1 April 2019

“Clean Meat” Hoax Website Now Posted: Check It Out!

Clean Meat Hoax

A banana on the floor with title: Clean Meat Hoax (Don't fall for it)

Dear Friends,

Philosophy professor and animal rights advocate, John Sanbonmatsu, has launched a new website where concerns about “clean meat” are being aired. Proponents of clean meat technology, also called “cell-based meat” and “cellular agriculture,” are predicting, in the words of Paul Shapiro’s 2018 book Clean Meat, that “growing meat without animals will revolutionize dinner and the world.”

Clean meat is still in the research & development phase. It is not available in stores or restaurants. Eventually, however, it will be, though on what scale, in what variety, and at what price remains to be seen.

Technical and regulatory hurdles aside, questions are being asked, including: will people who eat animals buy clean meat? If so, will they like it well enough to choose it over slaughterhouse flesh? Will the commercialization of clean meat actually reduce the numbers of chickens, fish and other animals currently suffering and dying for meateaters? Or will clean meat end up as nothing more than just another food choice for the human omnivore, with little or no effect on the numbers of animals suffering and dying for cuisine, and with little or no effect on how humanity views and treats our fellow creatures?

Of concern to many of us is that clean meat is being promoted by the Good Food Institute and its allies as a response to the “fact” that human “nature” is incapable of not eating meat; therefore, the only choice is to grow cellular meat to satisfy the growing human population and reduce the destructive environmental effects of industrialized animal farming.

Many of us are pushing back against the claim that plant-powered foods will never satisfy most people. Current growth of the vegan food market suggests otherwise. Contrary to some assertions that vegan advocacy has already failed, within the mere 40 or so years of vegan advocacy, incredible progress has been made and encouragingly continues. Plant-powered foods are not just a fad – they’re a growing trend. One reason for this is the increasingly sophisticated taste, texture, and variety of products that resemble, but are free from, animal bodies.

I am pleased to present Clean Meat Hoax to our readers and to contribute to the conversation. At this point, I am neither radically for nor against clean meat, except to say that if it could significantly eliminate animals from being born into the misery and murder of meat, this, in my view, would be 100 percent better than the daily global holocaust of animals.

At the same time, as contributors to Clean Meat Hoax point out, and I am one of them, the issue is ethically complicated. If this potentially animal-free technology could help liberate animals from the plate and from the belittling attitudes most people hold about the individuals they carelessly consume, then I would welcome it. But if all it does is add one more option to the smorgasbord of omnivorous “food” choices, then it is just another tedium that sows depression and despair, particularly when (former) animal advocates insist that ethical advocacy for animals “doesn’t work.” – Karen Davis