Summary of why lab-grown meat is the next Macintosh of the meat industry
- Growing cows is very costly
- The agriculture industry is seriously hurting the environment and causing mass extinction
- Cows are taking up 30% of our land resource
- Slaughter is cruel and everyone knows that…
- Lab-grown meat will be cheaper and cleaner
Why lab-grown meat?
JUST burgers have hit supermarkets and will be followed with “clean chicken” and other meats that didn’t involve slaughter. Lab-grown meat is no longer a thing of the future. And, really, it makes sense that humans are evolving this way. If the United States continues to eat 2.4 burgers a day as it now does (888 burgers worth of meat a year or 222.2 pounds!), then gluttony will certainly be our demise.
For those of you living under a rock, the agricultural industry has been the single most detrimental aggressor towards our environment. As kids, we thought farts and burps were funny. Now the joke is on us because this very gas from cows, methane, is a toxic pollutant that is 23 times stronger than carbon dioxide and is filling our blue skies. There are currently about 1.5 BILLION cows on this earth, most ready to be on someone’s dinner plate or in your glass of milk (I’m sorry, but ew. Why are you drinking another species milk? When did that become ok?).
Around 39 million cows are killed a year, an exorbitant amount each second – for a live slaughter counter click here.
Besides the fact that cow farts take a toll on the environment and we are unnecessarily slaughtering millions of cows a year, there are other reasons why I believe deathless burgers will do nothing but rise in popularity.
The first is the fact that 1.5 billion cows take up a shitload of land, 30% of earth’s land to be exact. What’s worse, is that 70% of Amazon forests have been flattened to farmland, causing extinction on a mass scale.
This amount of land and cattle can only mean one thing- HUGE COSTS. To grow just 300 cows for slaughter costs a little under $270,000. While this is standard now, when scientists can grow the same meat but healthier (I’ll explain why in a minute) for a fraction of the cost, do you really think that traditional cows (whose colossal burps are literally destroying our planet) will win out? Money always wins people! Humans can ignore the fact that we’re hurting ourselves, the planet, and the cows, but when finances take a hit, things change. Don’t you just love human intelligence? Keep eating those burgers, people!
So why is lab-grown meat healthier? Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. I guess we don’t really know the longterm side effects of eating meat grown in a Petri dish. The only way to tell is through time and experimentation. Hey, we used to prescribe heroin as a cough suppressant and cocaine as a cure for toothaches, we can clearly survive this. While there are a few unknowns, we DO know that this meat will be hormone-free. Since cows are so goddamn expensive to grow from start to finish, we humans invented a way to make them grow super big and super fat at hyperspeed! It’s called growth hormones! And all those lovely steaks and glasses of milk are swimming with these hormones- you’re welcome for the visual. The FDA says it’s ok though- so you should trust them (sarcasm).
Here’s what Health.com has to say about it:
The actual fear is that manipulating growth hormones in cows or salmon may increase another hormone, insulin-like growth factor (IGF), which could mimic the effects of human growth hormone in harmful ways. In fact, research has found that milk from rBGH-treated cows contains up to 10 times more IGF than other milk.
Higher blood levels of IGF (regardless of what causes them) have been associated with an increased risk of breast, prostate, and other cancers in humans. In a 2004 study, patients with above-average IGF levels had nearly a 50% higher risk of prostate cancer and a 65% higher risk of hormone-dependent premenopausal breast cancer than people with below-average levels.
How is it made?
Scientists take a muscle sample from the cow, then pair it with stem cells in a dish and allow that to multiply and grow into 20,000 complex muscle fibers over time. The meat has an edible scaffold that shapes the way it’s grown, making it a steak shape or patty shape, and in the future, different chicken shapes.
In 2013, the first patty cost about $330,000- I would say that’s reasonable, wouldn’t you? Now they cost just $11 a patty and are still decreasing in price. Soon they will be 30% cheaper than their counterparts.
Even better, scientists predict they’ll soon be able to create the patties without taking new cow samples!
So will vegans eat it?
I’ve been asked this question a few times and have consulted other vegans and pescetarians on their thoughts. Everyone so far has answered with a resounding ‘no’. Of course, I can’t speak for all vegans, only myself. And I have to say I’m not interested. Lab-grown or killed, it’s been so long since I’ve eaten meat that I’ve lost interest now (hard to believe, I know). Besides, regardless of it being healthier, meat is still incredibly taxing on the body to digest and, from research that I’ve read, excessive protein intake which coincides with increased meat-eating is harmful to the body and possibly linked with cancer- read the book The China Study for reference.
When all is said and done, I’m glad that we are becoming a more advanced society and moving away from mass murder to a more ethical way of eating. I guess it’s too hard for everyone to be vegheads, and honestly, I understand. So, I’m glad there’s an alternative that works for all parties involved, except maybe the farmers… sorry.