Is it possible to eat meat without harming animals?

Are you vegan or vegetarian because you don’t want to eat slaughtered animals?
Interesting Engineering

Is it possible to eat meat without actually harming the animal? 

Vegetarians and all animal lovers alike — listen up — as this just may change the world, or at least how and what you eat.

Thanks to cultivated meat, the future just may be kinder to our furry, feathered, and scaled friends.

Science is pretty awesome, and scientists have found a way to clone animal muscle tissue cells and grow them in vats. They can even print them into different meat shapes using bio-printers! And they’ve been experimenting not just with typical animals you’d see on a dinner plate but also with wild animals!

But how does it work? 

A small tissue sample is taken from a healthy animal while they are comfortably living their lives.

The company Primal Foods cultivates its meat in stainless-steel tanks. Meat is formed inside these cultivators just as it would inside an animal’s body. This process only takes a few weeks, and then it is ready to eat! Pretty amazing! 

Bioprinters are another way of making meat without harming animals. It creates cultivated meat, which is a form of cellular agriculture, using in-vitro cell cultures of animal stem cells.

But is it possible to create ‘meat’ that has not been taken from living animal cells? 

The Dutch startup Mosa Meat claims it can. They say they have been able to make a lump of meat that does not use fetal bovine serum - truly making lab-grown meat cruelty-free. 

Companies around the world have started cultivating different types of meat for consumption - from chicken to fish and other seafood. This ethical and environmentally-friendly meat is taking the world by storm and is a rapidly growing market. According to the NGO Good Food Institute, in 2021, the industry brought in 140 million dollars. 

However, unless you’re living amongst the one percent, you probably haven’t tried or even seen any of these products. That’s because none of this is cheap. At the moment, one pound of cultivated meat costs $10,000! That’s not exactly sustainable for the average consumer. 

Keeping lab-grown meat safe from bacteria and viral infections is also expensive - as the meat in the lab does not have an immune system to protect itself. 

So, while this is all pretty exciting, and we can’t wait to see more progress being made, it looks like it will most likely still take some time before we have a lab-grown tiger steak or any other animal on our plates. 

What do you think? Would you switch to cultivated meat if you could? If you are a vegetarian, would you consider eating meat if no animal was harmed in the making? Let’s see what more the future brings.