Reactionary politicians reject the animal welfare benefits of cultivated meat

Firstly, I’ll briefly describe cultivated meat. It is also known as lab-grown meat. It is created through a process called cellular agriculture or cellular-based meat production. A small sample of animal tissue (cells) are taken from a living animal. The most common cells are muscle cells which can be isolated. I’m also told that cultivated meat is made from a one-time draw of stem cells. The cells are then replicated in a laboratory and grown in an animal-free medium. The growth leads to artificial meat. The meat cells are grown in a nutrient-rich culture medium to provide nutrients for the cells and to allow them to multiply. Over time the cells organise and form three-dimensional structures resembling muscle tissue.

Reactionary politicians reject the animal welfare benefits of cultivated meat

They are then harvested once they have reached the desired maturity. It’s then processed to remove non-muscle components and to improve taste and texture at which point the harvested meat is mixed with other ingredients such as flavourings and plant-based proteins to create the final product.

It’s all good in terms of animal welfare which should concern us all. Nathan Winograd has provided me with what I regard as a shocking bit of information namely that the abuse and killing of livestock farmed for human consumption has reached the extraordinary level of 74 billion land animals and 1 trillion sea animals per year. That’s a large number of animals all of which are abused in some way or another and to varying extents.

However, as mentioned in the title, reactionary politicians are pushing back. I’m told that a Florida legislator wants to do the same as Italy which is to ban the sale of cultivated meat.

What are the reasons given for Italy banning the sale of cultivated meat? The answer is that lab grown meat threatens the Italian culture. The online news media outlet, POLITICO, tells us that the Italian parliament has passed Europe’s first legislation banning lab-cultured meat.

Francesca Lollobrigida, Italy’s Minister for Food Sovereignty in Agriculture, said that the ban was about “defending work, environment, culture and identity which are rooted in food quality”.

She added that the measures were intended to “defend our civilisation against a model driven by delocalisation and long supply chains.”

How do I interpret that? Two ways. One it is a very human-centric statement. It’s an example of anthropocentrism which means human centred. It’s a concept which is based upon the belief that humans alone possess intrinsic value and have dominion over animals.

And secondly, the pushback from cultivated meat, which would dramatically improve worldwide animal welfare is about making money. It’s about commerce, business and wealth. The Minister mentions the Italian culture but she’s referring to the businesses of Italy. Local businesses providing meats to local people. I get that. It is good in many ways but I would argue, as an animal advocate, that it is time for change.

The woman mentioned supply chains which I believe means cultivated meat being produced outside of Italy and then brought into the country. Why can’t Italy produce their own cultivated meat and create a different culture within the country? It’s about modernising human behaviour rather than rooting it in the past. The past of human behaviour is all about animal cruelty and abuse. It’s time to disconnect from it and think about animal welfare and a world based less on anthropocentrism.

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Speciesism - 'them and us' | Cruelty - always shameful Note: I will donate 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment made over the next three months on pages where comments can be made.
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At heart this site is about ANTHROPOCENTRISM meaning a human-centric world.

Post Category: Humans > culture