Saturday, August 13, 2005
Animal-free meat
From The Guardian: When Meat is not Murder.

So now I'm a Prius-driving, vegetarian Californian. I know that makes me sound pretty clich├ęd, but, to counter, I have a degree in economics, I've never owned a pair of Birkenstocks, and my favorite magazine is The Economist (and I've only seen Phish live six times).

Anyway, somehow in my browsing, I came across the article on petri-dish meat. The article brought up a good point: if meat can be produced without the animal, would it be acceptable to vegetarians?

I think I'd eat it. As the world's most apathetic and non-proselytizing vegetarian (I was thinking of giving it up last spring), I really only have two qualms with meat: 1) it's inefficient and environmentally harmful to produce and 2) you have to kill an animal to get it.

I think petri-dish meat would kill those two birds (preferably chicken or pheasant) with one stone.
you think that producing petri dish meat would be an effecient use of resources?

i would think that the energy wasted (released) merely as the heat from the microprocessors powering the computational analysis necessary to develop the technology of petri-dish meat would be more than the energy wasted when the cows start sweating upon entering the slaughterhouse.

i don't know -- i'm not the card carrying economist; i'm the card carrying burger flipper, B.S. (philosophy).
Raising beef uses a lot of water and land (you have to feed the things, which takes more land to grow cow food).
A) The micropocessor/computational analysis arguement fails when you consider you've got to divide that use between other technological advances that come from the stuff. So if the "energy" my computer uses ends up being useful for, say, 3 petri dish industries, I have to split that "use" 3 ways. Not to mention the computation only has to happen once, and the petri-dish meat can be created indefinitely.

B) Note this discussion about beef land vs. golf course land in terms of benefit to man. Sustainable golf is mentioned.
Ingredients: 1 pound of hamburger 1 pound of thin sliced bacon 8 Brats (the real deal, no cheap ones!) 4 slices of cheese(split the slices of cheese in half) 1 egg 16 toothpicks Tin Foil Wrap Combined hamburger, egg and your spices/seasonings to taste and form 8 hamburger patties. Spread out your bacon with every two slices being about 2 " apart. Slice each Brat from end to end, NOT completely through, maybe half through the thickness of the Brat and insert one half slice of the cheese into each Brat. Place the Brat on one end of the hamburger patty and carefully roll the Brat while wrapping it with the patty. Place this carefully at the ends of your bacon, which should be spaced 2 " apart....(2 slices of bacon per burger-Brat), carefully roll and wrap the bacon. Secure bacon to each burger-Brat with two toothpicks. NOTE: Leave each toothpick exposed on one side or the other in order to remove them after cooking. Wrap your burger-Brat with tin foil and place on grill over medium heat, but do not place directly over flame. Cook for half-hour and then CAREFULLY remove foil from burger-Brat (HOT JUICE-Be Careful!) Place burger brat back onto grill for browning. Serve with any condiments by itself or on a large Hoagie Roll - Awesome!!
Gross. I'll stick to bloody, meaty, delicious cows.
i still don't know...while i will certainly admit that cow land and cow food takes up a lot of water, i still wonder whether buying into and sustaining an advanced bio-tech industry uses fewer resources. the water thing i buy -- cows do use a lot of water, petri dishes don't -- but if we're talking about the sum total of the resources used that would affect the environment, i find it hard to believe that a technology built upon such a vast industry would waste less energy than raising a herd of free range bison.

but i don't know, maybe this'll be that ever elusive free lunch.
Yes, the biotech industry is evil and full of mad scientists hell-bent on world domination/destruction. *yawn*
Point: Erica.
Am I the only one who -- finer points of the debate aside -- finds petri-dish meat to be utterly creepy?
This new kind of animal-less meat is going to be developed through the ongoing research with stem cells, actually. It's not that this is a specific area of science that receives large grants, resources, etc; rather, the experiments and research that will cure a ton of human ailments that I can't spell will have the side-benefit of leading to the production of animal muscle without the animal. Someday scientists also hope to have the ability to grow human organs without humans.

Personally, I believe the sooner our society recognizes the importance of treating life with respect (and I'm NOT talking about two fricking cells or people with mushy brains), the sooner we will evolve spiritually.

If you haven't already watched it, I recommend watching A Peaceable Kingdom. I also recommend buying organic eggs from chickens who have access to sunlight and other animal products from family farms or companies who promote the humane treatment of animals.

By the way, cows are really bad for the environment in that their gas is a greenhouse gas and rainforests are destroyed to provide land for their grazing.

I'll look forward to animal-less meat.
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