Vegans of Color

Because we don’t have the luxury of being single-issue

Vegetarian Meat… October 15, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dr. Amie "Breeze" Harper @ 10:33 am

Ran across this journal article this morning and wonder what people think about this concept.I have the entire pdf. Email me at breezeharper (at) gmail (dot) com.


Journal of Agric Environ Ethics (2008) 21:579–596
Vegetarian Meat: Could Technology Save Animals and Satisfy Meat Eaters?
Patrick D. Hopkins and Austin Dacey

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 bio- technology 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.


10 Responses to “Vegetarian Meat…”

  1. Elaine Vigneault Says:

    Do you have a link to the whole journal article?

    • Elaine, I do have the entire article. I don’t have the link, just the pdf. The link is connected to UC Davis libraries and you wouldn’t be able to access it without a username and ID.

      • Elaine Vigneault Says:

        Thanks for sending it to me. I read it and it’s a very thoughtful, thorough article. It clarifies a few points and eradicates some myths about cultured meat. I’m still not convinced enough to personally invest money into the project, but I can see myself promoting the idea of it in the near future.

  2. Elaine Vigneault Says:

    Have you seen this:
    I just came across it and… wow.

    Personally, I think cultured meat makes some sense to pursue because it does offer an alternative that will be more humane and less environmentally damaging. However, I’m worried about unforeseen consequences as well as human health.

    I will continue advocating for veganism, while also refraining from standing in the way of other methods of change that have potential to help animals.

  3. Erica Says:

    I have heard about this before, and I think it is awful. Sure, it would be better than torturing animals, but I generally see meddling with nature to that extent to be immoral as well. I certainly would never eat flesh, whether it was “vegetarian” or not. It is also still specist I would think.

  4. Sara Says:

    Another high-tech option, making us think food has to be inaccessible to the poor. No thanks. Just don’t eat meat and use the research for something else.

    Also doesn’t solve the issue of speciesism, which leads to harm of animals in other ways. Meat is the biggest issue with animals but not only.

  5. violet Says:

    High-tech doesn’t necessarily mean expensive. If it’s economically viable at all, cultured meat would probably become substantially cheaper than “natural” meat, on account of not raising a whole animal just to be killed.

    I can see the argument that it’s still speciesist, but eliminating the industrial exploitation of animals still seems to be a valuable goal.

    (And hey, whose to say we don’t start culturing human meat and tissues? I’ve always wanted a me-leather jacket.)

  6. Stentor Says:

    I’m not thrilled with the way cultured meat is always framed as a sop to omnivores who are unwilling to give up the taste of meat. My concern is for people who have health conditions that make it impossible or extremely difficult to meet their nutritional needs from plant sources alone.

    The speciesism concern doesn’t move me, because 1) I don’t see anything ethically problematic with the eating part, just with the raising and killing part, and 2) I would definitely try some cultured human meat.

  7. C Says:


    What nutritional needs cannot be met by plant sources alone?

  8. Stentor Says:

    C: I’m not a doctor, so I can’t give detailed medical accounts of what’s going on, but I have run across individuals whose bodies don’t process the plant versions of certain nutrients like iron or protein, or who are allergic to all the plant sources of certain nutrients. These folks are almost certainly a tiny minority, but they do exist.

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