PETA offers $1 million prize for vat-grown meat

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81 Responses to “PETA offers $1 million prize for vat-grown meat”

  1. SeppTB says:

    I’m not a vegetarian nor do I take much issue with industrial farming, but I can still see this as a benefit. Aren’t such farms massive enviromental problems? Isn’t methane from massive herds of cattle a major source of greenhouse gases?

    As for what we’d do with all the cows once we have vat-grown, I think thats pretty obvious. Slaughter and eat them. Then stop breeding them in such high numbers.

    PS – will vat grown beef taste like veal? Mmm.

  2. Belac says:

    Xopher,
    People don’t have just one moral objection to these things. One can object to cruel treatment of animals, cannibalism, and environmental degredation all at once.

  3. Takuan says:

    “Big slabs of limb-less meat, heaving and flailing in unison, in big baths of charged, milky protein fluid.”

    Ah, my boudoir video

  4. yesno says:

    #37

    The issue of “what’ll happen to domesticated animals,” I have to say, really isn’t much of a “gotcha.” Every vegetarian has heard all of this before and we all have our own answers.

    First, cows will *always* be raised for meat. Always. I cannot imagine a scenario where the entire world to a man gives up eating meat.

    Second, as I said above, the issue that many vegetarians care about the most is cruelty. Cruelty that is necessary for large-scale industrial meat production, for sure, but that is not necessary for meat per se. Meat could be reserved for special occasions, and the animals could be treated with respect.

    Third, whatever you think about vegetarianism, it’s indisputable that Americans eat way, way too much meat. People tend to overdose on protein and skimp on other food sources. If you care about health (not to mention the environment– industrial meat production caused more pollution than automobiles), you should want people to eat less meat even if you don’t care at all about animal cruelty. Less meat should be raised under nearly any analysis.

    Fourth: Zoos.

  5. Tenn says:

    Arkizzle, would it be altogether rude and Fark.com to assert that this ‘connoisseur’ship you enjoy may be perhaps the connoisseur ship enjoyed by wine tasters?

    A teasing glimpse at all the flavors had to offer in a prepared environment, momentary and ultimately unsatisfying?

    Yes, it would be very Fark.com. Ah, well.

  6. Takuan says:

    I like the genetically engineered meat cattle that grow harvestable lobes of muscle. That way the same animal could keep giving for years

  7. Santa's Knee says:

    @#37:

    “I am curious what will happen to cattle, a human-bred creature that has poor survival skills, once we no longer need them for beef.”

    PETA will do what it does with all animals that it takes away from humans – kill them.

    http://www.petakillsanimals.com

  8. hikeebahikeeba says:

    in re: the seitan worshipers up top,it really is kind of fun to prepare a high protein food that a toddler will not just eat without complaint,but that actually induces them to proclaim that they “love seitan”.
    the vatmeat million dollar prize,on the other hand,is rather less amusing.although it almost feels like it doesn’t even matter;our(meaning most humans)methods and attitudes regarding food are already so irrational and so far gone.

  9. Tenn says:

    A large dairy animal approached Zaphod Beeblebrox’s table, a large fat meaty quadruped of the bovine type with large watery eyes, small horns and what might almost have been an ingratiating smile on its lips.

    “Good evening,” it lowed and sat back heavily on its haunches, “I am the main Dish of the Day. May I interest you in parts of my body?” It harrumphed and gurgled a bit, wriggled its hind quarters into a more comfortable position and gazed peacefully at them.

    Its gaze was met by looks of startled bewilderment from Arthur and Trillian, a resigned shrug from Ford Prefect and naked hunger from Zaphod Beeblebrox.

    “Something off the shoulder perhaps?” suggested the animal, “Braised in a white wine sauce?”

    “Er, your shoulder?” said Arthur in a horrified whisper.

    “But naturally my shoulder, sir,” mooed the animal contentedly, “nobody else’s is mine to offer.”

    Zaphod leapt to his feet and started prodding and feeling the animal’s shoulder appreciatively.

    “Or the rump is very good,” murmured the animal. “I’ve been exercising it and eating plenty of grain, so there’s a lot of good meat there.” It gave a mellow grunt, gurgled again and started to chew the cud. It swallowed the cud again.

    “Or a casserole of me perhaps?” it added.

    “You mean this animal actually wants us to eat it?” whispered Trillian to Ford.

    “Me?” said Ford, with a glazed look in his eyes, “I don’t mean anything.”

    “That’s absolutely horrible,” exclaimed Arthur, “the most revolting thing I’ve ever heard.”

    “What’s the problem Earthman?” said Zaphod, now transferring his attention to the animal’s enormous rump.

    “I just don’t want to eat an animal that’s standing here inviting me to,” said Arthur, “it’s heartless.”

    “Better than eating an animal that doesn’t want to be eaten,” said Zaphod.

    “That’s not the point,” Arthur protested. Then he thought about it for a moment. “Alright,” he said, “maybe it is the point. I don’t care, I’m not going to think about it now. I’ll just … er …”

    The Universe raged about him in its death throes.

    “I think I’ll just have a green salad,” he muttered.

    “May I urge you to consider my liver?” asked the animal, “it must be very rich and tender by now, I’ve been force-feeding myself for months.”

    “A green salad,” said Arthur emphatically.

    “A green salad?” said the animal, rolling his eyes disapprovingly at Arthur.

    “Are you going to tell me,” said Arthur, “that I shouldn’t have green salad?”

    “Well,” said the animal, “I know many vegetables that are very clear on that point. Which is why it was eventually decided to cut through the whole tangled problem and breed an animal that actually wanted to be eaten and was capable of saying so clearly and distinctly. And here I am.”

    It managed a very slight bow.

    “Glass of water please,” said Arthur.

    “Look,” said Zaphod, “we want to eat, we don’t want to make a meal of the issues. Four rare steaks please, and hurry. We haven’t eaten in five hundred and seventy-six thousand million years.”

    The animal staggered to its feet. It gave a mellow gurgle.

    “A very wise choice, sir, if I may say so. Very good,” it said, “I’ll just nip off and shoot myself.”

    He turned and gave a friendly wink to Arthur.

    “Don’t worry, sir,” he said, “I’ll be very humane.”

    It waddled unhurriedly off into the kitchen.

    A matter of minutes later the waiter arrived with four huge steaming steaks. Zaphod and Ford wolfed straight into them without a second’s hesitation. Trillian paused, then shrugged and started into hers.

    Arthur stared at his feeling slightly ill.

    “Hey, Earthman,” said Zaphod with a malicious grin on the face that wasn’t stuffing itself, “what’s eating you?”

  10. coldspell says:

    The tipping point will be when vat-grown meat is cheaper per-pound than cow-grown meat. Now that will herald interesting times!

    PS – I am a vegetarian.

  11. Takuan says:

    for the rich, the tipping point will be when they no longer trust true meat

  12. Xopher says:

    MarkFrei 33:

    Quorn tastes great, but never agreed with my system.

    I agree with half ot that. It made me really sick, and I thought it tasted disgusting. And I love tempeh, to name another fungusy product.

    Gobo 36:

    And if you’re looking for ways to irritate vegetarians for fun, just stop, folks.

    Hear, hear.

    MonkeyThumpa 37:

    I am curious what will happen to cattle, a human-bred creature that has poor survival skills, once we no longer need them for beef.

    Don’t worry, we’ll still need them for leather.

    Ooo, if they start growing vat skin and making it into leather, how will PETA know whom to throw paint on? On second thought, they probably won’t care…they throw paint on people wearing fake fur now. And write letters to East Fishkill telling them they should change the name of their town, even though the ‘kill’ is Dutch and has nothing to do with killing. (Yes, they knew that and told the town it should change its name anyway, because it offended them. As if offending PETA weren’t a goal to be lauded!)

    Piper 38: I’ve tasted my own blood, sweat, and tears, as well as the occasional fingernail or bit of loose skin. Also [redacted]. I think that’s enough for me, thanks.

    Arkizzle 41: Yeah, it was the comment at 40 that really crossed the line though…oh wait. :-)

    Belac 43: Yes, I agree. I was trying to tease out some threads from the mass, and it really didn’t work.

  13. Wickedashtray says:

    you mean this hypocritical and overall reprehensible organization is actually doing something sensible?

  14. Zan says:

    #16 posted by Takuan , April 21, 2008 10:27 AM
    Also, anyone know the kosher racket? Who do I have to get on board to get cultured pork declared OK? Petri dishes have no hooves.

    Unfortunately, no vat-grown meat could be kosher as petri dishes don’t chew their cud.

  15. arkizzle says:

    2030, PETA has issued a petition to save the cow, as it has continued to languish in smaller and smaller numbers, having lost it’s status as a meat-animal. Numbers quickly fell without the artificial prop of human farming, and it’s future looks, indeed, bleak.

    Pigs on the other hand have become pests, exploding in population and invading urban and suburban zones, storming sewage treatment plants for sustenance en masse or going on household-waste raids in smaller, feral packs. The government have instituted marshall law until the pig-menace (or suidae bombers, colloquially) can be brought under control.

    The War on Pigs (the Boar on Terror?) will be won, today or tomorrow, with the nation behind us, we will prevail.

    (oh.. and the chickens are running quite a nice side line in private security, so don’t worry about them)

  16. Jeff says:

    Takuan: “…lobes of meat.” Truly gross image. Thanks. All I can see are great big scabs.

  17. arkizzle says:

    Ok, Tenn, you have outed me..

    My name is Arkizzle, and I’m a vagiholic.

  18. arkizzle says:

    ..but I never get to finish the bottle..

  19. Takuan says:

    the sloughed off scabs can be packaged for the delicatessen market.

  20. Captain Rotundo says:

    A coworker and I have decided that in light of how bad a lot of mass produced and shipped produce tastes the threshold of quality should be that Ted Nugent can’t tell the difference in a taste test from real meat. If that happens I’ll switch immediately.

  21. Tom says:

    Vegetarians and vegans come in all shapes and sizes.

    * Some are concerned about the suffering of farm animals.

    * Some are concerned about the killing of any animal that could reasonably be said to be conscious or aware of it’s own life.

    * Some are concerned about killing any animal at all (jains, to take an obvious example).

    * Some are concerned about the environmental impact of meat farming (this is the main thing that gives me an unfulfilled impulse toward vegetarianism).

    * Some are concerned about the health impact of meat eating. There is no mad carrot disease.

    * Some simply don’t like the taste or texture of meat.

    * A few are bothered by the perception that they are eating “a corpse” or something “dead”, which kinda creeps me out because it suggests they would rather eat things that are still vibrantly alive, killing them by a slow process involving some combination of cooking, mastication and digestion. I also wonder why I never see them say anything like “Tofu is dead.”

    All of these but the last can be given some kind of rational justification, and depending on what kind of vegetarian you are you’ll feel differently about vat-grown meat. People who are avoiding meat for health purposes aren’t about to run out and buy a big slab of Chicken Little.

    My own feelings about this are perfectly contradictory. I think vegetarians who are concerned about animal suffering should have no qualms about eating vat grown cow. By the same logic, I should have no qualms about eating vat grown long pig. But I do.

    Mostly, I think moralizing about what people eat is not so different from moralizing about who has sex with whom. There are some minimum standards that need to be legally enforced, and after that it’s all a matter of taste. Trying to make rigorous sense of those tastes is probably a mistake.

  22. Tenn says:

    Arkizzle,

    Forgive me for, er, ‘exposing’ you.

    Takuan,

    Well, I guess I’ve found the solution to my problem. My problem being that eating makes me nauseous and ill. Now that just -thinking- of eating will make me nauseous…

    Thanks. Tons. My gratitude. Never ending.

  23. Enochrewt says:

    At least PETA is making an attempt (however misguided) to find a solution to their “problem” instead of throwing red paint on people and brainwashing young children.

    And wow, some of the imagery in this discussion is disturbing.

  24. Antinous says:

    Congratulations. We’ve now put BoingBoing on the list of pro-bulimia websites.

  25. Pipenta says:

    chicken
    nubbins

  26. Gilbert Wham says:

    “Mostly, I think moralizing about what people eat is not so different from moralizing about who has sex with whom. There are some minimum standards that need to be legally enforced, and after that it’s all a matter of taste. Trying to make rigorous sense of those tastes is probably a mistake.”

    What an extraordinarily lucid and sensible statement. Hats off.

  27. dculberson says:

    Arkizzle, your comment 74, just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse. I don’t know why I thought that – I had already been proven wrong multiple times.

    Zap. Heave.

  28. Xopher says:

    Brian 70: Yeah, see? They’re the fucking scum of the Earth. I hope Dan Mathews chokes to death on a piece of bok choy.

    (BTW, Cunanan especially liked to kill people who befriended him.)

  29. lecti says:

    PETA finally does something positive, for a change.

  30. Antinous says:

    You know what this discussion is missing? Slig.

  31. KingOfCats says:

    If this technology proves successful and is widely adopted, it will likely prove the most effective strategy for converting me to vegetarianism.

  32. markfrei says:

    What’s wrong with Seitan? I’m a vegetarian body builder and managed to put on 25# of muscle on a vegetarian diet that features lots of veggie based proteins.

    That said, I’d probably be a big customer for this frankenmeat should it ever come to pass, even if on a certain level it’s a little freaky.

    But really in the meantime, if you are sitting on the fence, start trying some decent vegetarian cooking – it exists and if you do it right you won’t lack for protein (I take 150-200g protein a day). You might find it’s not as hard as you thought…

  33. Xopher says:

    So! MarkFrei, you’re an admitted Seitanist!!!

    (So am I, I must say.)

  34. jackwilliambell says:

    This makes me think of a humor essay I wrote on this subject

  35. Santa's Knee says:

    PETA is secretly planning to use the technology to replentish their ever-dwindling ranks.

  36. Stuart Ellis says:

    Soylent Green is people!

  37. arkizzle says:

    Momma, my VatBurger® tastes of weird..

  38. Santa's Knee says:

    “Chewy Chicken is People!”
    “Oh, thank goodness!”

  39. Jordan M says:

    I agree, people just don’t have enough seitan in their lives. Sometimes I wake up and I praise seitan for allowing me to live another day. If I have kids, they will all e raised with seitan and in time, I imagine they will learn to love seitan as much as I do.

    I love seitan.

  40. Jeff says:

    And me just having had lamb for lunch. I don’t want synthetic meat unless it has the bones and a little fat. I have enough people to care about, livestock is at the bottom of my list.

  41. Bugs says:

    I’ve never tried to grow tissues like this but I’m pretty sure that they’d have the same basic growth requirements as the human cells regularly grown in labs.

    Mammalian cells have all sorts of complex systems evolved to make sure that they only propagate when the body requires them to. After all, unrestricted propagation is what we call cancer. So to persuade a cell to grow, you need to provide it with all sorts of growth hormones and cytokines in addition to nutrients. Without these signals non-cancerous cells will either become quiescent or kill themselves.

    Many of those systems are poorly understood, so most labs use “Foetal Calf Serum” or something similar. It’s basically a soup of nutrients and hormoones extracted from, in this case, a calf foetus.

    Which is a very long way of saying that even if we can grow muscles for use as meat in the lab by 2012, we’ll almost certainly still have to kill animals to do it.

  42. Xopher says:

    Actually this is more evidence of what I’ve been saying about PETA for a long time: they don’t so much love animals as hate people.

  43. johnrynne says:

    Bring on Chicken Little, from the amazingly prescient The Space Merchants (1953) by Pohl and Kornbluth.

  44. Brian Carnell says:

    Does PETA hate people? Genre magazine did an article in 2000 in which they asked various people to name their favorite gay man of the 20th century.

    PETA’s Dan Mathews chose spree/serial killer Andrew Cunanan, because “he got Versace to stop doing fur.”

    Cunanan, of course, murdered Giannia Versace on the front setps of Versace’s mansion before killing himself.

  45. Takuan says:

    way ahead of them. I already have sleeper operatives with vials of prions in every possible up and comer. They will all pay their squeeze or face ruin. Ahhh, capitalism!

  46. MrCheshire says:

    Ah, so this is what PETA’s after!

    http://www.angryflower.com/vegeta.gif

    I see the appeal.

  47. Village Idiot says:

    I thought they’d been serving vat meat for years in institutional cafeterias?

    And one measly million bucks is the reward? How’s that going to motivate anyone? It will cost many times that amount to succeed with this idea, if it’s even possible.

    Besides, we’ll just end up with some kind of horrible Mad Vat Disease after a sick mouse or something falls into one of the vats at the factory.

  48. Takuan says:

    Dear Jeff

    I am willing to partner with you in the synthetic bone deposit and recycling business. How big a deposit will get people to return the bones for reuse? We also need to select appropriate material and a way to logo it.

  49. Caveman Joe says:

    So… if we all convert to eating tank-grown meat (and I would in a heartbeat, if only to have the opportunity to eat creatures I’ve never tasted before… mmm, tiger…) then what do we do with all the cows?

  50. Takuan says:

    Also, anyone know the kosher racket? Who do I have to get on board to get cultured pork declared OK? Petri dishes have no hooves.

  51. yesno says:

    How is this evidence that PETA “hates people?”

    I’m a vegetarian, but I have no objection in principle to killing animals. Cows have coevolved with humans to be a food source. Tit for tat.

    I only object to factory farms which raise animals in unnatural, cruel conditions. It’s just easier to be a (semi)vegetarian, than to do research into the source of every last piece of meat to come my way.

    Once you are aware of the horror of modern industrial animal farming, all you can do is (1) stop eating meat from those sources, (2) ignore it, or (3) somehow try to justify the unnecessary infliction of cruelty by pretending you “need” to eat something you don’t, or by denying that any moral consideration of animals is justified.

    (I say semi-vegetarian, because I really don’t care too much about the well-being of, say, fish and insects. And I care about birds and lizards less than I care about mammals. This irrational line-drawing is the way that all morality works– most people care about their family and neighbors than about people far away across the world. Once you recognize this, you can manage it to avoid excess parochialism. Anyway.)

    With vat-grown meat, the only things you have to worry about are health and perhaps some kind of environmental sustainability. It’s a perfect technological solution to a moral dilemma that many people take seriously. It would allow you to eat meat without having to worry about denying animals their eudaemonia. Sign me up!

  52. gigarizel says:

    There are a few problems that would have to be overcome before this idea would make sense.

    Right now to grow any kind of tissue outside the body requires calf serum. This is calf embryonic fluid. It is not known why this works yet so there is no synthetic substitute. You can get about 1 liter per calf you kill to get the fluid. The meat takes about 9 months to grow and you have to use fresh serum all the time so you have to kill at least dozens of calves for a baseball sized bit of meat.

    A second problem is the meat (muscle) never gets flexed so without any exercise it has the consistency of jelly and is not very appetizing.

  53. Takuan says:

    For those traditionalist that are uncomfortable with meat taken without animal suffering, could we have an arrangement where a small pool of beasts are kept and proxy-tortured to fulfill this requirement? Perhaps there could be a tiered market where otherwise unemployable humans could earn their way by providing the pain for the high end of the market?

  54. Takuan says:

    Any livestock farmers have ideas for the tax and subsidy angles on this?

  55. yesno says:

    “what do we do with all the cows?”

    Many vegetarians genuinely do not object to cows being raised for meat, provided they are allowed to live their typical way of life.

    Grazing in the sun on grass. That sort of thing.

    As opposed to being confined to a small pen and force-fed unnatural (subsidized) corn feed-stock that makes them sick, and which requires they be pumped full of medicine.

  56. fnc says:

    Mmmmmm….vat meat.

  57. Jeff says:

    Takuan, I think we could call our business “Re-boned.” And the slogan could be something like, The Bone Makes All The Difference! Bonetastic!

    Deposits will be based on weight. What a gross idea! That’s why it makes me laugh.

  58. sonipitts says:

    I’m a vegetarian (mostly because of issues with humane animal treatment, and minorly with killing), and not only would I eat vat-meat, I’d eat vat-human. In a frakking heartbeat (yours, mine, whomevers…) In fact, as soon as vat meat becomes reliably producible, of good quality and affordable, I anticipate a whole market of, shall we say, exotic meats.

    Why? I’m a foodie. I *love* food. Any and all (good quality) food. I’ll try damn near anything once and add it to the bulk buy list if I like it. That goes for meat. Meat is meat, folks – makes no difference if it’s Porky Pig or his longer cousin. The only difference is cultural taboos and, in the case of human kibbles and bits, some (easily handled) concerns re: prion disease.

    That’s one of the moral quibbles that led me to being a veggie in the first place. I wouldn’t treat a beloved pet like a factory-farmed cow is treated, and yet I’m willing to overlook the cow’s suffering so I can have a steak, even though there were plenty of other ways to get my fill of great food without making Bessie miserable? Well, no, not once you put it like that.

    As a conscience-driven vegetarian, it’s frustrating as hell to be living through the resurgence of artisanal meats and gourmet preparation that we’re going through right now. Gah. But since I can’t trust others to care for animals the way I would if I had the means to raise my own (happy life, honored position in family, quick death), I choose not to abuse. So, yeah, vat meat (assuming it can be made worth eating) would soooo be on my list of groceries faster than you could say, “Pasteur raised.”

    Oh, and what’s wrong with seitan? It’s not bacon, that’s what. (Passing by the sandwich counter downtown has me chewing my fist and walking fast almost every time, because someone has always just ordered a BLT.)

    Stupid conscience.

  59. Antinous says:

    Unfood.

  60. Xopher says:

    Hmm. Of those of you who would eat vat meat but not actual once-walking-around meat, which of you would eat human flesh grown the same way? You know, long pig like in Delany’s Stars in My Pockets Like Grains of Sand?

    Just curious, because my veggie instincts say “nope, that’s still meat.”

    But then again, if your objection to non-human meat is about the treatment of the animals (as YesNo says at 20), I assume your objection to human meat is not on the same grounds. Otherwise you’d be willing to eat the flesh of little children as long as they were playing happily on the playground before being slaughtered, and I doubt ANYONE holds that position.

    And this isn’t really consistent with vegan philosophy. Bees don’t suffer to make honey, and chickens don’t suffer when unfertilized eggs are taken from them. Won’t this vat meat be a kind of “exploitation”? Isn’t it pretty much effectively just a cow without a brain?

    That PETA would encourage this doesn’t make sense to me, but then the PETA mindset is so alien to me that I guess I shouldn’t try to predict what those wackos will do next.

  61. Xopher says:

    Rats. Cross-posted, Antinous, with your 23. Yeah, what you said.

  62. Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey says:

    Since Johnrynne mentioned Chicken Little in #11, I’m going to claim this is another echo of Doctor Alexis Carrel. Even if his perpetual-chicken-tissue experiment turned out to be bogus.

  63. yesno says:

    * Yes, I would have no rational objection to vat-grown human meat. But not everything I do is rational. The “ick factor” is real, even if irrational.

    * Humans have to give some moral consideration to animals, but not the same as to humans. I would say that it is always immoral to eat human meat, but not immoral to eat ethically raised animals. The fact that many animals have evolved over thousands of years to be food for humans is another consideration.

  64. Santa's Knee says:

    Nüfüd

  65. twig says:

    Won’t this vat meat be a kind of “exploitation”?

    wow, the internets.

  66. Bookyloo says:

    I’m sad that someone else beat me to the Space Merchants/Chicken Little reference.

    The best part is that if they succeed in making an actual “La Gallinita”, all we’ll need are some dog whistles and then we’ll have a place to hold our secret revolutionary meetings.

    anybody ever eaten Quorn? they call it “mycoprotein”, aka, a vat-grown fungus.

  67. arkizzle says:

    Sounds like the key to this is more research into synthesizing the embryonic fluid.

    And I imagine an oscillating electric current running through the flesh would tone it to some degree, avoiding the jelly-meat syndrome mentioned above.

    Yum… Big slabs of limb-less meat, heaving and flailing in unison, in big baths of charged, milky protein fluid.

  68. lamarlowe says:

    Given the characterics of the mammalian vagina, isn’t all the meat we generally enjoy vat-grown, really??

  69. Lauren O says:

    I’m a (mostly) vegetarian just because I generally find meat repulsive. I had never heard words less appealing than “beef” and “pork” until today, when I learned the phrase “vat meat.” (Which is not to say I don’t think it’s a good idea; I just still won’t be eating any disgusting dead flesh, thankyouverymuch.)

  70. markfrei says:

    Quorn tastes great, but never agreed with my system.

  71. Pablissimo says:

    I wrote a long comment on this and then got the text entered was wrong bug dagnammit!
    Signed in again – retrying… Shorter version of the comment

    YESNO (#17) is right on the money. Me I do 1) try to avoid factory farmed meat and 2) Ignore the fact that sometimes I eat factory farmed meat for convenience and the fact that you usually don’t know.

    Vat Farmed meat is a neat idea. However more practically (at least in the short term), I’d like to see legislation of enforced labelling of meat sources – what is factory farmed vs free range. (And I think it’s not unreasonable to outlaw certain farming practices on ethical grounds — after all we have laws preventing cruelty to pets.)

    Then us consumers would be able to make better informed choices and stores / restaurants would have an incentive to use more ethically farmed meat… and farmers would start to see incentives in avoiding factory farming practices…

    Unfortunately I don’t see anything like that happening any time soon. It’s a fringe issue to most people. The stereotype of the irrational, holier than thou, preachy vegetarian is alive and well (thanks in part to some of PETAs crazier ads, like the one comparing farms to Nazi concentration camps), which helps this to remain a fringe issue.
    And it is fair to see that it’s an issue that gets trumped by healthcare, education, etc…

  72. Antinous says:

    Given the characteristics of the mammalian vagina, isn’t all the meat we generally enjoy vat-grown, really??

    Of course, as a gay man, I’m not a big, fancy expert or nothin’, but I believe that the fetus gestates in the uterus.

  73. arkizzle says:

    DCulberson

    It’s really satisfying to know I’ve made an impact on the discussion here..

    Zap. Heave. Indeed :)

  74. gobo says:

    #30, exactly. When I get taunted by people looking to needle the vegetarian with questions like, “would you eat meat if it was grown in a lab?” I just point to Quorn and say “sure!”. The stuff is so realistic it approximates muscle tissue; I’m not sure what else PETA hopes to accomplish… authenticity?

    (And if you’re looking for ways to irritate vegetarians for fun, just stop, folks. If I don’t want to eat meat from cows barely kept alive by antibiotic injections, I think that’s understandable.)

  75. error404 says:

    If this actually happens there’ll be a PETA splinter group who will happily kill people to stop the production and consumption of VAT MEAT.

    PETA are a complete shower of mental cases.

  76. monkeythumpa says:

    I am curious what will happen to cattle, a human-bred creature that has poor survival skills, once we no longer need them for beef.

  77. Piper says:

    What if we eat meat cloned from ourselves? You could use a carbon scaffold to support the growth of your own delicious muscles, fed with your own donated blood and various enzymes and developmental whatnot. Your lab/butcher becomes like a bank that maintains your meat account.
    Think of the summer BBQ –be the host with the most who’s also the roast…

  78. Antinous says:

    PETA’s Dan Mathews chose spree/serial killer Andrew Cunanan, because “he got Versace to stop doing fur.”

    And I’m annoyed with Andrew because he didn’t get Donatella at the same time. It’s all perspective.

  79. lamarlowe says:

    #35: JIPO, I suppose. Jism in, protein out. I can see where the paradigm might not quite work for gays, unless of course you’re willing to perform as a PETA vessel of some sort.

    Oh, yuck, I just disgusted myself again.

  80. arkizzle says:

    Of course, as a gay man, I’m not a big, fancy expert or nothin’, but I believe that the fetus gestates in the uterus.

    Well, as a hetero man, and somewhat the connoisseur (thankyouverymuch), I would suggest that the uterus is possibly even more vat like.. with a kind of airtight, self-sealed-til-ready functionality that really puts the vagina to shame for meat-growing purposes.

  81. arkizzle says:

    What a quality conversation.. Brava BB

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