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

lab meat
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:  Consumer Reports vs Impossible Foods: Are plant-based GMO burgers safe?

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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