will "victimless" meat be excluded?

Submitted by sctv on Wed, 04/02/2008 - 14:18

I hear there are a number of proposals to make meat in the laboratory without the use of animal bodies...Will meat produced in this 'ethical' way be exempt? 

"Victimless Meat?"

As I understand it, The Meat License Proposal (M.L.P.,) in it's current form only asks for legislation to control the purchase and consumption of meat (animal flesh, organs, blood, bones etc.) produced as a result of the slaughter and death of an animal - a living being.

Meat produced in some other way (if this were to be possible) would not currently be covered by the M.L.P.. The M.L.P. is seeking to address issues currently faced by the majority of meat consumers and "Victimless Meat" would seem to be a minority issue.

If such methods were to become more commonplace in the future then I suggest further dialogue and research would need to be done regarding the licensing of meat from "semi-living beings."

Further information on one such "Victimless Meat" project: http://www.tca.uwa.edu.au/disembodied/dis.html

victimless meat

Meat without suffering,
In response to the earlier post about victimless meat, generally my whole problem with meat is that other sentient beings have to suffer & die so that we can eat it. It’s that these animals are centres of consciousness, that on a most basic level they feel pain, but also, that they experience fear, love, and many other emotions. What right do we have to make them suffer, never mind take away their right to life.

So logically, I suppose if you take their mind’s/subjectivity out of the equation I shouldn’t have a problem with eating them. And as far as climate change goes, meat from a Petri dish probably doesn’t fart as much as a cow either, so it’s win, win.
But as it happens on a gut reaction, I do have a problem with the idea of victimless meat, here are some reasons off the top of my head why.

1) I don’t think that victimless meat can be that good for us nutritionally. How can lab conditions recreate the holistic way in which an animal takes goodness into its system. Would you eat a cow that was only fed chemically & kept out of the sun & fresh air? ( or am I showing my ignorance here? Do different rules apply to artificially created meat?).

2) Why do we need to engineer victimless meat when we can get all the nutrients we need from a vegetarian diet, it seems that whatever problem victimless meat is claiming to adresss, it isn’t going to the root of it.

3) Lastly on a slightly luddite note, why would we want any new technology enabling a greater control over the food chain to be developed, as ultimately within a capitalist society, it would be controlled & mediated by corporations, which aren’t obliged to operate in our interests. This was George Monbiot’s point about G.M.O.’s, that if you take their alleged danger out of the debate, do we really want business to have any more powerful a control over nature & the food chain?

There is an excellent talk by a guy called Craig Ventner, on the ted, spodcasts site, who talks brilliantly about engineering new organisms to deal with the energy crises.

So to play devils advocate, what if a cow was genetically engineered not to feel pain?
How would I feel if there were cows that we could shave meat straight from, like the guys do in kebab shops, without troubling them too much?

This sounds very much like a post apocalyptic paradise, illustrated in the Jehova’s Witness pamphlets, where man can roam around the idyllic countryside, chilling out with the lions and the gazelles.

See the image at the foot of this Jehova’s Witness article.


This is a provocation, in

This is a provocation, in order to make 'victimless' meat, it needs to be fed on a victim in the growth medium FCS (foetal calf serum) or FBS (foetal bovine serum). This comes from foetuses harvested in abattoirs from cows fit for human consumption. This is the current technology, and is very expensive.

from The art of science By Marit Slavin


Catts: "Not long afterward, a young scientist started to send us questions about the project, which for us was very good, because it made it possible for us to draw conclusions. We discovered that a gram of steak cost us $650, and when we calculated how much serum we had used to grow the steak, it turned out that a whole lamb would have needed to be killed for this. In other words, there are no free meals and there is no victimless situation.


There are semi-living beings

There are semi-living beings working in our office. Can we eat them?

On a serious note, I think it's a palpable law, which holds the society entirely accountable for their inhumane behavior. I should imagine it will rid meat eaters from the dissimulation of how meat gets to their table. I for one, as a piscitarian, will need to be taught how to fish!

Though not directly associated with the article, Anyone interested in joining the humane society monthly newsletter...

Gone fishin'

Something you said Clarks got me thinking.

It's interesting to wonder how much will be required to obtain a licence, aside from just killing. Will we actually have to go sit lakeside fishing? Or will we just take a fish out of a designated government aquarium, and bash it over the head with a rock?

Likewise game, do we get to go shooting? Or just have to wring a pheasants neck? And the cow - do we have to raise it, or just turn up one day to stick a bolt gun to it's head?

Will we also be asked to pluck/skin/gut/cut the creature up ready for the butchers window?