Because, you stupid bint, we’re humans

Cultured meat is eye-catching technology. But it is also an over-engineered solution to a problem that we can solve by changing our diets. If we simply stopped eating meat, or ate it far less often, then there would be no need for either harmful intensive animal agriculture or meat grown in a lab. The cultured meat industry rests on a view of human beings as greedy and incapable of change. But the coronavirus pandemic has shown that, globally, we are able to make enormous changes to our behaviour when faced with existential crisis.

The startups growing meat in labs might be motivated by noble intentions: to save animals and save the planet. But giant meat producers such as Cargill and Tyson are already investing heavily in cultured protein. Who knows which companies will run the industry in decades to come. If we move into a world where eating meat remains normal but killing animals is taboo, we will become ever more dependent on remote corporations with highly specialised technology to meet our basic needs.

But we don’t have to. We can just choose to eat less meat. That’s where real power lies – not in harnessing this new technology but in being prepared to change our behaviour.

The aim of our having technology – hell, the aim of our having an economy, even a civilisation – is so that we people out here get to have more of what we want. That is, that we get to maximise our utility.

If people want lab grown meat – or even meat meat – instead of vegetables then that’s what people should get. Because that’s the point of the whole game, that people get more of what they want.

Yea, even if provided by corporations.

What is it that is so difficult to understand about this?

21 thoughts on “Because, you stupid bint, we’re humans”

  1. Anybody who describes the corona virus farce as an existential crisis is a complete fucking idiot. You can stop reading at that point.

  2. There’s a large number of people who think that anything done by a large company must be evil. For example among organic gardeners, “Because Monsanto” is sufficient reason to ban neonics in favour of organic pesticides that do far greater environmental damage. “Because Cargil” is what passes for thought among such.

  3. decnine “There’s a large number of people who think that anything done by a large company must be evil”.
    Except Pfizer-BioNtec, Moderna, Oxford University/AstraZeneca. These large (Big Pharma) companies are positively angelic (at the moment).

  4. “we will become ever more dependent…”, this is easy sweetums, you don’t have to. Now leave the rest of us alone.

  5. We are all dependent on each other to some extent, no man is an island and so on. In our civilisation we don’t even know our interdependencies, but nobody can do it all for themselves if it is to work.

    And these people want to play jenga with it, pulling out supporting blocks to see how much they can do before it all collapses.

    I’ll keep my meat, and my car, and my flights, and my fossil fuels, thank you very much.

  6. If killing animals becomes taboo then that does for farming entirely. You will eat only lab-grown soylent.

  7. If what the lady actually proposes comes to pass, I’d say the one thing people would really be dependent upon would be their guns.

    In case you haven’t guessed, I think our present system is much, much better.

  8. The culture meat start ups should stop saying they’re going to save the planet. Just say it’ll be cheaper and healthier and peeps will have a greater diversity of animals to consume rather than be limited to 20th C domesticated species… cultured meats will be the new breakfast cereals. -otters’ noses anyone?

  9. ‘We can just choose to eat less meat.’

    It’s not a choice if you decide for us.

    ‘harmful intensive animal agriculture’

    [citation needed]

    ‘The cultured meat industry’

    Industry? One startup makes cubes. Hardly an industry.

    ‘might be motivated by noble intentions’

    Nah. They are trying to make money.

  10. If killing animals becomes taboo a lot of them will face extinction. Being apex predator comes with responsibilities.

  11. If it wasn’t such a faff to get permissions for the right weapon & ammo, I might be interested in culling the bloody muntjac that have multiplied enormously over the years and infest the locality. We see muntjac most days, both daytime and nighttime on our security cameras. Apparently muntjac venison has quite a nice flavour.

  12. TG: roast haunch wrapped in bacon! They are tasty because they fatten on the choicest morsels of crabapple and roses. You could give a warning shout,like , “Remember Bambi’s mother. The humane thing is to cull now before they getscrawny by winter starvation: it’s the humane thing to do.

  13. That’s where real power lies – not in harnessing this new technology but in being prepared to change our behaviour.
    The real power will come from being able to hunt & kill vegetarians. Not long coming at this rate, methinks. Tractor Gent may favour a firearm & ammunition but I’d go for a spear. Maybe a bow an arrow for the quicker ones. More sporting.

  14. Tractor Gent,

    From a local restaurant menu;

    Chiltern muntjac, creamed cabbage, port wine sauce and triple cooked chips – 19.50

    Olivier at Britwell Salome, if you are interested.

  15. Wasn’t it only yesterday that we were told that soybeans are destroying the Amazon? Evil, evil tofu-munchers!

  16. BiS: I’m no longer the lithe youth I was at 20, so spears are out! Not sure if crossbows are allowed for hunting here. Too difficult to get a clean kill?

  17. When my son was 10 we were at a farm house place that did Sunday dinners with local produce, one time they had venison as an option and he asked if he could try it, when my wife asked if he knew what it was he promptly replied ‘Deer, like Bambi’s mother’ there were some titters from surrounding tables and he of course got his venison.

  18. So Much For Subtlety

    we will become ever more dependent on remote corporations with highly specialised technology to meet our basic needs.

    Will we? Says who? This is a new technology. One that no one seems to want. There are only three options for development – the government, start ups and big corporations. Start ups will not be interested because there is no obvious market. The Singaporean government seems behind some of these companies. That leave the big corporations. Who else has the billions needed to take a gamble that the government will be stupid enough to ban beef steak?

    But just because Cargill develops the technology, doesn’t mean it will remain with them. Once it works there is no reason to think it cannot be copied in any decent lab anywhere on the planet. We have craft beer. Why not craft Triceratops?

    But we don’t have to. We can just choose to eat less meat. That’s where real power lies – not in harnessing this new technology but in being prepared to change our behaviour.

    Yeah. You know Christians have been saying this for some time. We could have a perfect society if only everyone stopped stealing, killing, being lustful and so on. How is that working out? I like steak. I am pretty sure we could cure HIV as a problem if only people made different choices. Like not being Gay. I am also pretty sure it would be a lot easier to persuade Gay people to stop being Gay than it will be to make me stop liking beef.

    What can I say? I am a Carni-sexual.

  19. As I mentioned on another thread, I know the guy who shoots our local muntjac (and roe, in season – roe have an off season, because they have a breeding season, unlike muntjac which breed like rabbits all year round) – there’s a lot of work to get a licence: correct kit, an accuracy test at a range and a written exam.

    I see him around occasionally, dressed in camo gear and carrying a silenced rifle with a telescopic sight – this has given rise to calls to the plod, particularly as we’re a mile from RAF HQ. 🙂

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