I support stem-cell research. And I oppose killing animals for food when alternatives are readily available (even if they’re “humanely killed”). I’m 28 and I’ve still never (purposely) eaten beef or fried chicken or turkey on Thanksgiving or fish or… you get the point. It used to be for religious reasons, but for most of my life now, it’s been for personal ones.
Here’s a hypothetical scenario I’ve never considered until now: What if you took stem cells from a pig, used scientific techniques to help the cells multiply, and eventually grew muscle tissue that looked and tasted exactly like meat? No animals would be harmed/killed in the process.
Would vegetarians eat it?
Would omnivores eat that in lieu of meat that came from a dead animal?
My initial reaction was to say no. I avoid meat for more reasons than simply the ethics behind it. For one, I dislike the smell of it — If I’m out for breakfast and I smell bacon strips, it’s not a pleasant scent. I even stay away from the deli sections of grocery stores for the same reason. I also think the taste would be awful since it’d be my first time eating it. (Probably the same reason I think beer tastes awful even though I’ve never had more than a sip or two.)
But if no animals are being killed, would I at least give it a try?
Sure, why not. My biggest obstacle would no longer be in play. Is it still meat? Technically yes, and I’m sure some vegetarians would still oppose it on those grounds, but if animals don’t have to be slaughtered, I don’t get the abstinence. It’s not like I have any desire to eat meat, but it’d be nice to experience something everyone else seems to enjoy quite a bit. That is, if I could get over the superficial aspects of it.
In any case, the situation is still a long way from reality. Right now, the biggest “piece of meat” they’ve created organically is “about the size of a contact lens.”
Incidentally, PETA is still offering $1,000,000 to anyone who can make in vitro meat that tastes like the real thing and can be sold commercially.
(Thanks to Angie for the link!)