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Eat Y'self Fitter
Apr 15th, 2009, 01:45 AM
anyone get a load of this http://www.peta.org/feat_in_vitro_contest.asp

I'm appalled. Theres more too this I'll provide more links if you haven't heard.

DiaShel
Apr 15th, 2009, 02:20 AM
Why are you appalled? If they could make meat without using animals this would be fantastic! They'll need to kill some for the research but compared to the billions that could potentially be saved it's worth it. I don't know if this will work and if it does if people will trust the "lab meat" but it's worth a shot.

Risker
Apr 15th, 2009, 02:21 AM
Here's an old thread on it - http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9532

Eat Y'self Fitter
Apr 15th, 2009, 02:22 AM
oh thanks for the old thread. I'm just appalled cos it further reinforces the idea that meat is necessary. I just think the money could be better spent

DiaShel
Apr 15th, 2009, 02:54 AM
oh thanks for the old thread. I'm just appalled cos it further reinforces the idea that meat is necessary. I just think the money could be better spent

Well since we can forget the idea that the world will stop eating meat I think it's the next best thing.

terem
Apr 15th, 2009, 05:02 AM
That is quite nasty, and very unnatural.

We are becoming too intelligent for our own good.

Sarabi
Apr 15th, 2009, 06:52 AM
Well since we can forget the idea that the world will stop eating meat I think it's the next best thing.
I do not agree. That is basically PETA's excuse for everything. "Well, since we aren't going to change the world, let's do what sounds hott." Now that's what I call a self-defeating attitude.

DiaShel
Apr 15th, 2009, 11:55 PM
I agree that it's nasty and unnatural, but so it meat in general. If this eliminates animal being killed for meat, I don't understand how this is a bad thing.

terem
Apr 16th, 2009, 12:44 AM
It's good that it eliminates mass killings of animals, but it perpetuates the exploitation of them.
Stem cells from what I understand come from baby animals. The animal would still be needed to produce the meat.
I don't think PETA should be supporting the continued destruction of life.

Mahk
Apr 16th, 2009, 01:32 AM
Although initially animal flesh is needed to get the ball rolling, I think the concept is that eventually it will be entirely self replicating and no further animals are needed or harmed. The long term result is gazillions of animals are kept from death. [Not to say I'm an expert on the matter.]

Eat Y'self Fitter
Apr 16th, 2009, 01:55 AM
I've been thinking about this a lot since I posted this. Its a toss up for me. Although its not 100% ideal, it would save a lot of animals and natural resources providing that research and the actually process doesn't gobble them up. Health-wise, it still sets the wrong example. Its real meat, without the animals, but then again its easy to make things out of plants that taste and look exactly like meat, sans all the fat and cholesterol.

The whole idea is just weird to me still.

Mommal
Apr 16th, 2009, 02:27 AM
The decision to go forward with this was very controversial within PETA. There was basically a mutiny over it. Lots of high drama LOL.

Has anyone seen the Colbert Report segment on this? I'd post a link to it...but it might violate the TOS around here, I'm not sure so I'll play it safe. Anyway if anyone wants to watch it you can Google it. It's not a positive piece (it's disgusting and anger-inspiring, contains footage of the bodies of murdered animals, and makes fun of the whole animal rights movement :( ) but it does explain how the cultured meat is made and Newkirk is on there explaining PETA's stance-- that the aim of the organization is to reduce the suffering of animals and tissue-culture meat would achieve this goal. Which, in spite of not loving this whole concept, I would probably have to agree with.

Korn
Apr 16th, 2009, 11:24 AM
Well since we can forget the idea that the world will stop eating meat I think it's the next best thing.

Unlike what we see in some Asian countries, the Western world doesn't have a strong tradition of gourmet meat free food. I've been eating meat-free food with non-veggies many times who have said that when veg*n food is this good, they could easily skip meat.

IMO the solution isn't to try to emulate something which Peta's leader describes as gross, but to let people know that you can get all the proteins you need without meat - without any sacrifice in terms of taste or capability of making people feel full/satisifed.

Watch that Stephen Colbert Segment on the PETA Fake Meat Challenge (http://www.eatmedaily.com/2009/03/stephen-colbert-segment-on-peta-fake-meat-challenge/) and try to imagine the environmental effect it would have on the earth if fake meat production should replace factory farming. Don't forget that a typical European meat eater "will devour 760 chickens, 20 pigs, 29 sheep, five cows and half a trawler-net of fish in a lifetime (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1512)".

With 731 million Europeans, that's 578 billion chickens, 15 billion pigs, 21 billion sheep, almost 4 billion cows, and 380 million trawler-nets of fish. Europeans only represent only circa 10-12 percent of the world population.


Why all this and environmental damage when one can eat delicious, tasty vegan food which doesn't need all this extra processing? The plants that are most capable of adding extra taste to food are only needed in very small amounts, are inexpensive, and can be produced using environmental friendly methods.

This Peta stunt on fake meats strengthens the myth that I'd hope Peta rather would spend energy on trying to kill, namely that meat or meat substitutes are needed in order to make healthy, satisfying and tasty food.

It seems that Peta still is governed by one person, Ingrid Newkirk - who thinks meat is gross, but who also apparently have said "I loved meat, liver above all,'' she told me. If liver were somehow morally permissible, I asked her, would she eat it again? "My God, I would eat it tomorrow. Now. (http://www.michaelspecter.com/ny/2003/2003_04_14_peta.html)".

Why eat something you find gross, and why use a million dollars out of Peta's budget to produce a fake version of something gross?

I have no problems with seeing that people who are used to eat meat will miss meat, or want to eat fake meat, but I won't support a pro vegan organization who somehow gives the impression that improving the fake-ability of mock meats is so important that they'll spend 1 million dollars on it - with all the press such a stunt generates.

For the same amount they probably could have given away free cookbooks with gourmet vegan recipes to every nutritionist, school teacher and chef in US, with a detailed list over all the nutrients found in each meal.


"My God, I'd eat something gross tomorrow. Now." Interesting combination of ways to look at meat.

Korn
Apr 16th, 2009, 11:40 AM
Another thing is of course with all the links between meat and cancer, heart disease etc. - how would they know if the in vitro meat wouldn't have the same side effects?

Mahk
Apr 16th, 2009, 05:19 PM
IMO the solution isn't to try to emulate something which Peta's leader describes as gross...
The concept of meat is gross because of where it comes from and what was needed to procure it: animal death. But if you remove that from the picture, which in vitro meat does, to some people it is no longer "gross".

IMO the solution isn't to try to emulate something which Peta's leader describes as gross,She thinks the concept of meat is gross because of where it comes from, not the actual taste to the tongue (it would seem).

Why all this and environmental damage when one can eat delicious, tasty vegan food which doesn't need all this extra processing?
That's part of the beauty of in vitro meat I think you might be missing. The environmental damage plummets to a little tiny fraction of what it normally is:

-the 9 to 20 gallons [34 to 76 L] of fresh water an average cow drinks (http://www.extension.org/faq/28990) per day? Gone!

- the much larger quantity of water needed for "feedlots, dairy operations, and other on-farm needs, such as cooling of facilities for the animals and products, dairy sanitation and wash down of facilities, animal waste-disposal systems (http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/wulv.html), and incidental water losses"? Gone!

- the 125 lbs [56 kilograms] of waste (manure/urine) produced per cow per day? Gone!

- the 18% of total world produced CO2 green house gasses produced from livestock belches, farts, and fumes rising from their manure plus their transportation costs? [WHO data (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Livestock's_Long_Shadow)] Gone!

All you need is the transportation costs of the growth medium to the laboratory, the growth medium itself, and I'd think only a tiny bit more water than the actual water content the in vitro meat has in it inherently (its water content). There's no cleaning of stalls, waste removal, heavy/ expensive transportation of cattle to slaughter houses, greenhouse gasses....
---

Why is it wrong to eat meat? Five reasons:

A) You have to kill sentient beings against their will.
B) Livestock production produces a huge amount of green house gasses.
C) Livestock production consumes a huge amount of fresh water.
D) Livestock production is an inefficient use of plant protein because we have to feed cattle roughly 20 times the amount of plant protein (often soybeans) to produce one unit of human edible protein.
E) Meat is not very healthy because it contains cholesterol, etc.

In vitro, AKA "tissue culture meat" eliminates the first 4 of those 5 reasons and through genetic engineering reason number five could be changed in the future; we could have "low cholesterol/healthy for you tissue culture meat". [Granted I don't know what the growth medium is for tissue culture meat so I don't know exactly what the protein conversion equation is (reason "D" above), but I suspect the growth medium would be largely starches/sugars.]

terem
Apr 17th, 2009, 05:16 AM
I picked up a copy of the Mar/Apr edition of VegNews tonight and guess what was in it!

From the article The Road to Vegetopia: (Re)Imagining the Future of Food by Mat Thomas

"Lab-grown meat- Take a few cells from a living animal, nurture them in a vat of chemicals, and voila: edible meat without the suffering and death! That's the basic idea behind lab-grown meat, which researchers hope will arrive at a supermarket near you by 2020. If commercially successful, lab-grown meat could spell the end of factory farming, and the environmental damage and animal suffering it causes. The most recent developmental breakthrough, says biologist Jason Matheny, is "Dr. Klaas Hellingwerf's success in using recombinant bacteria to produce growth factors, which is much less expensive than other mediums being used, and will help make it possible to manufacture meat on a mass scale using industrial bioreactors."

Prawnil
Apr 17th, 2009, 11:59 PM
What I can't quite understand is, why meat? If you're going to engage in some incredibly expensive research to revolutionise human diet, why not a kind of perfect Matrix nutri-slop, engineered from cheap-as-hell plants to actually taste fantastic. It's not as if that would be any less likely to be a commercial success.
What self-respecting omniverous consumer would pay necessarily obscene money for such a lab-sourced novelty, when they could whack the neck out of a cow and have it the cheap old fashioned way?


All you need is the transportation costs of the growth medium to the laboratory, the growth medium itself, and I'd think only a tiny bit more water than the actual water content the in vitro meat has in it inherently (its water content). There's no cleaning of stalls, waste removal, heavy/ expensive transportation of cattle to slaughter houses, greenhouse gasses....The range and quantities of materials for growth factor production then maintainance of the tissue, by very specialist staff in huge, new, sterile facilities on an industrial scale would be immense. The reagents and equipment involved in the bacterial engineering for the factors alone almost certainly include loads of synthetic and sometimes toxic substances with their own issues of production and costs, and no doubt masses and masses of waste byproducts. That's if the factors weren't of animal origin ( I'm not sure how it would be cheaper to source them from bacteria via genetic engineering, when the blood of the species to which the tissue belongs is abundantly available.) - even the existing recombinant ones are seriously expensive.

It is no more than slow-motion/high-efficiency standard omnivorism, & does nothing for the attitude of animals as production units. The tissues would definitely need to be restarted from the source animals at a high rate if the process was large scale.
I reckon it'll happen, since it's been set as a challenge, but that it will be an extremely expensive, super short lived novelty. It would be such a complex and expensive process even on a tiny scale, and combined with the vital likelihood that no bugger'd buy it, I don't think it could possibly work commercially.

Mahk
Apr 18th, 2009, 01:03 AM
Most thing are outrageously expensive when new. One of the first cellular (mobile) telephones, the DynaTAC 8000X, weighed two pounds (907 g) and sold for $3995 US Dollars (USD). Now cell phones are free with a paid subscription to service.


What I can't quite understand is, why meat?
We know for a fact that 95% of the world market eats it and likes it, even with its current questionable ethics in production and health consequences in tow already. "Perfect Matrix Nutri-slop" may or may not be as instantly accepted, where as we know right now people will eat the substance called "meat".

Prawnil
Apr 18th, 2009, 02:19 AM
we know right now people will eat the substance called "meat".
But not that most people would eat laboratory produced flesh. People seem suspicious enough of the concept of even cloned animals as food sources.

The hurdle is that 95% of the world market likes it and eats it! Unlike the mobile telephone, meat already exists abundantly in a form that the majority accept, and in vitro tissues sold for eating serve no additional purpose.
Would it not be something vaguely like re-releasing a mobile at the original release price of that DynaTAC 8000X, with perhaps an adjustment in the impact of the production of a material it was made of that has no impact on the user.

People whose diet choices are based on not harming know well that they can live brilliantly on plants. People whose diet choices aren't, if they're educated well enough, don't mind the harm, do they? Who's the niche filled by hellishly expensive experimental lab beef? -Doomed to fail!

Mahk
Apr 18th, 2009, 05:01 AM
But not that most people would eat laboratory produced flesh. People seem suspicious enough of the concept of even cloned animals as food sources.
I'm not so sure there would be as much objection as you. Think of, for example, irradiated food spices found in prepared foods like soups, genetically modified food, food produced by slave labor in other countries, food that's bad for the environment, food that's coated with pesticides, food that's coated with waxes or shellac, food that's bad for ones health, and cloned organisms food. The most important thing for 95% of society is that it is tasty. I would assume lab meat would taste identical to dead animal carcass meat so that number one hurdle of "tasting good" has already been cleared. [BTW, If you've ever eaten a Thompson seedless grape (the number one best seller of grapes) or a seedless navel orange (or orange juice made from them) you too have eaten a cloned organism.]


Would it not be something vaguely like re-releasing a mobile at the original release price of that DynaTAC 8000X, with perhaps an adjustment in the impact of the production of a material it was made of that has no impact on the user.
No direct impact, yes, arguably so. But think how hip "green products" are right now. People will pay thousands extra to get the "hybrid version" of a new car despite the fact that the increase in the price of the car exceeds the savings in gasoline (petrol? :confused:) unless one drives the car beyond the expected lifetime of the first owner! They however feel good that they are "saving the planet" and it rids them of "green guilt". This is really, really big over here right now; I have no idea what it's like on your side of the pond, however. Almost every other TV ad I see is based on "green guilt" ,"green marketing", and "Look everybody how we [Shell Oil, for example] are helping to save the planet!";)

Imagine this year 2016 Burger King ad:

"Announcing the new enviro-friendly Earth Whopper brought to you by Burger King. 100% all beef patty with 20% less fat and cholesterol than a regular Whopper, exactly the same great taste, with 90% less green house gas emissions so you'll help stop global warming, no rain forest loss, one tenth the amount of fresh water waste, and no cows were killed to make it!"

[That last part gets a huge segment of people who've always thought in the back of their minds that veg*nism made sense on paper but they just couldn't quite do it because they just couldn't give up meat.]
---

There's also the possibility that our governments will realize that with the production of meat expected to double by the year 2050, and considering livestock manufacture 18% of all green house gasses currently (so that would be 36% by 2050!), that they will force the world to convert to lab meat or veganism to save the planet. Did you know there are already rumors that our governments have secret teams in place working on plans of how to convert the entire population to veganism, at a moments notice, if need be?

We (vegans) aren't the target audience for lab meat marketers.

Korn
Apr 18th, 2009, 07:39 AM
force the world to convert to lab meat or veganism

...this makes me (again) think that with all the focus on the environmental damage factory farming causes, starting to focus on making people eat in vitro meat with "exactly the same great taste" more than anything else represents NOT using an opportunity to massively focus on all the benefits vegan food has over a diet that includes meat and dairy.

There's no report - AFAIK - that shows the amount of staff, electricity (<- read: water consumption) etc. that's involved in producing in vitro meat for billions of humans (which of course should include the environmental effect of producing and maintaining all the new equipment that's needed to produce in vitro meat). Check that video link above again...

There's no report proving the health benefits of eating in vitro meat compared with real meat - because there of course are no studies yet comparing the side effect of eating meat with the side effects of eating in vitro meat.

In the midst of this, it doesn't even seem that Peta is using the chance to tell potential in vitro meat eaters that fake meat products already exist; and that some of these products already haven fooled many meat eaters to believe that they are eating eg. a "real sausage".

Instead of stressing all the benefits of eating a diet based on (unprocessed) plants, the in vitro stunt instead represents a new environmental unfriendly food product, and if this new product - in vitro meat - only is copying the "qualities" of meat, it will have no or practically no fiber, anti-oxidants, low or nor levels of vitamins C (after cooking), no photochemicals/flavinoids and so on. Millions will be spent on producing a product that vegan and non-vegan health professionals througout the world are trying to convince people to eat less of.



But think how hip "green products" are right now.
Sure - and the "green" alternative to meat already exists. It's healthier, it's at least as tasty (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3060), and it's way more environmental friendly. It's called vegan food.

Compare Peta's new stunt with what The Telegraph reported a couple of years ago:
Go vegan to help climate, says Government (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/3295795/Go-vegan-to-help-climate-says-Government.html)

One of the main differences between these two approaches are of course that one of them lets people initiate a change to a more environment and animal friendly lifestyle today.

Another thing is that as long as people are so hooked on cheese, creamy and dairy products in general as most people are, fake meat won't mean closing down factory farms anyway.

leedsveg
Apr 18th, 2009, 11:20 AM
But not that most people would eat laboratory produced flesh.

Surely we can only know for certain if this is true or not when the meat is actually on sale? My feeling is that there may well be an initial reaction against this flesh, but comparing it to traditionally produced meat, if it's shown to be:



As tasty
'Just as healthy' [unhealthy]
Cheaper
Better for the environment
Reducing the number of animals killed
Reducing animal suffering

then people will buy it and eat it. I'm not saying this flesh would be perfect in every way, but then again I can't say that about currently produced 'fake meats' either.

:no_expression:

Mahk
Apr 18th, 2009, 04:43 PM
.There's no report - AFAIK - that shows the amount of staff, electricity (<- read: water consumption) etc. that's involved in producing in vitro meat.

Agreed, but I would be absolutely shocked to hear that it has anywhere near the environmental impact of livestock production since the 125 pounds (56 kilograms) of daily waste per cattle is eliminated [currently producing 18% of all greenhouse gases, 36% by 2050]. Only time will tell.

[currently there are 1.3 billion cattle X 56 kilograms of waste per day X 365 days in a year = 26,572,000,000,000 or 26 trillion kilograms of waste eliminated per year if everyone converted]


the in vitro stunt instead represents a new environmental unfriendly food product

Evidence, please. I thought you just said this was an unknown.


In the midst of this, it doesn't even seem that Peta is using the chance to tell potential in vitro meat eaters that fake meat products already exist;

Actually they do this heavily 24/7, every day, and have ever since their incarnation. One of their most commonly used tools to promote veg*nism they will send you or you can download (http://www.petaliterature.com/VEG297.pdf); their free "Vegetarian starter kit", which is "vegetarian" in name only, is in truth actually more of a "vegan starter kit" seeing as none of the recipes include dairy or eggs and instead uses substitutes. They have a thorough list of substitutions which replace all meat, egg, and dairy on page 15:

Then & Now:
Meat Try Boca’s veggie burgers,
faux chicken patties, and
“beef” crumbles;
Morningstar Farms’ faux
chicken and steak strips;
Gardenburger’s breakfast
“sausage” and “riblets”;
Lightlife’s “smart dogs”
and “bacon”; and Yves’ and
Turtle Island Foods’ faux ham
and turkey deli slices—the
possibilities are endless!
Milk Try the dozens of options, like Silk,
WholeSoy, Rice Dream, and Almond Breeze brands;
use them in any way that you’d use cow’s milk. Silk also makes coffee “creamer”!
Butter Most margarines are vegan;
also try vegetable and olive oils.
Ice Cream Try Soy Delicious, Tofutti,
Rice Dream, Soy Dream, or fruit sorbets.
Cheese Use soy cheese for pizza, sandwiches, toppings, and sauces.
Try Tofutti, Follow Your Heart, or VeganRella brands.
Cream Cheese Try Tofutti’s Better Than Cream Cheese.
Sour Cream How about Tofutti’s Sour Supreme?
Eggs For baking, use Ener-G Egg Replacer, bananas, or applesauce.
For breakfast, scramble up some tofu with veggies, turmeric,
nutritional yeast, and soy sauce.
Snacks Check the ingredient lists of snacks like chips and cookies—
you’ll be surprised at how many are already vegan.
Mayonnaise Try Vegenaise—your taste buds won’t know the difference.

[Note all these brands listed are commonly available in US markets]


Another thing is that as long as people are so hooked on cheese, creamy and dairy products in general as most people are, fake meat won't mean closing down factory farms anyway.

Banning fois gras won't help to shut down factory farming for exactly the same reason. So does that mean any efforts to ban fois gras should be abandoned?

Mommal
Apr 18th, 2009, 06:25 PM
I'd tend to agree with Mahk's line of thinking, although others have raised interesting questions that we probably don't have answers to yet. I mean, we can speculate about the environmental difference but without all the details it's anyone's guess-- although it's hard to imagine a scenario in which the lab-meat would be worse. And as for how many people would actually buy and eat the stuff...who knows. I would think it mostly depends on the price, although since some people will shell out for "free-range" then I would assume those same people might have an interest. Also there's the novelty factor and also perhaps the snob factor if it's mad expensive when it first appears on the market.

I also don't think that it's an "either/or" kind of proposition; some seem to think it would be impossible to let people know they can get along just fine (and actually better) without meat if this kind of lab-grown meat is available. Why? It would take away some of the arguments, sure, but others would remain. IMO this line of thinking is akin to objecting to laws requiring more humane slaughterhouse conditions on the basis that it might weaken the arguments against eating meat. It's a case of losing the bigger picture and poor prioritizing. You can't change the whole world all at once so sometimes you have to settle for baby steps or some small type of improvement. Or at least that's what I think.

leedsveg
Apr 18th, 2009, 06:47 PM
In the midst of this, it doesn't even seem that Peta is using the chance to tell potential in vitro meat eaters that fake meat products already exist; and that some of these products already haven fooled many meat eaters to believe that they are eating eg. a "real sausage".

Korn

I went veggie nearly 20 years ago and I've been totally trying to avoid all animal products for the last 13 years (some people would call this 'being a vegan'). I've nothing against the taste/smell/texture of 'real meat' but somewhere along the line, animal use/animal cruelty is involved and so I realised that I should avoid it ('real meat', that is). What I'm trying to say is that on New Years Eve 1995 when I 'went vegan', I did not overnight gain an instant aversion to the taste/smell/texture of 'real meat'. Other people did gain an instant aversion at the time of their 'conversion' (I've gathered this from reading their postings on other threads) and good luck to them.

Having said all this, I have to be honest and say that I'd be amazed if I preferred fake meat products to 'real meat' products in a taste/smell/texture test. (I know that this test is hypothetical but you get my drift.)

Some years ago, when I was eating fake turkey slices, I offered a slice to Mum saying "They taste just like real turkey." She took a bite and said "You've obviously forgotten what real turkey tastes like!"

:thumbsup: