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May 31, 2011

Eat Laboratory Grown Meat, If You Want To Save The World. ~ Allison Barocas

Photo: Jelle

Perhaps you’ve heard: Bioengineers worldwide have been working to grow edible meat in laboratories.

Vladimir Mironov, a bioengineer at the Medical University of South Carolina, is among those scientists culturing meat from animal tissue.

At first thought, many may be repulsed by the idea. Not only does it seem unnatural and potentially dangerous, but also there may be serious consequences for manipulating nature in this way.

However, these initial objections are short lived when we think again about unhealthy over processed meat, factory farms and the cruel mistreatment of animals. The way the current food production system operates is certainly not natural.

Not to mention, the enormous amount of stress that the food industry puts on our environment, using unfathomable amounts of energy, creating greenhouses gases and polluting waterways. The industry is only steadily growing to meet higher demand.

If the technology worked, if we could gain the same nutritional value from cultured meat as real meat and it caused no serious health effects, then I’m all for it.

But I can’t stop there. I have to question:

Is it, perhaps, that we can no longer rely of the national food industry and the good judgment of individuals to act responsibly, reducing harm to animals and the environment? Must we rely on technology to do it?

And is it that individual action, being vegetarian or reducing the amount of meat we eat and choosing to eat local and organic is not enough to save us from our global food crisis?

PETA offers incentives for test-tube meat. Peter Singer, well-known philosopher of bioethics and author of Animal Liberation is in favor.  Are you?

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Allison Barocas is an undergraduate Senior at the University of Colorado at Boulder, majoring in environmental studies and currently interning with elephant journal. Allison was born and raised on Long Island, New York and completed high school in Knoxville, Tennessee. She loves to spend her free time outdoors, going to concerts, running around Denver and traveling.

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