What do you do when your normally open mind, shuts down and goes on a break? I was listening to the radio when a story came on about in-vitro meat, also known as shmeat, cultured meat, hydroponic meat, cruelty-free meat, vat-grown meat, victimless meat and test-tube meat. The basic idea is that scientists or tissue engineers can grow edible meat in a lab from tissue samples.
It doesn’t take much imagination to see the implications. Suddenly all the concerns we have about how animals are treated could be addressed. You could engineer meat without all of the normal chemicals and antibiotics. It would benefit the planet in numerous ways.
So why am I grossed out? Why does that sound like the least appetizing option I’ve ever been presented with? My attitude is pretty ridiculous…right? I’d rather kill an animal than eat cultured meat? Was I a barbarian? In order to address the sad realization that I had some questionable biases, I resigned myself to giving the idea more thought. It was right around then that I came across a blog that suggested that not only was cultured meat a good idea, but if we developed it from human tissue it would be completely victimless. We could hardly claim animals gave consent to using their tissue but we could get informed consent from humans. Essentially, it was a completely self-sufficient answer. It was the way of the future. It was a mature, efficient, planet friendly solution to our desire to eat meat.
So why does someone jokingly speculating that it would be the beginning of the zombie epidemic make strange, “call me a conspiracy theorist”, sense to me? What if that grown tissue didn’t stop growing? What if we ate it and that flesh remained “alive” in us? What if it started to take over? I’m a pretty open minded person, honest, but this one just gives me the hives. My husband has teased me about my Luddite attitude, but all I keep thinking is, “What!? Human meat! Eeeeeeeew, uh uh, no way, I am NOT eating Soylent Green!!!”
I can hear the waiter saying…”Would madame care for a little Caesar with her salad or will a grilled Frank be preferable? How about a little Bertrand wrapped you?”
I think it’s time for me to consider vegetarianism. It’s healthier, it’s delicious and I can go back to thinking I’m an open minded person because clearly, I’m not cultured enough for cultured meat.
So what about you? Would you like to try some shmeat?
- Is The ‘Lab Burger’ Kosher Or Halal? ‘Cultured Meat’ Sparks Questions On Religious Dietary Rules (huffingtonpost.com)
- In vitro meat and cannibalism (republicoflagrangia.org)