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View Poll Results: Would you eat meat grown in a lab?

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  • Yes - I have no problems with it.

    9 50.00%
  • No - makes me sick to think of it.

    8 44.44%
  • Maybe - depends; Let's discuss it.

    1 5.56%
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Results 11 to 16 of 16

  1. #11
    Senior Member Kyrielle's Avatar
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    No. I like my meat to come from an actual animal. That way, it's still able to moo or bleat when I eat it.

  2. #12
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nocturne View Post
    Is that a purely aesthetic judgement because it just "seems icky"?
    Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by nocturne View Post
    Unfortunately, I doubt that would be the case. To understand why, we only need look at the heavy subsidisation which farming enjoys in both the US and EU, as well as countless pieces of legislation which protect those farmers from competition.

    The fact is that people tend to buy more at lower prices and less at higher prices, likewise producers tend to supply more at higher prices and less at lower prices. Now, farmers in the third world can usually supply food produce to first world consumers at far lower prices than farmers in the first world, especially where such nations have an absolute advantage, such as a climate condusive to growing particular crops, like bananas or coffee. This competition from third world farmers long ago undercut the prices being offered by their first world counterparts, and long ago those first world farmers should have begun directing their time and resources toward other activities where they could be competitive.

    However, by legislating "price floors," introducing tariffs on imported goods and paying subsidies, these first world farmers continue to thrive today, at the expense of the economic prosperity of society as a whole. If third world farmers cannot offer lower prices; because hefty tariffs artificially force the price of getting good to market up; because price floors make it a punishable offence to try and sell at a price below a competitor; or because the losses suffered by competitors are recouped by government cheques, then those third world farmers are unable to capitalise on the advantage they have, and remain unecassirly poor as a consequence.

    The farming lobby which has brought about these laws, would likely kick up a similar fuss, and want similar legislation, in reponse to any such technology that allowed people to grow meat in this way. That is presuming that this technology will oneday be able to to outcompete traditional farming methods, something which I admit to being highly sceptical of.

    In other words, whether it is the farming looby that gets its way, or the animal rights lobby that get their way, it is unlikely that any political party will allow this matter to be settled by supply and demand i.e. letting consumers decide.

    That would be a likely consequence, presuming that either this new method of meat production outcompeted traditional methods, or the animal rights lobby is successful in getting legislation passed to prevent traditional methods. The two are not the same.
    Wouldn't the large corporations go into mass-producing the meat product? In the US, the corporate lobby, when it is not the same as the ag lobby, likely carries as much weight, if not more. They would find a way to profit from it if there was a way to do it and they would control production and attempt to create the same kind of protection that ag has now.

    Quote Originally Posted by nocturne View Post
    Why does it matter if it is locally raised?
    It just makes the other conditions easier. The animals would not be shipped cross-country to regional slaughter houses and it would be handled less and take less time to get from hoof to table. Less trauma, lower exposure to nasty stuff, and fresher.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  3. #13
    Senior Member logan235711's Avatar
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    I would eat laboratory meat : )

    Quote Originally Posted by nocturne View Post
    That is presuming that raising animals to eat is wrong. I do not think it is, so I do not feel an obligation to prevent it. That said, entering into a debate is wrought with difficulties, since so many misconceptions abound concerning ethical problems.

    There is also another point to consider. The only reason there are so many cows, sheep and pigs in the world, indeed the only reason why modern cows, sheep and pigs exist, is because we farm them. There are more cows on the planet than there are people, from an evolutionary perspective, domestication by humans has turned cows into one of the most successful species to ever grace the earth. They do not have to be smart, they are not excellent foragers or deadly predators, in fact they can't do much but sleep and eat, nor do they need to, since all the ordinary problems which face wild animals have been outsourced to human beings, who do all this for them.

    The fact that cows are a valuable resource is precisely why there are so many of them, owners have an incentive to keep breeding more cows, to increase their numbers and get more food to consumers. If we could grow meat in a manner like described above, and some thought it wise to pass laws against slaughtering animals for meat now that we had an alternative, what would happen to all those animals? Perhaps cows might be kept in smaller numbers for milk production, but what of pigs or chickens? Those species which have little value to humans or where there is legislation which makes them unownable, tend also to be those animals which end up on the endangered species list or worse.

    I would not worry if I were you. I am quite sure that if this practice ever becomes a viable business model, there will be manufacturing processes that have no need for petri dishes.
    "misconceptions abound concerning ethical problems" indeed!

    Quote Originally Posted by sdalek View Post
    Well, lets take it a step further; Eliminate the animals from the process altogether. This process could be adapted to do the same with human cells and could be made portable so that people could grow their own meat at home. Image that, a few scrapings from the inside of your cheek and you could grow your own steak out of your own cells. You'd have the growing medium and the nutrients for the cells; I'd read somewhere that a mushroom based nutrient solution would be used as the nutrient solution with additional vitamins and minerals added in.
    I heard that a species own meat tastes the best to that species. mmmmmmmmm

  4. #14
    Senior Member reason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    Wouldn't the large corporations go into mass-producing the meat product? In the US, the corporate lobby, when it is not the same as the ag lobby, likely carries as much weight, if not more. They would find a way to profit from it if there was a way to do it and they would control production and attempt to create the same kind of protection that ag has now.
    If there were a free-market, and a new technology could produce meat cheaper and indistinguishable from traditional methods, then each corporation would have an incentive to adopt the new technology and produce meat that way.

    The drop in production costs would allow that company to charge lower prices than competitors, which would draw consumers toward buying that companies produce. The competitors, noticing their falling profits, would quickly move to adopt the new technology aswell, and initiate a price war which would push profit margins down. The prices will have dropped if the technology is adopted, but the profit margins of those in the industry will likely end up about the same. The only winners will be the forward looking corporations who originally adopted the technology and would have enjoyed a temporary surge in profits.

    There is profit to be made, but those who currently dominate the food industry might be quite happy to keep things as they are, since the profit margins will likely to be the same. If this were an ordinary cartel, a collusion amongst corporations, then it probably would not last very long, since every member of the cartel would be under a strong incentive to adopt the technology and undercut the competition. However, if this cartel is enforced by government regulation, the incentives which would usually undermine the cartel are absent, since the cartel can punish defectors.

    The point of legislation is not only to prevent new competitors entering the industry, but to prevent other members of the cartel undercutting each other. The tradeoff for the corporations is between the added protection they receive from competition, and the limitations placed on them to compete with already existing competition. The idea is to maintain the status quo. There would be little or no incentive to move toward the new technology, if no corporation could enjoy the temporary rise in profit margins it would bring.

    These cartels are also ideally placed to prevent any corporations entering the market indirectly through new food production methods, since they are already organised into a politicised movement, with public relations campaigns and political connections. These new upstarts only usually succeed if they blindside existing industries, or the political institutions are such that getting favourable legislation passed is difficult or impossible.

    (Edit: There is no unifed "corporate lobby" since what is beneficial to some corporations, such as those directly involved with agriculture, is not necessarily beneficial to other corporations, who might be interested in getting involed in agriculture. The particular composition of lobby groups is not constant, but dependent on the specific issue, which means some coporations will be allied on some issues and opposed on others. Agriculture is a case in point; there is no neatly discernable "corporate interest.")

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  5. #15
    Senior Member Chaselation's Avatar
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    Assuming it was pleasing to the pallet I would eat it.

    I somewhat doubt that the same flavor and texture could be attained in a lab that would happen IRL. Would the tissue be artificially stimulated Galvani style to provide muscle tone? What do you feed lab muscles? It won't be grass and hay. The food fed to an animal impacts it's flavor as well.

    Mostly I'm saying yes.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by hereandnow View Post
    I would eat meat "born" in a lab. Well...as long as it wears a white coat.
    You know what they say, a sandwich is just a sandwich, but a Manwich is a meal!

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