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OPINION: Why not grow meat?

POSTED AT 06:54 PM ON Aug. 20, 2012  (UPDATED AT 12:39 AM ON Aug. 21, 2012)

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I was reading an article about in vitro meat, which is grown in a lab, when it dawned on me that in vitro meat might be greatest new technology to exist in today’s world.

First, if in vitro meat were mass produced, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals would finally have a reason to be happy.

For years, PETA has been portrayed in the media as habitual pessimists that nag and nag and nag at all the terrible things we do to animals.

But if every slab of steak wasn’t akin to the violent murder of an otherwise gentle beast, PETA could finally breath a sigh of relief and develop ulcers from other things.
Second, vegans could finally eat meat.

The sample needed to produce meat could be taken from needle poke or a hair pull.
Though the plight of the vegan is to save all animals from suffering, I don’t think they’ll mind the little prick required if the trade-off is hamburgers for all.

Third, our atmosphere would see a great reduction in methane, offsetting the effects of global warming.

Cows fart methane. Cows fart a lot. There are a lot of cows. If there were fewer cows, there would be fewer farts.

Finally, and my favorite point of all, imagine the endless possibilities of what we could eat.

If we can grow chicken, pork and beef in mass quantities, how long would it take until our supermarkets contained cuts of nearly every animal in the kingdom?

I’m talking penguins, monkeys, lions, rhinos, pelicans and those cute little koala bears.

Everything from every corner of the Earth could be floured and deep fried in your kitchen.

Or how about that woolly mammoth we found back in 2007? Why couldn’t we make some steaks out of that?

Better yet, could we take the soft tissue sample we found in a T. Rex’s femur and make it into meat? It could be possible.

I guess the point I’m trying to reach here is that one day, maybe a Fourth of July, I want to grill steaks on my back porch, watching fireworks light while Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in The U.S.A.” plays on the radio.

In that moment I don’t want to feel guilt about how some animal was
murdered or worry about global warming or whether my meat has hormones or steroids in it.

In that moment I want to taste barbecued dinosaur.

And I bet that’s going to taste a little bit like freedom.

­— ktgragg@indiana.edu

 

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