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Artificial Meat

I heard a radio report about vat-grown meat - long a staple of science-fiction - and now a reality. Soon it will even be commercially feasible to create artificial meat for consumers, which will allegedly be more healthy, fat free, and of cruelty-free.

I've been a vegetarian myself in the past (and still eat mostly vegetables and fish as a matter of course) and when I did so, it was both for health reasons but also out of a sense of compassion for living creatures. But vat grown meat can not be said to be a "living creature", really - so I wonder, will the existence of artificial meat products change anyone's stance on vegetarianism?

I know quite a few of you on my f-list are veggies ... what do you think? If you knew a meat product had never been part of a living creature, and was grown strictly in a lab as a pure clump of muscle-cells that had never even had a nervous system attached to it, would you eat it? Assume for the purposes of this discussion that it is both healthy and delicious. (Who knows if that will really be true...)

Comments

( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
fenriss
Dec. 13th, 2005 06:47 pm (UTC)
While I can think of no reason to ethically object to eating such a substance, after 20 years of vegetarianism, I can say that it would just creep me right out. I imagine it might even creep out some meat eaters, too, although I couldn't say for sure.

I might eventually be persuaded, but first I would have to be sufficient convinced that there was no chance that this kind of radical meat-engineering was going to cause a bunch of weird alterations of my chromosomes or something.
aghrivaine
Dec. 13th, 2005 06:49 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the creepy-factor is daunting.
I feel much the same way about "Hu-fu" the tofu that tastes like human flesh. There's no ethical reason not to eat it... but....

And yet....
elanya
Dec. 13th, 2005 06:53 pm (UTC)
Hu-fu
How do they *know* is tastes like human flesh? :o Did they get ppl to take the 'pepsi challenge'?
aghrivaine
Dec. 13th, 2005 07:21 pm (UTC)
Re: Hu-fu
Maybe they hired cannibal taste-testers?
Can you imagine that session?
fenriss
Dec. 13th, 2005 06:58 pm (UTC)
Huh. I hadn't heard of that. I confess it sounds intriguing, but I'm gonna pass. I would have no way of verifying that it actually did taste of long-pig, so it would sort of defeat the purpose of the experience.
yagathai
Dec. 13th, 2005 07:44 pm (UTC)
What do you mean you have no way of verifying that it actually tastes like people? There's a very easy way to do so.
aghrivaine
Dec. 13th, 2005 09:27 pm (UTC)
Not for a vegetarian.
yagathai
Dec. 13th, 2005 09:56 pm (UTC)
You wouldn't actually have to eat it. You could just taste it, then spit it out.
cersei_caress
Dec. 15th, 2005 07:14 am (UTC)
"While I can think of no reason to ethically object to eating such a substance, after 20 years of vegetarianism, I can say that it would just creep me right out. I imagine it might even creep out some meat eaters, too, although I couldn't say for sure."

I agree. The taste and texture of red meat just doesn't sound tasty to me after nearly fifteen years. But I can't find an objection to eating vatmeat, other than taste. Now a chicken wing grown in a vat? I could probably be persuaded... :P
aghrivaine
Dec. 15th, 2005 07:17 am (UTC)
Hey, I make a mean buffalo tofu-wing. You'll have to try it some time!
kylecassidy
Dec. 13th, 2005 07:16 pm (UTC)
i've had this thought myself a number of times. i think it would change things substantially. i don't know if i'd go back, but i think lots of people on the cusp would. if mcdonalds, for example, started buying vat grown chicken nuggets, it would make a big difference.
nephandi
Dec. 13th, 2005 10:08 pm (UTC)
Hooray for vat meat!
christielove76
Dec. 14th, 2005 03:12 am (UTC)
Unless my taste buds change, I won't be eating it. I stopped eating meat just a few months ago because it didn't smell or taste good to me anymore. So cruelty free or not, I won't mess with it. I'm not a fan of eating things that were made in a lab anyway.
d_mike
Dec. 14th, 2005 03:36 am (UTC)
Doh! It's the suffering of innocent animals that makes meat so tasty. :)
*ducks*
beautesansbete
Dec. 14th, 2005 07:52 pm (UTC)
(In a Homer voice) Mmmmmmmmm, Yummy vat meat! Grrhhhhhhaaaaaa

Boy! Butter your bacon! Now bacon your sausage!!!
But Dad, my heart hurts.
Doooo it!!!
aghrivaine
Dec. 14th, 2005 09:09 pm (UTC)
Can you manage any other sci-fi/nerd related quotes about vatmeat?
beautesansbete
Dec. 14th, 2005 08:02 pm (UTC)
You know they said Soylent Green was vat meat too... but it's not! It's PEOPLE! IT'S PEOPLE!!!!!!!!
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )