Tuesday, September 16, 2008

i am shocked!

hi guys-

it would be nice to say that nothing surprises me anymore, but that would make me a cynic and i am nothing if not supernaturally optimistic...some people think it's nauseating...hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha...i am pretty easily shocked, but this latest news item floored me.

i was perusing the new issue of 'veg news' magazine when i saw a small piece on lab grown meat. research is being done in europe to create this synthetic meat that would eventually be grown in giant bio-reactors. Okay, that is pretty shocking in itself, but i had heard about this nonsense. i guess we can't produce meat fast enough the natural way, so we need to lab produce it now...all i can say is e-e-e-e-w-w-w-w-w-w-w-w.

but here is where it really takes a turn for the weird. PETA, the infamously radical animal rights group, is offering $1 million to 'whoever successfully manufactures and markets the first in-vitro chicken or meat product.' are they kidding me????

look, as a vegan, i am completely in favor of not eating animal food. i do not think that we need it. i choose not to judge people for their choices...everyone has their karmic destinies. my job is to share information about what i have experienced and i can tell you that you will experience the best health by eschewing animal foods.

while i do not believe that we need to kill animals for food (or sport, but that's another blog...), i find it hard to stomach that the people at PETA think it's okay to stomach humanity to yet another un-natural food-like substance and the health of the species be damned. no one knows the longterm ramifications of lab-grown meat on humanity's health or that of the planet. and yet this supposedly 'conscious and compassionate' organization thinks it's acceptable to sacrifice human life in this grand experiment.

it's like pro-life people who are hunters or in favor of war or capital punishment...or environmentalists eating steak dinners at their fundraisers...something in this equation doesn't compute. in my view, you are all in for life or not. you can't have it both ways...if you say you value life and would never sacrifice it, then you must stand true to your word...stand in your truth.

we have made our causes small and petty. we protect dogs, but not cats. we are pro-choice, but racist. we rescue stray animals, but leave homeless people to fend for themselves.

we must learn to care for all life, to live truly compassionate lives...none of us are perfect, least of all me, but i believe that we must learn to live with the mantra given us by the buddha...do no harm.

and even if that harm is only potential harm, grown in a lab in the form of meat, we need to just say no, not rejoice in this frankenstein style of food production...and certainly never reward it.

i was seriously considering getting involved with PETA, because i thought we shared values...but i am re-thinking my options...i want to back an organization that cares for the health and safety of all living creatures...

see you later...


One Christian Mom said...

Excellent post! I agree that we could use less meat in our diets. But lab-created meat just sounds like something from the twilight zone. We eat enough "fake" foods, let alone adding meat to the mix. If it ever does come to market, I will not have it in my home!

Fargo Woman said...

If you’ll bear with me here, I’d like to offer an argument FOR the invention of this “fake meat.”

You are correct in saying, of course, that the long term effects have not yet been tested but then, this "fake meat" hasn’t yet been perfected so it is a bit early to think about that. However, let's say, for the sake of argument, the process of growing edible red meat, fish and poultry has been perfected. Immediate and short term effects are observed and the results are fine. As for the long term effects, well, let's say the FDA decides to take the same stance with this as it already has with the genetically enhanced vegetables and fruits on the market today. Granted, that's not necessarily acceptable for us dedicated health food proponents but for the sake of argument, let's say this does go to market. This then, becomes, in addition to tofu, tempeh and seitan, a viable alternative to meat derived from the cruel torture and slaughter of live animals.

In addition to eliminating the need for the inhumane treatment of animals this would also eliminate the negative environmental effects the industry has on this planet such as the poisoning of land and ground water from waste runoffs that often occur around pig and poultry farms or cattle ranches. Being able to produce this "fake meat" in a number of labs all over the world might even eliminate the need for the heavy use of fossil fuel to transport livestock to market.

Presuming, again for the sake of this argument, producing this “fake meat” does not involve the use of harmful chemicals, it would eliminate the prevalent use of antibiotics and growth hormones in traditional livestock. This, in turn, would result in humans not having to make the choice between ingesting these harmful chemicals and paying ridiculously high prices for "organic free range" meats.

I do understand and agree that an animal based diet is not as healthy as a plant based diet. I too am a vegan (thanks in large part to your PBS cooking shows, by the way - THANKS!). However, I am also a realist. I know that while I try to enlighten a carnivorous populace to the joys and benefits of meatless living, millions of helpless animals will continue to die every day. If this new invention allows the carnivores to have their meat while simultaneously eliminating the need to extinguish a living creature to do it, then I have to say I agree with PETA. Invent it, perfect it and get it out on the market. Who knows, perhaps during the invention process, they'll figure out a way to take out the artery clogging fats and enhance the positive aspects of meat, poultry and fish. In the meantime, it will buy us the time we need to educate and enlighten the rest of the world.


christea said...

The Bermuda Triangle (Agribusiness, Big Pharm and Biotech Firms) are out for profits first. They care NOTHING about public health or the impact of their practices on our environment. They are about all about Profit and Greed. Their practices are not regulated and the products they produce go untested (except by themselves to issue reports about how "wonderful") they are for the consumer and environment. For goodness sakes, the EPA just decided that their is no need to clean up the rocket fuel in our water supply! We have not been able to trust government agencies to police The Triangle for the past 8 years. Americans don't need "faux meat". Americans need to be educated to alternative non-meat based meals that are affordable, easy and tasty as well as beneficial to our environment. This is Christina's talent, strength and gift to us. How many Americans know the health benefits of tofu and/or how to prepare it so that it tastes great? Keep up the good work! Support Christina's Healthcare Initiative!