This page contains the opening portion of Chapter 11 of RAFT 2035.
Copyright © 2020 David W. Wood. All rights reserved.
11. Clean meat
Goal 11 of RAFT 2035 is that consumption of meat from slaughtered animals will be cut by at least 90%.
Substitutes for meat from slaughtered animals include classical vegetarian diets, plant-based meat alternatives with broadly similar taste and texture as meat, and what is known as “clean meat”, which is meat grown in laboratories from cultured cells using methods of biochemical engineering and synthetic biology.
Compared to existing meat sources, clean meat can, well before 2035, be healthier, tastier, better for the environment – by freeing up huge areas of land for other purposes – and can avoid the current situation of the mass slaughter of beings who possess at least some of the same characteristics of consciousness as humans.
Anticipating a change in public attitude
As technology provides a wider range of attractive substitutes, we can anticipate a growing change in public attitude. The writer Arwa Mahdawi has suggested that “Carnivores are going the way of cigarette smokers”:
By 2050, there’s a good chance that it will be socially unacceptable to eat meat. In the same way that we’re now horrified people used to smoke in offices and airplanes, we’ll find it almost unthinkable that people used to consume animals so casually and frequently.
RAFT anticipates that this change in attitude could take place faster – well before 2050.
Plant-based meat alternatives
Plant-based meat alternatives are already growing in number. They include products from, in no particular order:
- Vivera – who state they are “Feeding the Goodness Revolution with the most delicious plant-based food”
- The Fry Family Food Co – who encourage consumers to “Swap meat with 100% plant-based products”
- Tofurky, with their plant-based burgers that are said to be not only “mouth-watering” but also “crazy good for the environment”
- Oumph – who claim their products have a “completely unique structure and texture… unlike anything else from the plant kingdom”.
Other companies whose products contain plant-based meat alternatives, and which make broadly similar claims, include Linda McCartney Foods, Quorn, Gosh, Naturli, Iceland, Beyond Meat, Kellogg’s Incogmeato, and Impossible Foods – the creators of the “Impossible Burger” served in some Burger King restaurants.
However, these products, along with lab-grown clean meat, presently face a number of challenges:
- Their taste and texture is felt by many to compare poorly to that of “real” meat
- The cost of lab-grown clean meat remains high
- There are no processes in place, yet, for larger-scale production of lab-grown meat.
More benefits ahead
Considerable research and development is now underway to address the challenges faced by clean meat.