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Clean meat

2016-10-28

Science developed lab-created meat without killing animals

What sounds like a science-fiction story has become a reality in the past few years in some laboratories around the globe. There, scientists are working on alternative meat production methods where meat no longer comes from a slaughtered animal, but is being cultured in labs. The first lab born burger was shown, cooked and tasted in 2013.

 

More and more articles and further studies are popping up everywhere around the world about this topic. Animal welfare and animal rights activists are wondering whether clean meat (also known as ‘invitro’, or ‘cultured’ meat) could put an end to all the negative implications of today’s farm animal production.

 

As this issue is becoming more present on the public agenda, FOUR PAWS is closely monitoring the progress, and so far we know the following: 



© FOUR PAWS

Clean meat is produced by taking a small sample of stem cells - usually from lean muscle - through a harmless procedure in the same way that blood is drawn. These cells are then replicated in a culture outside the animal.  After sufficient cells have grown, they are assembled in groups to form small muscle tissue that is  very similar to muscle fibres in a steak. The resulting product is 100 percent real meat.  It is known that the binding serum used in this technology is now plant-based, though previous attempts were using bovine fetal serum, however, many progressive starts-ups know that this was becoming inherently unsustainable, and obtaining serum from unborn calves is incompatible with our animal welfare standards. Using plant-based serum is the optimal option being utilized by most current production methods.

 

With conventional animal products accounting for over 56 billion lives of animals per year, 70% of global water consumption, 40% of land use and 15% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, Clean meat could help us conserve our limited resources and have the potential to save billions of animals per year from inhumane conditions and eventual slaughter. This is an initiative FOUR PAWS is strongly in favor of.

 

Though large-scale manufacturing of Clean meat is costly, which includes the cost of cell culture and skilled labor, the costs are drastically decreasing which highlights the potential of making Clean meat available to the masses in the not so distant future. We currently don’t know what the clear consequences for farm animals and their welfare would be, but the advancements in recent years encourages optimism in the processes and the potential positive impact Clean meat would have. Since this innovation is still currently on- going, with an ever increasing interest, we presume that a massive change in the farming of animals is then likely to happen.

 

For the time being, FOUR PAWS is closely monitoring the ongoing research and latest developments concerning Clean meat with a positive outlook, as well as the changes of peoples eating habits within our society.

 

Still, FOUR PAWS encourages people who choose an animal-friendly lifestyle to reduce their consumption of animal derived products and include more plant-based alternatives in their diet. 

 

For more about information about Clean meat: http://www.gfi.org


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