If you have read my previous articles on HuffPost, you know that while I certainly support efforts to decrease harm to animals on farms, I don't believe that there is any meat that is truly humane. However, that's about to change, thanks to the ingenuity of science.
Just recently, Michael Specter's excellent review of humane meat for the New Yorker has created a renewed buzz about the potential for meat from animals who were not, in any conventional sense, actually animals. Innovators are currently experimenting with in vitro cultivation of meat from cells taken from animals, and some are saying that we could have chicken nuggets and burgers within five years.
I can understand how vegetarians might find the idea of dedicating resources to a new version of a product they don't consume unsettling: "We already have mock meats that are as good as meat, but that don't require the cruelty and waste of meat from animals," they argue. But I've been surprised to find that meat-eaters, also, are resistant. Think about it, though, because meat comes from living animals, it requires far more resources and causes far more pollution than would meat grown in a lab. And, of course, it comes from dead animals, and these are--mostly--animals who have been horribly abused and whose living and dying conditions were... (Read more...)