Clean Meat Is Not Vegan - But It Could Help End Factory Farming Forever... Should vegans support this emerging technology?
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Robbie Lockie,
July 2018

So looking at the systematic horror of the industrial farming complex, should vegans support clean meat, even though it is not vegan, as it is made from animal cells?

clean meat
Could clean meat save billions of animals from slaughter every year? (Photo: Armando Ascorve Morales)

When I talk about 'cultured meat' or 'clean meat' so many people say to me that it is disgusting, or 'unnatural'.

Some people just can't understand how anyone would eat it?

What many fail to understand is that 95 percent of all meat consumed in the Western world is produced on factory farms and nothing natural happens on a factory farm. Nothing.

Worst enemy

These are places where thousands of sentient feeling animals are crammed into tiny spaces, standing in their own feces and urine for months and months at a time.

They may be pumped full of drugs and antibiotics in horrific conditions so nightmarish you would not wish them on your own worst enemy.

Some do not see light, or breathe fresh air for their entire lives - until the day they are taken to a slaughterhouse and killed.


So looking at the systematic horror of the industrial farming complex, should vegans support clean meat, even though it is not vegan, as it is made from animal cells?

Paul Shapiro, author of Clean Meat: How Growing Meat Without Animals Will Revolutionize Dinner and the World, told me: "Clean meat isn't intended for vegans - it's real meat, after all.

"But vegans should support clean meat innovations since they can help animals, the planet, and public health - the three primary reasons people choose to become vegan in the first place."

Cellular agriculture - the creation of clean meat - uses a fraction of the natural resources we need to produce flesh using standard animal agriculture practices.

So really what is more 'natural'? Abusing and torturing animals for their flesh, while simultaneously destroying our planet?

Or growing tissues in clean and hygienic labs without slaughtering billions of living beings at a lower environmental cost?


Speaking about the sustainability of clean meat - as well as guarantees consumers may seek in terms of the products impact, Shapiro says: "Clean meat is likely to be both safer and more sustainable than conventional meat today.

"It's imperative that credible third parties (not just the manufacturers themselves) such as food safety, animal welfare, and environmental groups, help inform consumers of the benefits clean meat innovations offer. At scale, clean meat will be produced not in labs, but in breweries that really resemble beer breweries today.

"It seems likely that there'll be limited, symbolic commercialization of some clean animal products in the next year or so. I'd suggest that more meaningful commercialization in which these products will regularly be on store shelves is still years - though not decades - away."

The future

It is the future. And just like many other technologies that came before, people where initially afraid of them but then they where widely accepted.

And as my friend Khaled bin Alwaleed Alsaud says "It's time to resign factory farming to the dustbin of history..."

This technology could help us end it, forever.

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