree with your statement that being a vegan is a way of life and is about the choices you make in every aspect of your life. Anyone who may have doubts about lab created meat should be sure to view the video shot by an undercover PETA member employed by the Butterball Turkey Co. in one of their processings plant. ANYTHING we can do to put an end to such horrendous cruelty should be pursued!!

  • Sonia says:

    Felicity You are right there are a huge amount of farmed animals on this earth and if everyone suddenly became vegetarian they would still be around. This is very unlikely though but if the demand for animal products was reduced then the amount of animals that are produced on these farms would also be reduced. Eventually the meat market would become a specialist market and it would cost a lot more to be a meat eatera bit like vegetarian food costs more now. Eventually the poor mishapen chickens the sheep with huge amounts of wool in 40 degree heat the calves in crates etc etc wouldn’t be needed any more and probably would become extinct. You are right there would be some form of cruelty around for a long time but that isn’t a reason for individuals not to start now becoming vegans. I personally am a vegan and feel that being a vegan isn’t just about the meat industry it is a way of life effects everything you do from not using chemicals to not killing spides etc I also couldn’t personally eat meat produced in a lab but if it stops others from eating animals then that is good as long as there is no cruelty involved in getting the initial cells to produce the lab meat.

  • Michelle says:

    For Lee The sentence was supposed to say that the presence of hormones and antibiotics would be visible during inspection. There would be bruising in the carcass from the needles and things such as that. The animals are inspected more than you think. And you’re right there is an “honor system” among producers and if they are caught not following the rules the consequenses are huge because it impacts the entire industry. As for what you said about animal husbandry being a lot more neat and tidy at the U of A.I could not agree with you more. The welfare of the animals will vary among from producers and packers. This is one of the reasons why I am a vegetarian and why I say that consumers need to do their homework and buy only from those who ensure that their animals are treated humanely.This will push the industry to more humane husbandry methods. The point of my comment was to let people know how stupid they sometimes sound when they are trying to convince others that eating meat is wrong. And like I said before consumers are not affected by the use of hormones and antiboitics but I here people say that all the time. Dont get me wrong I think that it is wonderfull to here all of you support vegetarianism. You all care a great deal about animals and you are better people for it.

  • Mary says:

    Jessie dear I too am very southern and very happy about being so. HoweverI feel I must point out to you that your belief as to whether or not animals have souls is your own personal religious conviction and should not be imposed upon others. I too was raised in a Christian home and indoctrinated with the same mistaken and misguided beliefs under which you still labor. Fortunately for myself I was a reader and what I read was not confined to the Bible and “approvedor scriptuarally compatable literature”. Therefore I was able to think…REALLY THINK…for MYSELF…not just mindlessly accept what was handed to me as a belief systemone that was created by human men thousands of years ago I might add.I became able to look at our existence the universe and how it all came to be. Now I can’t PROVE to you that animals have souls anymore than you can prove to me that they don’t. In factI personally DON’T believe that animals have souls and that includes human animals! No god “gave us animals”. We all evolved on this planet together into what we are today. What we need to understand is that nonhuman animals are just as capable of feeling pain and fear as we human animals are. The fact that they cannot express themselves verbally not to mention the fact that they have precious few legal protections makes it even more incumbant upon us to be sensitive to the fact that they are as capable of suffering as we are! What it boils down to is what kind of person you want to be? A kind compassionate one who does everything possible to alleviate the suffering of others and make this world a better place or a cold cruel individual who only cares about his or her own selfish needs and desires and is indifferent to the horrors that our fellow earthlings endure for our comforts and pleasures. If lab created meat is possible it would certainly be a tremendous step in the direction of eliminating the exploitation of defenseless creatures by stronger ones. No one who didn’t want to eat meat would have to and for those who do no one would have to be slaughtered for them to have it!

  • Felicity says:

    I think that it is a bit unnatural to produce meat in labs… would you really want to eat manufactured meat? I know that they give the animals stuff to make them grow more but that’s still a far cry away from manmade meat. Anyway… this is off topic… but did you know that chickens already outnumber humans 2 to 1? If everyone became vegan then the world would become vastly overpopulated with animals. It just seems that other animal cruelty issues are more important than the whole meat industry. I mean even if everyone bacame a vegetarian there would still be animal cruelty. You could still sit there and beat a cow to death you just wouldn’t eat it. Fix the slaughterhouses not the meat!

  • Nia says:

    Too much discussion on this whole issue!!!!!! We could be doing something more productive e.g. fighting against animal cruelty like we intended in the first place! Don’t let trite distractions stall you. Trust me there are those who would love to keep you busy and not aware of the very thing you are trying to achieve. Stay focused.

  • Lee says:

    For Michelle I wonder what sort of animal science you are taking when you say the presence of hormones or antibiotics is “visual” after the animal has been slaughtered? As to inspections the system for detection of “downer cows” that may have mad cow etc. is supposed to be one of voluntary reporting by the cattleman…..The practice of grinding up downers and feeding them to other cattle has been outlawed but there is still no prohibition for feeding a cow put through a grinder to other species. If you look into the actual percentage of cattle physically inspected by gov’t authorities in comparison to the entire population you will see it is a small percentage indeed. It is by and large based on an “honor system” which a rancher may or may not honor especially if heshe stands to suffer a huge loss if a herd is deemed unusable. Animal husbandry looks a lot more neat and tidy at the ole U of A than out in the real world my friend.

  • Helen says:

    PS I am all for this lab thing and i can’t wait til it happens!!!!!

  • Helen says:

    “I know that animals can feel and even think to a certain extent but they don’t have souls. They’re animals. Look up the definition of the word. Human’s are capable of higher thought.” WOW JESSIE Animals don’t have souls BECAUSE our humanmade dictionary considers them less superior WOW your a pathetic idiot god put us all on this earth the same way and i do understand how you could eat meat but to say that animals have no souls make me sick because a living animal is just as important as the rest of us but thinking of it animals are MUCHH more important than your worthless ignorant self.

  • megan says:

    Jessie You are so ignorant I’m laughing at your entry. For God’s sake go read a book!

  • Sophie says:

    I am suprised at how many of you are against this. Yes the slaughter of animals is wrong but everyone isn’t going to stop eating meat. Maybe by doing this people won’t have to kill animals to get meat and I am all for that.

  • Michelle says:

    This comment is for Jessie. Just because a stupid book says that animals don’t have souls it does not mean that they don’t. You want to eat meat that is fine. I am not agianst eating meat. I am against unethical treatment of animals. If animals are treated unethically for the production of meat than in my opinion that is wrong and believe me they are in some cases. As far as fur goes. Do your homework and you will find that those animals are starved tortured and beaten to death for vanity. You say that your agianst the torture of aniamls than you should be against fur. As for you being against women’s choice these are new days sweet heart and we’re taking over the world.

  • Jessie says:

    Right so I’m far from a vegitarian I only showed up on this site because I thought the worst dressed thing looked interesting. I like animals I was raised on a farm with the usual suspects and I’ve raised rabbits for years French Lops and Jersey Woolys for any one who cares. I don’t believe that any one should ever be uneccesarily cruel to an animal beating starving torturing etc. But I don’t see anything wrong with eating meat or wearing fur. I was raised in a Christian home. God gave us animals to be beasts of burden and for us to eat right along with plants. Originally we weren’t supposed to eat pigs but we’re allowed now. I know that animals can feel and even think to a certain extent but they don’t have souls. They’re animals. Look up the definition of the word. Human’s are capable of higher thought. Animals aren’t. Were you to ask anyone who knows me they’d all tell you that I love animals. Mine are loved and petted my brothers and sisters rough house with them inside and out and they pretty much have free roam of the town being that it’s barely a town at all pretty much just an intersection of cornfields with a few houses scattered about. But I’ve hunted plenty of times and I’ve even put down rabbits born with defects. The bunnies had wry neck the cause is unknown but their heads hang to the side rather grotesquely. They would have lived. Probably just as long as a normal rabbit but they weren’t worth anything. They weren’t any good for show breeding or for selling so it would have been a waste to keep them around. It’s nonsensical to pretend the an animal is the same as a human. Yes I’m also against womens choice pro death penalty and VERY southern.

  • Michelle says:

    HI everyone For the record I am a vegetarian for the same reason that you are. However I am attending animal science at the U of A so I know a lot about the production side regulations that are in place and the science of producing meat. I do strongly believe that there are issues in the industry and that the focus needs to be more toward animal welfare esp. the poultry industry. However I feel the need to clarify for you some of the rumors about meat being unhealthy and giving you colds etc. You guys really need to do some scientific research before making these claims. You want to be vegan or vegetarian that is your choice and you definitly have an arguement regarding aniaml welfare. However there a heavy regulations in place to ensure food safety. Animals are inspected live and the carcass is inspected inside and out for any abnormalities diseases etc. Also animals are inspected daily for any signs of illness. In is not in the producers interests to have sick animals for they will make little or no money off of the carcass. Also humans are not affected by antibiotics through meat consumption. That is not scientifically possible. Antibiotics are not in the meat. We are not affected by any hormones that the animals are given. First there is a withdrawl period that is required before slaughter to ensure that hormones and antibiotics are out of the system. If any producer is caught not obeying this there are huge consequences and this will be visual when the carcass is inspected. Also even if there were no withdrawl period and people eat the meat with the hormone still in it it will have no effect. Hormones are proteins and when consumed are broken down into their individual amino acids. For a hormone to effect you it would have to enter the blood stream not the digestive system. Meat can not give you colds either. The unhealthy aspect of eating meat is that fact that you may be consuming too much saturated fats. Unhealthy people will have a weakened immune system and may therefore get more colds etc. People should be consuming certain products in moderation and this can be overcome by eating more lean meat and cooking it in a healthier fashion. Vegetarians can be unhealthy too if they are eating a lot of deep fried fries onion rings etc. So if you are going to make claims such as that know what you are talking about.A lot of you are talking out of your asses and you sound stupid. This is why a lot of people don’t pay attention to anything that you have to say. I am a vegetarian because I think that the agricultural industry needs to be more animal friendly but I never talk the way some of you do. Know what you are talking about do some research and only present the facts. You will find that more people will take you seriously. Also it is important to not that that the industry is changing steadily and more research is going into different husbandry methods that are more animal friendly. There are also niche markets such as organic and humanely produced beef. By supporting these markets people can change the way meat is produced since the entire industry is driven by consumer demand. We should be encouraging people to do reseach and know what products they are buying unstead of just saying eating meat is bad and digusting. The reality is that the majority of the world eats meat and that is not going to change.

  • Mary says:

    Justin are you an idiot or are you just trying to be weird!? You cannot compare animal life to plant life for the argument of whether or not one should eat meat or more to the point take a life to sustain human greed and selfindulgence! If you’re serious you are badly in need of some basic education in the life sciences! The fundamental difference between animal life and plant life is sentience! In other words animals have brains and plants do not! Animals think and experience emotions in the same way we humananimals do! No difference! We all evolved along the same path! Plants while alive in the most basic sense have no awareness of…anything!Animals on the other hand experience fear and pain love and grief and have all the same basic needs and rights that we have! Plants do not! If you believe differently’ I strongly suggest you seek the help of a good psychiatrist!

  • marifer says:

    la verdad esta muy bien que hagan este tipo de campaas ese tipo de tiendas de ropa no deberian ni siquiera abrir estoy en contra del maltrado de animales y de que los maten para fabricar abrigosYA NO ASESINEN A LOS ANIMALES SON SERES VIVOS COMO NOSOTROS Y SIENTEN. DI NO AL MALTRATO DE ANIMALES

  • marissa says:

    This is gonna upset everyone but i love meat. i eat it and my dogs eat it we are all animals at the end of the day. humans are omnivores and not herbivores meaning we are meant to eat meat by nature. I do not eat chicken as i dont agree to the way these birds are kept. surely the meat wont even be healthy. Producing lab meat could actually be healthier than directly from a captively bred animal as these animals are sometimes sick prior to being slaughtered. I live in the middle east and going vegan is not too bad but we have a few issues in this region vegan products like veggie burgers etc are all imported hence scarce and very expensive and it is not common in our lifestyle here to find that many vegetarians.

  • Justin says:

    Sarah I’m sure you don’t think twice when biting into the flesh of a plant writing on paper made from sawed mashed minced tree or care about destroying plants. Why would you care about killing a single animal to provide more food than thousands of animals being killed would? You people are such hypocrites saying how destroying animals is just fine and thinking they’re the same as humans. The only reason you cater to them and not plants is that plants don’t scream when you cook them. Get off your high horse thinking you’re so good for not eating meat and think about what really makes things living and think about why you think killing animals is really so bad.

  • Craig Petersen says:

    While this concept may offend some it’s about the ONLY option for people who eat cooked flesh from a corpse meat. I became VEGAN because I came to realize that ‘animals’ are living beings not things property or something to be ‘owned’. They are just like us just shaped differently. I did not want to continue to contribute to an industry that fosters cruelty abuse sadistic torture and more or less provides a HELL ON EARTH life for said animal. The meat and dairy industry has for generations brainwashed most of the human race that you HAVE to eat animals to stay healthy. Before I went vegan I would ALWAYS get one to three colds a year and get maybe one bout of food poisoning. For the past seven years now I haven’t gotten one cold the flu or any food poisoning. Coincidence I think NOT. You can be assured that the incumbent meat and dairy industry will bribe legislate new laws or just flat out buy politicians to keep ‘lab meat’ out of the running.

  • gigi says:

    Sounds disgusting to me it still comes from animals and they probably will wind up “Killing” the animals to get the dead cells. NO THANKS.

  • sarah says:

    i don’t think i could eat iteven if i knew no animals were hurt. gross lol.