The Null Device

Posts matching tags 'vegetarianism'


Researchers in the US have made advances in the production of cultured meat, i.e., meat grown in nutrients from cell colonies, but barriers, both technical and cultural, remain:

They envisage muscle cells growing on huge sheets that would be regularly stretched to exercise the cells as they grow. Once enough cells had grown, they would be scraped off and shaped into processed meat products such as chicken nuggets.
The idea of doing away with traditional livestock and growing steaks from scratch dates back at least 70 years. In a horizon-scanning essay from 1932, Winston Churchill said: "Fifty years hence we shall escape the absurdity of growing a whole chicken in order to eat the breast or wing by growing these parts separately under a suitable medium."
"Right now, it would be possible to produce something like spam at an incredibly high cost, but the know-how to grow something that has structure, such as a steak, is a long way off," said Mr Matheny.
"It won't appeal to someone who gave up meat because they think it's morally wrong to eat flesh or someone who doesn't want to eat anything unnatural," Ms Bennett [of the Vegetarian Society] added.
Of course, once it is possible to grow meat from donor cells without killing a living thing, a lot of things become possible. How long, I wonder, until some transgressive technogoth type decides to grow steaks from their own muscle cells and holds a cannibal dinner party? Despite the fact that no-one gets hurt, a lot of people would find this beyond the pale, and given how disgust often translates into legislation, chances are the practice will become outlawed in a great many countries. Which, of course, would only drive it underground and give it prestige and cachet.

cannibalism food psychology science vat-grown meat vegetarianism 1


An article claiming that vegetarianism kills more animals than meat-eating; according to this article, intensive agriculture causes more animal deaths (i.e., field animals run over by combine harvesters, crushed in their burrows by ploughs or picked off by predators once their cover is removed) than meat consumption, and that, following the Least Harm Principle of utilitarianism, anyone who cares about animal welfare would eat meat. (Via this rant linked from David Gerard's LiveJournal)

contrarianism meat vegetarianism 6


This is Graham the Happy Scum's universe and we're all just living in it: To counteract the rise in vegetarianism and similar "wacky eating behaviours" among teenaged girls in America, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association has set up a site whose message is basically "Grudnuk sez: Eat meat, it's cool!".

The site, which looks like a cross between a Barbie fan page and a Taco Bell ad (beef-filled tacos and gigantic hamburgers dot the screen), extols teenage girls to "Keep it Real" "real" as in a person who eats beef, preferably three or four times a day. Visitors are also invited to send e-cards to their "real friends" and to tell the world why they are "real girls" (because they eat beef burritos, of course!)

(Now we finally get to find out whether irony did die on 9/11/2001, as some commentators claimed; if this site somehow succeeds in turning the tide of teenage veganism in America, then we are indeed living in the New Norman Rockwell Era of plain-dealing boy-scout earnestness. If it falls flat, then irony is alive and well.) (via

marketing meat naff vegetarianism 2

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