Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Meat for Vegetarians

PETA has offered a 1 million-dollar prize to anybody who is able to come up with an in vitro chicken meat product. The prize will go to the lab that produces a, “product that has a taste and texture indistinguishable from real chicken flesh. In fact, the product has to satisfy a panel of 10 meat-eating individuals sourced from a professional focus group services provider.” This prize will add incentives to the dozens of companies, research institutes, and labs where technologies like this are being pursued.

But don’t take my word for it, check it out here.

While I’ve had differences with PETA in the past, like when they said they would stop animal testing even if it produced a cure for AIDS; I think this prize is one of their better ideas (not that they have a great deal of good ideas to choose from.) It’s the first step in what I see as a future trend of animal-less meat that I’m sure will dominate future markets; eventually, the price of growing meat in a lab or factory will be cheaper then raising animals for slaughter (though how people will view this product is a mystery to me, though I expect it will be initially negative.)

I still think PETA’s crazy, but at least they are moving a way from assaulting people in fur coats and handing out horror comics to kids, to something that could actually promote their cause. To PETA’s credit, they seem to have realized people won’t stop eating meat, and they’ve adapted to it.

These technologies have great potential: ultimately cheaper food products, lower energy cost of ‘making’ meat products, starving parts of the world can now have protean in their diet (as they no longer have to raise and care for animals.) Huge amounts of land now used for pastures can now be used for something else (which lowers the cost of everything.) If these technologies prove viable, it will mean veal and other high quality meat can be produced anywhere in the country cheaply; not having to worry about good whether for animals, slaughterhouses, complicated butchering, storage, and long transportation.

Yeah, I exited about this new trend; if PETA keeps up this up, I might even donate some money (I’m kidding, of course, I still think their 99.99 percent crazy.)

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