Would You Eat Synthetic Meat?


Meat is an excellent source of protein and quite tasty. But at what cost? The resources required to feed nine billion people
meat, are vast. Even if it’s just the wealthy ones. Many people are rejecting the cruelty of factory farming and practices like live animal export. And though they haven’t been surveyed, it’s likely the billions of primary
providers, cows, sheep, pigs, fish and the rest, are dead against it. Could synthetic meat be the solution? It is meat, not tofu-based meat
substitutes. And despite the name, not really synthetic. It’s actual animal cells. Tissue engineers take a sample from a live adult animal and
ideally that’s all they have to endure. Then they grow the adult stem cells in vats of nutrient rich broth,
convert them to muscle cells, because meat is muscle, and grow the mono-biodegradable
scaffold. The only hitch is muscle cells need
exercise to survive and you can’t run these ones around the
paddock. You can stimulate them with tiny electrical impulses,
but on an industrial scale, it’s prohibitively expensive. Research continues. Thus far, the biggest cut contains millions of cells and is roughly the size
of a contact lens. But when synthetic meat becomes a mainstream
reality, will you eat lab-grown steak? And will knowing that no animals were harmed in
the making of your burger, change the way you relate to animals?

25 thoughts on “Would You Eat Synthetic Meat?

  1. The session on Three Technologies That May Transform the Way We Live during the Adelaide Festival of Ideas is on Saturday 8th October at 12pm at the RiAus Science Exchange. See you there!

  2. If to became the normal cows, chickens, and other food stock animals will simply cease to be grown and thus would likely go extinct.

  3. If this method of producing steaks etc became feasible then 2 things would worry me: 1/ lack of meat diversity (we are already seeing this now – everyone wants to buy chicken breast but not the other parts, buy rump steak but not the all the other cuts, regardless of nutritional value. 2/ loss of biodiversity – extinction of old breeds of sheep etc, varieties of tomato etc. A vast biodiversity can contain solutions to problems we don't yet know we'll be having.

  4. @lasiorhinuskrefftii such problems may include susceptibility to disease – these cells are alive and still susceptible to viruses, bacteria etc. just like the living animal. If everyone makes steak out of one proto-cow and the rest of the cows die out, a virus could destroy a lot of meat before it is contained.

  5. You'll still be better off not eating meat. However; I'm optimistic. Perhaps this is a step in the right direction. One small stem cell for man One giant egg for man"kind"

  6. I would definitely eat synthetic meat. Assuming the technology was safe. Without a brain or nervous system there can be no animal cruelty and if the technology was effecient enough there would be no economical reason to suggest everyone should turn vegetarian in order to make food supplies go further as population rises.

  7. I have no problem with it people already do things that lower there life expectancy such as smoking, cocaine snorting, speeding etc so why should we care now because the meat is fake not only that we no longer have to kill animals anymore for there flesh so its an excellent idea

  8. You might be interested in our perspective – we talked to Peta-funded scientist Nicholas Genovese, a vegan philosopher who thought it make save the animals, and a vegan activist who is strongly against lab meat.

  9. Homicide and cannibalism are two different things. Are you telling me you would enjoy eating the lab grown stem cells from a fetus? Adopting that type of belief can dangerously alter the minds of people forever. Also human muscle tissue is genetically different from other species you radical.

  10. I have no problem with the concept and would quite happily eat synthetic meat, but people are going to continue buying the best quality meat they can afford. If the quality of synthetic meat is not up to par with than of conventional meat people will simply avoid it. Besides, average quality cheap meat is already obtainable by purchasing offcuts or budget mince so as far as I can see the only secure market for SM would be vegetarians/animal rights activists. Not exactly a lucrative investment.

  11. I doubt the species we've kept alive as livestock will survive synthetic meat. Pigs, Cows, etc, will likely go extinct when we get synthetic meat. I hate animals so i'm all for synthetic meat 😛

  12. Change the way I relate to animals? Eating synthetic meat will not change much. I am superior to animals. Whether I eat them or not doesn't change that.

  13. I care a little about farm animals for one simple reason – we grow them for food, nothing else, just food. They have no other purpose. You are right in the video saying that meat is too expensive resource-wise, so synthetic could be an answer. I would have no problem if it tasted the same and costed less.

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