Imagine eating a crispy chicken nugget, and then running around next to you is the chicken that you’re eating. Enter the world of lab-grown meat. Today scientists can take a small tissue sample from a chicken, and then create an environment that the cells need to continue replicating – all without killing the original host. The result is more of a paste-like meat at this point, but it is deemed safe for human consumption. In fact, we will be able to have more control over exactly what’s in the meat so it’ll most likely end up safer to eat than “natural meat”. There are myriad documentaries on animal agriculture, as well as the effects it has on our environment and our health so I won’t dive into that here. In 2013, when this technology first hit the market, a pound of lab-grown meat cost about $325,000 to make. In 2018, they’ve been able to reduce the price to about $12 per pound. When all these things are considered, it’ll be difficult for the consumer to justify paying for something that’s less healthy, more expensive, and worse for the environment.
Drawbacks of Lab-Grown Meat
If we replaced livestock with lab-grown meat, the question then becomes, what happens to all that livestock? The most likely answer is extinction. If you take the sum-total of livestock happiness at this point, it’s most likely in the negative. So, by wiping them out we could make that number a zero, is that the best moral option we have at this point? There’s no easy answer to this question, but as lab-grown meat begins to enter the mainstream, we will need to become more aware of our options and their consequences.