Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Lovettsville, VA and Portland, OR
I don't think lab meat will be shunned by nearly everyone, though I agree some groups will have objections. I think for most people the foremost questions will be how much does it cost, and how does it taste. And animal rights groups have already jumped on board: PETA has offered a million dollar prize for the first company to produce commercially viable in-vitro meat by 2012 (it's a long-shot that they'll have to pay up, but the point is that they are supporting the effort). For vegans, I guess it isn't so much "would you eat it" as "would you object to its production and consumption by others." Though I'm not vegan at this point, I think if I were I still would not object, and would be especially happy if the process matured into an environmental improvement over the live-animal-derived meat. The no-manure/no-methane aspect is exciting; likewise the less-antibiotic aspect. And I definitely would not be feeling bad for the experience of some insensate mass of muscle tissue being grown in a big tank.
One of the things Christopher Cox says he believes is that those oysters feel just about that little, that is, nothing at all, that they're practically just a mass of tissue. There's something about their not having a central nervous system that makes people confident in taking that leap. I've already stated my misgivings on that count, but maybe could be persuaded if I had a better grounding in biology. And like Cox, I'm confining my part of the discussion to farmed oysters, which comprise a good 95% of what is consumed. Farming oysters is beneficial to the area they're farmed in, no harming of reefs, and there has not been much trouble with those Vibrio microbes in oysters farmed in northern waters. Certainly not compared to trouble with the wild oysters caught in southeastern and Gulf waters.