What steak will be on your plate? Animal-free, cruelty-free meat is now on the menu

For the first time in history, humans live in a world where a single-cell in a lab can produce a whole steak without slaughtering an animal. We’re not talking about a measly hamburger, but an infinite vat of meat to feed an entire population! 

What steak will be on your plate? Animal-free, cruelty-free meat is now on the menu

Eating is the way to self-love

In-vitro meat is a sell out in Asia and is destined to hit menus all around the globe.  Could this be the answer to saving the planet?           Caring for the earth is just as important as keeping our regular, daily morning self-care routine. If we are kind to the planet she will recompense with more than a modicum of gratitude and mercy, so protecting the earth should be at the top of our to do list. As the world’s current demand for meat is set to increase by a whopping 70% in the next 20 years due to a significant rise in the population, it is time to rethink food supply.

Are we doing enough? Organic farming fans are taking a step in the right direction, however our efforts must increase if we are to reach the government’s goals for climate change. By choosing to be mindful about our consumption as humans, we are lavishing ourselves with the momentary gift of reconnecting with nature. Through this, it is possible for us to realise our power to restore respect for Mother Earth, since she provides without ever expecting anything from us in return.

The strain on the Earth’s natural resources caused by breeding animals for consumption is heavily impacting the environment.  Research done by the ‘Farming and Agriculture Organisation’ found that the 1.3 billion annual tons of grain eaten by animals who are reared for meat contributes to 14.5% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.

So there is no use denying the fact that it is long overdue that we consider the changes we can all make to the way we consume protein and assume stewardship of the Earth. You have probably heard the saying, ‘what we give, we always get back in the end,’ which perfectly sums up the inescapable truth that the power to choose to be part of the solution is in our hands.

The good news is that being a meat-eater and maintaining a sustainable and ethically conscious lifestyle can be a perfect match. Equally, for those who have dabbled in the veganism phase and decided to gracefully move on, in vitro could offer a new experience coupled with a drop of catharsis.

In vitro meat could create a more sustainable world and feed our families in the future

In vitro meat – meat grown in bioreactors from animal cells – is now on the menu in several restaurants across the world. It could help to create an alternative way to eat meat sustainably as the population, and the demand for meat consumption, increases over time.  

GOOD Meat, a new brand from the food company Eat Just, Inc., applies technology to create safe, healthy and more sustainable foods. GOOD Meat have mastered creating cultured meat by a process of making meat from animal cells instead of slaughtered animals. The company produced the first-ever cultured meat product approved to be sold for human consumption. Varinder, a spokesman says:

“Lab-grown meat provides a positive solution to the world-wide food problem. People can still eat what they love and not damage the planet as it helps resolve issues surrounding health and sustainability.”

Good Meat is real meat but made from cells in the laboratory. So far, they have developed chicken and duck meat from the cells of animals – all without any harm to the creatures.  Good Meat claim that a transition from the old world to the world of invitro delicacy has finally been made: 

"2020 is the turning point – when we realized that we can be remembered for ingenuity and action.  Together we can set in motion a food system that is fair, just, and kind – one that reflects the best of our humanity.”

History of Lab-meat:

  • 2002: First fish fillet was produced from goldfish cells
  • 2003: Harvard Medical School used stem cells from frogs to create tissue that resembled a steak. 
  • 2009: Time magazine labels cultured meat one of the breakthrough ideas of the year. 
  • 2013: First lab-produced hamburger, “clean meat,” was made by Dr Mark Post at Maastricht University in the Netherlands and cooked and eaten in London. 
  • 2016: Memphis Meats cooked lab-made meatballs. 
  • 2020: Meatable produced lab-meat from stem cells from animal umbilical cords, taking slaughtering animals out of the equation.

What benefits does In Vitro meat have compared to organic meat, or plant-based protein lifestyle?

Activists awakened by the global warming crisis are always ready to jump on the wagon if it means conserving land and water supplies.  Research published in an Environmental Science & Technology Journal found that the environmental impact of cultured meat production requires 78-96% lower greenhouse gas emissions, 99% lower land use, and 82-96% lower water use. There’s no doubt that living the Vitro lifestyle has a positive effect on the environment. Uma Valeti, CEO of Memphis Meats, says:

“We would expect the greenhouse gas reduction to be like taking almost 23 million cars off the road. One burger could save the amount of water used in 51 showers!”  

However, more mind-blowing is the fact that it allows us to satisfy our carnivorous urge with a clean conscience, resting on the knowledge that no animal was harmed from birth to slaughter. And now companies are looking at how meat can self-renew so that both extracting cells from animals and using animals will be a mere figment of antiquity.

Lab-grown or a grass-fed sirloin steak, Sir?

In vitro meat has the potential to change the future forever. An animal free option for meat-eaters certainly puts vegetarians and carnivores on a level playing field, in terms of sustainability but how far is society prepared to accept it as the norm? A 2017 survey shows 65% of people would be willing to at least sample in vitro meat and anticipated they could overcome the 'ick' factor with a little wonder and a whole lot of guts.  The desire to eat cleaner, healthier, more sustainably is compelling, especially for those who champion animal rights and the promise of a cruelty-free planet may become a driving force to embrace this relatively new venture.

“In 30 years, all meat consumed worldwide, will be clean or plant-based, taste the same and also be a healthier for everyone.”  Richard Branson)

The real question is though, who wants to eat meat from a lab when one can go organic and have the real thing? It's likely that many sceptics will be hesitant to rush into the fire.  Yet In vitro deserves credit for being an imaginative and innocuous option for the sustainability camp, it conflicts with the innate notion of what most people consider to be wholly natural for human beings. Perhaps it is prudent to think that innovation is not a box we should be easily forced into but take each step as it comes.

Header Image Credit: Armando Ascorve Morales


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