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I’m calling it now: Stem Cell Burgers are bad news

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The minute news dropped about the new stem cell meat products that will be coming to shelves sooner than we possibly thought, I had a ton of non-vegan and vegan friends alike asking me if this was something I would be willing to consume. Nope. Super gross. Flesh is flesh, meat is meat, and I don’t do that shit. On this day, I, Lauren-Elizabeth, would like to record my predictions for how the “save the world” meat is going to end up as bad news. Of course, some of these could be totally off, as they’re musings I’ve rolled around in my head during Metro delays and in the shower, but I’m sure I’ll be checking back on this list in the future. I’ll see you in the comments section. Let’s make it a date! With that, here’s where I’m hedging my bets:

  • Stem Cell Meat is going to be REALLY expensive on purpose, and add to class divides.

I have this awful feeling in my gut that the price of this more “ethical” meat is going to be sky-high, not unlike the difference in prices we see from “humanely” slaughtered meat and regular old flesh. As opposed to products such as cell phones and computers that originally came with a high price tag that eventually lowered, (trust me, there’s already been a spirited debate among the staff about this topic!) I don’t see this happening with a product that has the great potential to be advertised as morally “better.” Scientists have good intentions, but scientists are rarely behind marketing campaigns. The product will be purposely limited in production as to enforce a high price in it, and a bunch of high and mighty upper-class liberals are going to brag incessantly about their ethical consumption. It will be a luxury that is painted as a kinder choice, and add to the class divide that we already see in the United States. Advertisements will show nice upper middle class families smiling around the dinner table, and the prices will reflect the Whole Foods mentality that My Meat is Kinder Than Your Meat, and Poor People Hate Animals. Is this me being a little paranoid? Maybe. I’ve just inherited a healthy distrust of government and American society like any nice leftist girl next door!

  • Stem cell meat is going to slow down the vegan revolution we’re all waiting for.

You know that short attention span thing we have going on in Westernized countries? The whole “we did it guys! Fixed it! Problem over!” mentality we fall into? Yeah, that’s what I anticipate, attention leaves animal exploitation because The Solution has been developed and we all live happily ever after with our petri dish steaks while dairy cows continue to suffer. Already, folks have tried to shut me down by dropping the cell beef bomb, and I’m just not buying it as a distraction. There are SO many ways that humans are exploiting animals, and I really do think that stem cell meat is serving as nothing but a distraction.

  • Think of all the weird religious and hippie stuff that’s going to come out of it!

I love my crunchies, I really do. You’re some of my favorite folks and have encouraged me more than once to rock the patchouli, but there is a fascination with what is “natural” and what isn’t. If someone won’t consume GMO’s, what makes us think they’re going to be down with meat produced from a lab? There’s zero denying that the idea of sprouting meat in a lab is peculiar, and there’s a certain population who I just don’t see being receptive to lab coats being the new coveralls in animal agriculture. And I wish these scientists the best of luck to winning over a religious population that wants things to be The Way That God Intended. Holy water isn’t made in a lab, friends.

  • What’s going to happen to calves and egg laying chickens?

The biggest byproduct of the egg and dairy industries is life itself. I definitely sounded a bit like a GOP frontrunner talking about women’s rights, but here we are! Egg laying chickens go to slaughter when they’re all used up. Calves go to slaughter because they’re unnecessary. Dried-up cows past their prime? Yup, slaughter. So, if we imagine an alternate world where I was wrong in the first prediction and stem cell meat is produced en masse, what kind of hellish plan will farmers come up with to “get rid of” excessive animal life? Yikes, I shudder to think of that.
Alright, friends, as I said before, I could be off-base with this list of ideas, so I invite a larger discussion. The future is upon us and looking more like a sci-fi movie every day, so let’s talk it out!

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  • vegan truth seeker

    I have to disagree with you on this one 🙁

    Unfortunately most people on the planet will never go vegan so let’s assume that:

    – this is a possible trillion-dollar industry in the making and thus the mega rich will want to have a piece of it, and therefore they’ll be willing to invest millions into the process making it affordable to anyone;
    – numerous animals will be spared because they will no longer be necessary for their meat; if lab-grown meat is successful they will produce all types of meat and probably even fish;
    – those who are ethical vegans will still be vegan and will never stop fighting against animal exploitation;
    – if this scientific development is successful, next they could try to produce cow milk without using cows.

    Or maybe this is just wishful thinking of me 🙂

    Anyway, I welcome anything that helps decrease the abuse and death of animals…

    Can you imagine if in 10 years from now no more animals were killed for their flesh?
    No more slaughtering animals, no more hunger in the world, the destruction of the environment would decrease immensely… again, wishful thinking?

    • Lalasunflower

      I *hope* you’re right, I’m just a cynic!

      • vegan truth seeker

        So do I 🙂

        In this day and age, with everything that’s wrong in the world, it’s very easy to lose hope sometimes!

        • Lalasunflower

          LOL, I’m dying at these comment saying I’m not an AR activist.

          • vegan truth seeker

            Some people clearly don’t understand other points of view and aren’t capable of having a serious debate, even if we’re all on the same page – the right of animals not to be used by humans in any way or form.

            and to claim you’re not an AR activist… lol…, sure, that’s why you’re writing articles in a vegan site and are a vegan… go figure!

    • Matt Sharp

      Cow milk without cows is already being worked on; search for Muufri.

      I actually really like lots of plant milks, but hopefully cow milk without cows will *also* allow cheese without cow milk that is superior to the existing vegan cheeses out there.

      • vegan truth seeker

        good news then 🙂

  • James Peters

    ”What’s going to happen to calves and egg laying chickens?” Less and less over time will be bred to be killed as this product is bought more and more. The latter along with competition will also reduce the prices too. With that said according to data cited in the book Meatonomics then ”American governments spend $38 billion each year to subsidize meat and dairy, but only 0.04% of that ($17 million) to subsidize fruits and vegetables.” Then each year, USDA-managed programs spend $550 million to bombard Americans with slogans like ‘eat meat’ which urges us to buy more animal foods.

    ”Stem cell meat is going to slow down the vegan revolution we’re all waiting for.” More people are becoming veggie and vegan, so not so far

    • Lalasunflower

      James, thanks for the thoughtful response!

  • Siraganda

    So if vegans are against stem cell meat, the animals shall continue suffering! Why such nonsense comes from a person, pretending to be vegan? So are you vegan because of social reasons or in order to help animals? This world shall never stop eating meat – for this sake it is even too early to talk the whole time of being vegan, let the people first become vegetarians – and if it can help animals, why not these stem cells – I think you are definitely not an animal rights activist, I don’t know what, but something else!

    • Lalasunflower

      I love how insane some folks get when I encourage friendly debate LOL. Maybe try reading my other work before rattling off such goofiness.

      • Siraganda

        This is not insane – this is logic! Someone who really wants to stop animal suffering accepts every viable possibility to save lifes! This sounds like someone prétends not to eliminate gestation crates, because this is enhancing animal abuse! So let’s wait and let them in the crates until the world is vegan! This is your point! Thank you!

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