Yes, lab-grown meat is vegan.


I wish. He came to veganism in recognition of the human rights of animals, or the environmental damage caused by animal husbandry. But I didn’t. It was the night of vomiting that brought me undercooked ostrich that turned me vegan. It was Glastonbury Festival, 2019. 21 years old, Hanover and hungry, I thought I could get a snack from the only vendor at the festival without queuing. Later, as I crouched in the portal, haunted by nightmares of ostrich slaughter, I realized that I would never eat meat again.

Today I eat the same food as many vegans. My diet is defined by wanting to avoid animal suffering and environmental damage, but like some vegans, I don’t like meat. I know my taste buds would explode with joy if I tasted salmon again, but I don’t think my right to live affects another animal. Trust me, I want To eat meat again. But I don’t.

That is, I do not eat meat from a living animal. I was delighted to learn that lab-grown meat has been certified as inedible by the US Food and Drug Administration. Meat, grown like a plant, without any pain… I was immediately thinking about future Christmas dinners: lab-grown turkey with cranberry sauce on the side.

But when I shared my excitement with my vegan friends, they recoiled. Everyone was upset. Ella Marshall, deputy brand manager for the Vegan Society, the world’s oldest vegan association, told me in an email: “We cannot officially support processed meat because animals are still used for the product. […] We cannot register such products with the vegan trademark.

I was naive to think that vegans would accept cultured meat. Veganism is a broad church filled with many different definitions. Accordingly, when lab-grown meat turns out to be a cheap, sustainable form of protein that doesn’t require animal suffering, veganism faces an identity crisis. A conflict arises between vegans, whose philosophy is defined by the simple elimination of animal products, and those who believe in a more radical change in our relationship with the animal world.

Ultimately, debates over cultured meat may hinder the process of animal liberation. Vegans should not allow this. If we want to end animal exploitation, it is our moral duty to call lab-grown meat vegan, even if it offends us.

If you read The idea of ​​science fiction, lab-grown meat may not seem strange. Writers from Philip K. Dick to Douglas Adams have explored the technology. But how does it work in real life?

Cultivating meat involves taking stem cells from animals to grow them in bioreactors. Although these biopsies are invasive, the process is less painful than many of the procedures an animal may endure on the farm during its lifetime, and best of all, the process does not involve killing the animal. In bioreactors, the cells are tricked into believing they are still in the animal’s body because they are placed in a substance made up of substances such as amino acids, vitamins, carbohydrates and proteins. After the meat is grown, the product is harvested and prepared in the way that the producers want to sell. In the year Manufacturing costs have dropped since the first $375,000 burger was eaten in 2013. Although still expensive compared to conventionally farmed meat, the price reduction has been radical, and will continue. Eventually, lab-grown meat may be more affordable than conventionally farmed animals.

For vegans, this new technology should be very popular. Its potential to reduce everything from animal suffering to greenhouse gas emissions makes the technology, if not revolutionary, at least a useful tool in the fight against climate change.


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