Lab-grown, plant-based meats raise thorny ethical questions about animal welfare, sustainability

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Crredit: Reason Magazine

Meatless Monday. “Vegetable-forward” restaurants. Plant-based diets. Foregoing meat is more mainstream than ever before, and at the center of this movement is a new wave of plant-based meat products, like the Impossible Burger and Beyond Meat.

Diet and identity are closely linked — we are what we eat. For vegetarians or vegans, not eating meat or meat products can be “a public declaration of one’s identity, morals, and lifestyle … it is a philosophy and ethic.” For omnivores, consuming meat can play a central role in important social and family traditions, like summer barbecues or Thanksgiving dinners. In these settings, meat alternatives are allowable but not adequate substitutes; Tofurky, it seems, can’t carry the same sentimental, symbolic value as a whole roasted bird. Meals seem incomplete without meat, and we feel incomplete as a result.

Related article:  Is life worth living after 75? Why this medical ethicist isn't a fan of extending the human life span

Altering our diets can seem like changing who we are as people….It definitely makes things more complicated. Are vegetarians still vegetarians if they eat in-vitro meat?….And is the adoption of this new wave of meat alternatives really the best choice for health, animal welfare and environmental sustainability?

Read full, original article: Will Changing Definitions Of Meat Affect How We Think About Our Values?

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