If [vegans] want to see an end to animal exploitation, it is our moral duty to call lab-grown meat vegan, even if it unnerves us.Jude Whiley [wired.com], from Yes, Lab-Grown Meat Is Vegan [wired.com] on Wired
It’s a good article, go and read it. I agree. The author writes better than me and his almost all the points I can thing of in a relativly short article. Seriously, go read it. I’ll wait.
I’m not a vegan, I tried that briefly —too hard to be practical for me— but I am a vegetarian, have been for close to 25 years now. More than half my life. I came to vegetarianism and the concept of animal liberation through utilitarian ethics. Reading Animal Liberation [confusion.cc] was one part of my journey, though I think Practical Ethics [confusion.cc] was more important in my journey. Maybe that speaks to why I couldn’t commit to to being vegan.
Vegan vs. vegetarian discussions aside, I’m in complete alignment with the key points to the article:
First, vegans, and vegetarians, should be 100% behind lab grown, or cultured, meat. The idea that lab grown meat is bad because cells had to be harvested from an animal is kinda self defeating, if you want to save animals from slaughter. If the goal is to eliminate the slaughter, or even the wider exploitation of animals then a few cows having a biopsy should be an acceptable evil to prevent millions of cows from being born into exploitation and slaughter.
To hope that humans will have an epiphany and realize the equality of animals is farfetched. Too many vegans are ‘religious’ about things and think that it has to be black and white. Even if a vegan chooses not to eat lab grown meat they should support others eating it to limit the cruelty and explotation.
Second, lab grown meat should be a thing unto itself, sold as lab grown not used as some sort of cheaper filler combined with uncultured meat, to make it cheaper or increase the profitability of meat. Today lab grown meat is much more expensive than farmed meat, but that will change and, if allowed, companies will ‘cut’ farmed meat with lab grown meat like drug dealers cut cocaine or heroin. And they will try to hide that fact with marketing speak and labeling shenanigans so people not looking for lab grown meat will buy it.
We should normalize lab grown meat as meat, all the tasty tasty without the murder.
At this point I should note that despite living in Singapore, which was the first country to legalize cultured meat, I have not actually tried it. It’s currently only available at a single restaurant that requires reservations and blah blah blah… I can’t be bothered. Hopefully it will be available more places and in the grocery store soon.
The author does miss two important points. First, how will people who are vegan or vegetarian for actual religious reasons see lab grown meat? It’s much more interesting than how the vegan society and its’ members will see it. Second, he notes:
[A]nimal abolitionists, who sit at the radical end of veganism, argue against lab-grown meat on the basis that it is speciesist. Speciesism states that humans place themselves above other animals as more important, and that this bias leads to all forms of animal exploitation, from burger consumption to greyhound racing. Vegans who worry about speciesism contest that the eating of meat grown from animal cells—even if no animals are slaughtered—still upholds a belief that animals are “something to eat” in a way that humans are not.
But I beg to differ, lab grown meat can eliminate specimen. We can eat humans. There are already companies selling this idea. The Soylent Vats are Coming [confusion.cc]…