VEGAN MEAT: NO LONGER OXYMORON
February 22, 2017
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Scientists have come up with a synthetic meat, grown and cultured in a lab, with the same taste as meat taken from an animal. The technology for this comes in response to a continuation of animal agriculture being the leading cause of most environmental problems faced globally, including ocean dead zones, species extinction, and deforestation.
Synthetic meat is meat grown in a laboratory setting from a cellular sample of an animal; it is a form of cellular agriculture. This type of meat was first eaten at a demonstration in London in Aug. 2013, but the technology dates back to the 1970s. When it was first released, the meat costs $325,000; however, within two years the price has been reduced to $11. The technique used to make the meat can produce 10,000 kilos of meat from a piece of muscle. While scientists have made significant gains in developing this technology, it might take another decade before it can be produced commercially.
This type of meat is different from meat substitutes, which are made from substances such as tofu and soy, to imitate meat. This new form of meat is made in a lab from the stem cells of animals.
The impact animal agriculture has on the environment is not often discussed when talking about climate change. Our reliance on meat and dairy has proved to be an enormous strain on the planet considering it takes roughly 1,847 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef. This new meat has great potential in satiating one’s craving for meat, while also providing an alternative that is friendly to the environment.
Senior Isabela Nedic said,“As a lover of animals, I think this is a major development for the planet. The synthetic meat, I think, is a great alternative for both the animals and the environment.”
Many people become vegans or vegetarians due to environmental or ethical concerns. Therefore many of them may be reluctant in eating this meat since it originates from muscle-specific stem cells from real animals which are then coaxed to form fibers of muscle tissue.
Junior Precious Ukachukwu said,“Personally, as a vegan, I wouldn’t consume synthetic meat products because nature does produce many other sources of protein in which I do consume. However, for a transitioning individual, synthetic meat could be a good way to get used to the more efficient lifestyle.”
As this industry of synthetic meat continues to grow, the potential downside of it would include harming local farms and even the meat industry itself. While this technology may take over a decade to implement, we should plan for possible issues that may arise with the rise in synthetic meat. However, overall the meat has provided positives by providing an alternative to animal meat and beginning the process of reducing our impact on the planet.