Disco, Cave men, and Meat

by Rob English

Is it true that nothing ever really goes away completely?

The Disco nightclub rage has run its course but some people still play Donna Summer albums and dance to the disco beat. A few modern people prefer to live in caves or mud huts, and although Chevrolet stopped producing Corvair automobiles back in 1969 some aficionados still drive them on city streets. Even buggy whips for motivating carriage horses are still bought, sold and used. You can probably think of other examples.

So what’s the next thing that’s going to go away almost completely? Meat! Meat from animals, that is.

There’s a new industry making meat today without slaughtering any animal. It’s real meat, cultured from cells taken from an unhurt animal and grown into “cultured meat,” “clean meat,” “pure meat;” there are many names for it. Every day the various companies that make this meat are making it taste like slaughtered meat, chew like slaughtered meat, and feel in the mouth like slaughtered meat.

All of those criteria make cultured meat equally as desirable as slaughtered meat, but the big reason the new meat will eliminate slaughtered meat is economic.

Think about it. Cows, chickens, lambs, and lobsters are highly inefficient at making themselves into industrial meat. They require large quantities of food and water, and antibiotics and millions of human workers to tend them and administer to them and slaughter them. Cultured meat requires almost none of that.

And if a hamburger or chicken thigh tastes and feels as good in the mouth as a burger or thigh from a slaughtered cow or chicken, and the price of the cultured product is one half the price of the slaughtered product, it doesn’t take an economic genius to know that most families will opt to buy the cultured product. This will happen soon on a grand scale.

As the air goes out of the ranchers’ and slaughterers’ proverbial balloon, governments will subsidize the slaughtered product to ease the producers’ financial pain, but the mass of hungry citizens will speak, as always, with their checkbooks; and slaughtered meat will go the way of Disco, the Corvair, and the buggy whip. We will see it in our lifetimes.

Rob English is a member of People for Animal Rights, a grassroots organization in Central New York,

Contact People for Animal Rights
P.O. Box 3333
Syracuse, NY 13220
(315) 708-4520

Photos by Jeremy Bishop and Eduardo Romero from pexels

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