Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics

, Volume 21, Issue 6, pp 579–596 | Cite as

Vegetarian Meat: Could Technology Save Animals and Satisfy Meat Eaters?

Article

Abstract

Between people who unabashedly support eating meat and those who adopt moral vegetarianism, lie a number of people who are uncomfortably carnivorous and vaguely wish they could be vegetarians. Opposing animal suffering in principle, they can ignore it in practice, relying on the visual disconnect between supermarket meat and slaughterhouse practices not to trigger their moral emotions. But what if we could have the best of both worlds in reality—eat meat and not harm animals? The nascent biotechnology of tissue culture, originally researched for medical applications, holds out just such a promise. Meat could be grown in vitro without killing animals. In fact, this technology may not just be an intriguing option, but might be our moral obligation to develop.

Keywords

Animal suffering Animal welfare Artificial meat Biotechnology Carniculture Cultured meat Food production In vitro meat Moral vegetarianism Tissue culture 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Aldhous, P. (2006). Print me a heart and a set of arteries. New Scientist, 15 April, 19.Google Scholar
  2. Benjaminson, M. A., Gilchriest, J. A., & Lorenz, M. (2002). In vitro edible muscle protein production system (MPPS): Stage 1, fish. Acta Astronautica, 51(12), 879–889.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bourdain, A. (2001). A Cook’s tour: In search of the perfect meal. New York: Bloomsbury.Google Scholar
  4. Bovenkerk, B., Brom, F. W. A., & Van Den Bergh, B. J. (2002). Brave new birds: The use of ‹animal integrity’ in animal ethics. Hastings Center Report, 32(1), 16–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Britt, R. R. (2002). Food of the future: Fish flesh grown without the fish. Space.com. Retrieved May 13 2008 from http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/generalscience/fish_food_020329.html.
  6. Dayal, G. (2005). Brave new hamburger. Village Voice, August 2. Retrieved May 13 2008 from http://www.villagevoice.com/arts/0531,education4,66451,12.html.
  7. Deych, R. (nd). How should vegetarians see in-vitro meat. Retrieved May 13 2008 from http://www.animalliberationfront.com/Practical/Health/In-Vitro%20Meat.htm.
  8. Edelman, P. D., McFarland, D. C., Mironov, V. A., & Matheny, J. G. (2005). Commentary: In vitro-cultured meat production. Tissue Engineering, 11(5/6), 659–662.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. FuturePundit. (2003). Home steak incubator to make self-cannibalism possible. FuturePundit.com. Retrieved May 13 2008 from http://www.futurepundit.com/archives/000846.html.
  10. Hawthorne, M. (2005). From fiction to fork. Satya. Retrieved May 13 2008 from http://www.satyamag.com/sept05/hawthorne.html.
  11. Hukill, T. (2006). Would you eat lab-grown meat? Alternet. Retrieved May 13 2008 from http://www.alternet.org/envirohealth/38755/.
  12. Kass, L. (1997). The wisdom of repugnance. The New Republic, 2 June, 17–26.Google Scholar
  13. Kolata, G. (2006). Cloning may lead to healthier pork. New York Times, March 27. Retrieved May 13 2008 from http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/27/health/27pig.html?ex=1168318800&en=55706ef70a33c702&ei=5070.
  14. McIlroy, A. (2006). Will consumers have a beef with test-tube meat? GlobeAndMail.com. Retrieved May 13 2008 from http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20060327.MEAT27/TPStory/?query=meat+starter+cells&pageRequested=all&print=true.
  15. Mironov, V., Boland, T., Trusk, T., Forgacs, G., & Markwald, R. (2003). Organ printing: Computer-aided jet-based 3D tissue engineering. Trends in Biotechnology, 21(4), April.Google Scholar
  16. Mullins, J. (2006). The stuff of beams. New Scientist, 13 May, 44–47.Google Scholar
  17. New Harvest. Retrieved May 13 2008 from http://www.new-harvest.org/default.php.
  18. OE Magazine. (2005). Scotland becomes leading light in biophotonics. In OE Magazine: The SPIE Magazine of Photonics Technologies and Applications, 27 December. Retrieved January 5 2007 from http://www.oemagazine.com/newscast/2005/122705_newscast01.html.
  19. Peterson, D. (2006). The catalyst online: The Medical University of South Carolina. Retrieved May 13 2008 from http://www.musc.edu/catalyst/archive/2006/co1-20invitro.html.
  20. Photonics.com. (2006). Cell-by-cell treatments based on optical tweezing. Photonics.com. Retrieved May 13 2008 from http://www.Photonics.com/content/news/2006/August/16/83915.aspx.
  21. Rachels, J. (2004). The basic argument for vegetarianism. In S. F. Sapontzis (Ed.), Food for thought: The debate over eating meat. Amherst, NY: Promotheus Books.Google Scholar
  22. Regis, E. (1995). Nano: The emerging science of nanotechnology. Boston: Little, Brown and Company.Google Scholar
  23. Ruhlman, M. (2001). The soul of a chef: The journey toward perfection. New York: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  24. Saletan, W. (2006). The conscience of a carnivore: It’s time to stop killing meat and start growing it. Slate Magazine. Retrieved May 13 2008 from http://www.slate.com/id/2142547/nav/tap1/.
  25. Sample, I. (2002). Fish fillets grow in tank. New Scientist. Retrieved May 13 2008 from http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn2066.
  26. Sandel, M. J. (2007). The case against perfection: Ethics in the age of genetic engineering. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Vegetarian Resource Group. (2003). How many vegetarians are there? A 2003 national Harris Interactive survey question sponsored by The Vegetarian Resource Group. Vegetarian Journal, May/June 2003. Retrieved May 13 2008 from http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FDE/is_3_22/ai_106422316.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyMillsaps CollegeJacksonUSA
  2. 2.Center for InquiryNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations