The Future of Meat Will Come From Cells, Not Slaughter

The end of animal farming, or even a significant reduction, would bring huge benefits to the planet, human health, and of course the lives of the billions of animals slaughtered annually for consumption. Cultivated meat may just be the means to this end.

WHAT IS CULTIVATED MEAT: “Cultivated meat” is 100% real meat that is created from cells. A small sample of animal cells are taken painlessly from a live animal (such as from a feather fallen from a chicken) and put into a culture media where they start to proliferate and grow. You can literally sit next to the healthy and happy chicken you are eating, as you can see in this video.

THE HISTORY: Dr. Mark Post of Maastricht University was the first person to create cultivated meat. He received his medical degree and Ph.D. from the University of Utrecht, and in 2006, his expertise in tissue engineering for the medical field led him to apply the same concepts to food. In 2013, Dr. Post unveiled the first hamburger made from cells, rather than slaughter. His motivation was to find a new method to make real meat to feed our fast-growing population in a sustainable, healthy and animal-friendly way. It cost $330,000 to produce at that time, an effort funded by Sergey Brin, the co-founder of Google.

WHY THIS IS GOOD: Although humans do not need animal protein to be healthy, there might always be a percentage of those who want to eat meat. Cultivated meat, together with plant-based meats, will help society to tackle animal suffering, environmental degradation, and human health issues. Cultivated meat not only eliminates the need to raise and slaughter animals for food, but produces a product which is better for human consumption since cultivated meat does not have the antibiotic residues and bacterial contamination that are standard in conventional meat production. In addition, the process is more efficient, reducing land and water costs and slashing greenhouse gas emissions.

WHEN CAN YOU BUY IT: Companies in the United States and Europe are already producing cultivated hamburgers, steak bites, pork sausage and poultry (chicken and duck), plus cultivated milk and egg products. Finless Foods has also begun work on cultured fish. The San Francisco startup, Memphis Meats, is now producing cultivated meat for $40 per gram, which is less than one-fiftieth of the cost of just a few years ago. Production costs are still very high and it will take time and investment to scale to a level where it can compete with meat from pasture-raised and factory farmed animals. But cultivated meat will definitely be a positive step towards a world in which all animals are respected and protected.

Although we’re so excited for cultivated meat to arrive, the best way to help animals is to leave them out of your diet.

Looking for ways to help animals right now through easy, online actions? Join the Animal Protectors today and take a stand against some of the biggest companies around the world!