There is a buzz going on about the lab-created meat that has been made and served in London. Even Peter Singer weighed in on it, stating near the bottom of the article that even though he hasn't eaten meat in 40 years that he will eat it if it becomes commercially available.
So as someone who has been a vegetarian for nearly 18 years, would I eat the lab-created meat? Not a chance, and here are my reasons why:
- Eating lab-created meat still perpetuates the idea that people need to eat flesh. Stop eating flesh and you soon no longer want or crave it. In fact, you begin to see it for what it is - a rotting carcass that is completely unappetizing.
- I think it's still unethical to eat lab-created meat. It is not natural or ethical to take the genes of another creature and manipulate them to create what you want. Just because we can do some things doesn't mean that we should. When we begin manipulating nature like this there are going to be consequences somewhere down the line.
- Using animal tissue in the lab still perpetuates the idea that animals are ours to use as we wish. We shouldn't be using them or their tissue in any lab or for any purpose.
- If you want to look at the health consequences of eating meat it is still likely to have saturated fats, which clog the arteries. We also don't yet know the long term health consequences that may arise from eating something lab-created.
- They spent over $300,000 creating a lab-created burger for someone to eat. That's a lot of money that could have been spent on feeding the world's starving population, rather than feeding into the meat-crazed population.
- We shouldn't eat anything that has been lab-created. Period. It's just not natural. We should be eating things that nature gives us, which are those things that grow from the ground, trees, bushes, etc. We have plenty to eat without eating flesh. Today there are more vegan meat alternatives than ever before, many good ones that were created from high quality ingredients from nature.
- We don't know how sustainable creating lab-created meat would be on a scale large enough to feed the masses. Meat itself is an incredibly inefficient food production system, using massive amounts of resources and creating massive amounts of pollution. We don't know at this point that petri dish meat would be any better.
- There is a huge push against GMO foods right now. People don't want foods that have been genetically modified. They want foods that are natural! This lab-created meat certainly doesn't fit the bill of being natural. Petri dishes are not involved in natural foods, at least not from what I've ever seen.
As you can see, I believe there are still at the very least ethical reasons why I would not eat lab-created meat. I don't want to eat flesh. I find eating flesh repulsive. Growing it in a petri dish doesn't make it more appetizing to me. It just shows me that we are moving one step closer to more manipulation of our world and we yet we don't know the consequences.
Give people good natural foods, get them to make a connection to their food and where it came from. The problem is not the meat production or how the animals are treated in it as far as I'm concerned. The problem is our demand for it in the first place. The more people are made aware of the benefits of eating a vegetarian diet (ethical, environmental, health), the more inclined they will be in opting for vegetarian food. Get rid of the demand for meat and you won't have to worry about animals being in small pens, large pastures, or about their flesh being produced in petri-dishes.