Going Down the Rabbit Hole - Cultured Meat

Updated: Jun 25

Some will reason that it is better than eating the "real meat", thereby saving the calf or pig from the slaughterhouse. But does it really?


Heads-up - I am a vegetarian and haven't eaten beef or pork in 42 years, and No, I don't miss it. Although I must admit that bacon was really hard to give up. To this day I love the smell of frying bacon! Chicken took a little longer for me, that has been 30 years. I have never been a fan of fish due to the smell, and well, they just never looked very appealing!


Why do I say vegetarian and not Vegan? Veganism is more restrictive. I will on occasion have some warm Feta Cheese on rice cakes with spinach. My friend's Mom makes these paninis that consist of mozzarella cheese, spinach and tomatoes with a drizzle of olive oil. I don't eat them very often, but hers are hard to turn down when offered!! From my perspective, the animal does not have to die to produce feta or mozzarella cheese.

My husband is on the far end of the scale from me. His mindset is that he has to have meat daily or his hands will start to shake! I honor is right to choose. Period. We individually pay the price or reap the benefits of our food choices. Therefore, I consider it a personal choice. Don't give me a hard time for being plant based and I won't give you a hard time for being animal based.


I had already given up beef and I was struggling with giving up bacon when I visited my cousin's ranch in Northern California. Coincidentally, they just happened to be slaughtering a hog the day I was there. "Well -(I thought)- maybe if I watch the process it will totally turn me off of eating all meat, including the tasteful bacon".


Did it work? Yes! It was the final nail in the coffin! Pigs are intelligent animals. In fact they are considered smarter than dogs. This pig happily and obediently followed it's owner to the slaughter pin not knowing what was about to happen. One shot to the head and the butchering process quickly followed. I had seen enough. I haven't even been tempted to eat pork or any other meat since then.

 

Pigs are considered intelligent in the animal kingdom. "They are considered the fifth-most intelligent animal in the world—even more intelligent than dogs—and are capable of playing video games with more focus and success than chimps!"

"Pigs are sentient beings, who experience joy, loneliness, frustration, fear, and pain just like the animals with whom many of us share our lives."

 

Ok, back to the topic of lab cultured "Meat"....


Cultured meat (cell-based meat) is produced from animal tissue cells that are grown in

fetal bovine serum (FBS) made from the blood of cow fetuses. So, cultured beef relies on

the slaughter of both cows and unborn calves, which are drained of their blood while still alive. https://slate.com/technology/2017/07/the-gruesome-truth-about-lab-grown-meat.html


According to Wikipedia....

"Australian bioethicist Julian Savulesci said, "Artificial meat stops cruelty to animals, is better for the environment, could be safer and more efficient, and even healthier. We have a moral obligation to support this kind of research. It gets the ethical two thumbs up."....... Animal welfare groups are generally in favor of cultured meat, because the culture process does not include a nervous system and therefore does not involve pain or infringement of rights..... Reactions of vegetarians to cultured meat vary. Some feel the cultured meat presented to the public in August 2013 was not vegetarian because fetal bovine serum was used in the growth medium. However, since then, cultured meat has been grown with a medium that does not involve bovine serum.

Wikipedia Cultured Meat


When is cultured meat truly slaughter-free? In 2019, Mosa Meat shared a significant milestone....successfully removing FBS and other animal components from its entire process...Muscle cells differentiating into fibers are responsible for the structure and chew of meat, and within muscle fibers the proteins and rich color of meat are produced.


“We were particularly interested in proteins on the surface of cells that increase during differentiation. By specifically activating these proteins (known as ‘receptors’), we are now able to recreate the same transition in the absence of any fetal bovine serum,” explains Tobias Messmer, first author and PhD candidate at Mosa Meat.


Mother Jones Lab meat—flesh grown in massive tanks instead of in the bodies of sentient animals—offers the promise of having our steak and eating it guilt-free, too. No vast amounts of water-polluting chemicals to grow feed crops; no low-paid, oft-injured slaughterhouse workers; no climate-warming gases from cow burps or manure lagoons, and no billions of animals slaughtered each year to satisfy our carnivory.


The above, my friends, is only a drop in the bucket on this issue. It is easy to "go down the rabbit hole" on this one. How you consume your protein is still a matter of personal choice. I would like to strongly suggest you do your own research and make an educated choice. I think I will continue eating plant based with some occasional feta thrown in until we live in a more perfect world.





End Note: I highly suggest you do your own research on fetal bovine serum before you consume lab cultured meat. An informed choice is always the best choice.

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