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Monday, August 5, 2013

Expert says lab grown meat is good

Assorted pieces of meat
A bioethicist, Dr Iain Brassington of the Centre for Social Ethics and Policy, University of Manchester has declared that lab grown meat is a good.

Dr Brassington, told NaijaAgroNet that while the sight of someone eating a very expensive burger is clearly something of a publicity stunt, the underlying idea behind laboratory-grown meat is sound. The research is highly laudable, because what it promises is so desirable.
“Meat-eating is morally problematic, and many people are or think they should be vegetarian as a result,” he said, stressing that for one thing, the welfare of the animals we eat is seen by many as a concern. Noting that not only might it be problematic for some that an animal is killed for our benefit at all – but it’s undeniable that the quality of life of many of those animals is abysmal. Carnivores often have blood on their hands in more than the literal sense.

For another, he pointed out that conventional meat-rearing is phenomenally environmentally destructive, because it takes many kilos of grain and many litres of water to produce one kilo of beef.
This, he said, pits hungry humans and cattle in direct competition, meaning that the cost of survival for the poorest is higher than it would be in a vegetarian world. But, in addition, all that livestock has to live somewhere, and this contributes to massive deforestation. And it’s hard to forget the sheer amount of methane that ruminants produce.

“Lab-grown meat offers to solve both these problems. Welfare concerns can be eliminated simply by virtue of there being no real animal to suffer and die. At the same time, the signs are that lab-grown meat would be much less resource-intensive. It would still probably not be as efficient a means of getting protein as vegetarianism, but it would represent a great improvement,” he explained.

Hence there is good reason to welcome the advent of lab-grown meat, and to hope for the day when it’s in the supermarkets.

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