Despite what millions believe, cultured meat isn’t vegan friendly, or even vegetarian! Here’s why
By Chere Di Boscio
Many vegans have heralded the rise of cultured meat (also known as lab-grown meat) as being the innovation that will save animals’ lives.
They believe that carnivores will grow accustomed to the idea of eating it, thus saving billions of cows from being slaughtered each year.
And if there was a plant based meat that used zero animal products, that may be true. But guess what?
Cultured meat is not at all vegan friendly. And loads of cows are still dying for it. Here’s why.
Why Cultured Meat Is Still Murder
Whilst most people believe lab grown meat is produced without the use of any animal tissue, nothing could be further from the truth. It’s made from animal tissue cells that are grown in fetal bovine serum (FBS) made from the blood from cows and cow fetuses. In other words: cultured meat relies on the slaughter of TWO animals: the mother and baby cow.
And if you want to talk about cruelty, both are drained of their blood – while still alive.
This monstrosity is the brainchild of the GMO food industry. Which, of course, is funded, propped up and defended by the tech and chemical industries. In the name of saving the planet from ‘climate change’, they are now seeking to replace beef, poultry, dairy and fish with synthetic biology, gene editing and other tech ‘solutions’.
That’s all quite nefarious in itself. Some argue that such ‘high tech foods’ are killing humans slowly and the planet and its insects and birds even faster. Which means they’re not really vegan, by the way.
Others state this is all part of the Great Reset’s goal to control populations by creating dependence on private companies that control the food supply. This may well be true. But it’s beyond the scope of this article. Here, I just want to focus on why cultured meat isn’t vegan.
Lab Grown Meat Doesn’t Spare Animals’ Lives
Cultured meat, or cell-based meat, is produced from animal tissue cells that are then grown into larger slabs. One of its main selling points is that you can eat your beef without harming an animal.
Makers of cultured meat claim it is made from harvesting living animals’ muscle cells. Those cells are taken to a lab, where they’re fed and incubated, eventually multiplying into muscle tissue.
What the PR leaves out, however, is that a key ingredient to grow those cells is fetal bovine serum (FBS), which is made from the blood of living cow fetuses. Thus, cultured meat is not vegan friendly.
The Horrors of FBS
FBS is used because it’s a universal growth medium (meaning any cell can grow in it, whereas other mediums are cell-specific) and contains growth factors that prevent cell death.
In 2017, Slate magazine detailed the gruesome process of FBS extraction: “If a cow coming for slaughter happens to be pregnant, the cow is slaughtered and bled, and then the fetus is removed from its mother and brought into a blood collection room. The fetus, which remains alive during the following process to ensure blood quality, has a needle inserted into its heart. Its blood is then drained until the fetus dies, a death that usually takes about five minutes. This blood is then refined, and the resulting extract is FBS.”
Millions of fetuses are slaughtered this way. Most dairy cows, which are kept pregnant to ensure milk production, are eventually slaughtered. Estimates put the percentage of slaughtered dairy cows found to be pregnant between 17 and 31 percent.
This is beyond cruel. Eating cultured meat means you’re not merely eating an animal that was killed at the end of its life, you’re eating food made from an animal that was cruelly sacrificed before it was even born.
Christiana Musk, founder of Flourish*ink, states cultured meat is “meat without slaughter.” But that’s just another lie. Or shall we say, a manipulation of words.
Technically, you’re not eating the meat from that calf. But doesn’t mean it didn’t die in order for you to eat meat. What’s worse, the meat from that calf was actually thrown away! Its life was sacrificed just to drain its blood.
Personally, I find this even more barbaric and inhumane than slaughtering and eating a full-grown cow.
Other Ethical Considerations
It’s clear that cultured beef does not meet vegetarian requirements. But there are other ethical considerations to take into account around lab grown meat.
For example, there may be religious objections to it as well. Jews and Christians, for example, are prohibited — Biblically speaking — from consuming the blood of any animal. And in cultured meat, blood is a key component in making it.
Furthermore, many of the companies creating cultured meat – Cargill, Tyson, etc – are still the same companies responsible for the slaughter of billions of animals a year. Even if you buy burgers that are 100% plant based from these companies, you’re still putting money in the coffers of some of the cruellest, most unethical corporations on earth.
Also, cultured meats require GMO ingredients, such as canola oil, soy oil and corn. It has been well documented that GMO crops decimate insect and bird populations. So – not vegan.
And finally, if cultured meat tastes and looks the same as real meat, who is to guarantee that when you go to a restaurant, you’re not getting the real deal? There have been many cases of consumers being fed real burgers and chicken when they ordered cultured versions. (Not that there’s all that much difference between the two!)
In short, cultured meat is not vegan friendly. Not by a long shot. There are plenty of very serious, ethical considerations surrounding it. It’s not very good for you. And it may be even darker than the publicity teams are leading us to believe. But perhaps, that’s the subject of another article.