How not eating animals will destroy the world

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Eat Me, I'm delicous bacon!

Eat meat for the future!

I can already hear the outcry and and feel the glares from my good friend, Cooking Comrade on this one. In fact, she’ll probably give me a good “whatfor” just for the title of my article. That’s okay. She’ll forgive me, and I hope the vegan community will also.

I’m not condemning veganism for the record. I believe properly done, a vegan diet can be healthy and fulfilling. Difficult as it may be, a fully vegan lifestyle can even be very rewarding. Technologically, we’ve advance far enough to pretty much be able to eliminate any form of animal product from our lives. If the world went vegan, we’d probably be a happier, healthier world, but, we can’t do it. Well, not overnight.

Animal By-Products run our world.

I was reading an article today on in vitro meat. Essentially, this is vat grown meat that can be grown and harvested without hurting an animal because, well, it was never in an animal.

At its most simple explanation, In Vitro Meat is taking some muscle cells (the parts of the animal we eat the most), and growing it in a stem-cell protein solution. Basically, we scrape a pig with a plastic pig scraper, Porky gets a nice scratching, and we can grow bacon endlessly.

At least that’s the idea. In Vitro meat is still pretty early in development, and though the technology is rapidly advancing, I don’t think we’ll see “animal free” meat in my lifetime. The reason is pretty simple. Despite the leaps and bounds in technology, the robot eyes, brain implanted computers and exoskeletons, we are still very much a agriculturally driven world economy.  That economy would collapse if we suddenly cut out a big hunk of it. The truth is, we need people to keep eating real meat for the same reason we need people to keep driving cars that use gas.

The infrastructure depends on it. We can’t simply flip a switch and get rid of these things, it takes time to convert thousands of gas stations into hydrogen charging stations, and it takes time to balance the textiles market out with the lack of new food production. You see, without cows being slaughtered for tasty steaks, then there is a lot less cow hide to be turned into a swanky leather coat. That means the price of leather goes up, and that causes an increase on the demand for cotton. The price of cotton skyrockets, and suddenly none of us can afford underwear.

The only way for new and awesome advances in technology to keep from destroying the entire world is to ween it slowly off of the things it been using. It’s not easy, and the longer we’ve been doing something the longer it will take to ween us. We can do it, though, and we will.

Like a good doctor will tell you, its not healthy to change completely overnight.

2 thoughts on “How not eating animals will destroy the world

  1. Teigan says:

    You know that I will be the first to agree with you that nothing will happen overnight. You also know that I don’t harp at you or anyone for eating meat unless I’m drunk. XD

    I don’t know how I feel about invitro meat, but as I’ve said before: If it’s as healthy as not eating meat at all, or eating only hormone and antibiotic free, lovingly treated free range animals, I don’t think I’ll be against it. Health + not harming anyone/anything are what matters.

    My only issue is that we don’t have many good examples of chemically made healthy foods. I’m afraid that this invitro meat will follow in the footsteps of our other factory made goods and be highly poisonous for our health. BUT, if the amazing happens and it isn’t a toxic substance, the ability to turn all of the factory meat farmland (the ones that contain the animals, and the farmland that feeds the animals the trash called feed grain) back into wilderness or sustainable crop farming… I’m all for it.

  2. Marshall says:

    I think that the results of introducing frankenmeat won’t be as disastrous as you say. For one, markets don’t change quite that fast. Much like vegan substitutes for other foods and renewable alternatives for fossil fuels, demnd will grow over time.

    The thing that may accelerate the growth of lab food is people voting their beliefs with their dollars. You may get animal rights groups, some vegans, and other groups who see the benefits of this type of meat. If you get enough people throwing money at it, people will innovate ways to produce the meat without hurting the economy.

    There’s another nice benefit to this type of meat – we may see less steps in transformation of energy. If we can somehow power the growth of the meat through solar, wind, or even fossil fuels, that would eliminate a conversion step: instead of energy-corn-meat, we could go energy/meat. Instead of shipping in feed, we could hook our meat generators up to public utilities. Less waste, more efficiency.

    Besides from making sure this growing method is safe and humane, we have to promote the reduction of horrible foods (including most readily available meats on the market) as part of our national diet. We spend tens of billions a year to treat self-induced problems related to diets that have way too much meat and dairy in them.

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