Clean Meat Hoax (Don't fall for it.)
A Meat and Dairy Industries Article from

FROM John Sanbonmatsu, Ph.D.,
March 2019

Read more at Clean Meat Hoax Articles

Clean Meat is a bad idea for animals and for the environment, and its leading proponents are in the midst of perpetrating a fraud on the public.

clean meat hoax

"Alternative proteins — from insects to legumes to cell cultures -- are not something to view as a replacement for animal proteins, but just another competitor in a huge global protein market." — "How Alternative Proteins Can Support the Animal Agriculture Industry," Tri-State Livestock News, March 2019.

What is Clean Meat?

"Clean Meat" is the term being used to describe an emerging category of new animal meat products. Unlike conventional meat, which is obtained by raising and killing animals, Clean Meat (also called cellular, cultured, or synthetic meat) is created in a laboratory or bio-factory setting, using cells taken from a living animal, but without harming the animal. Through a complex bioengineering process, the cells are grown into slabs of muscle and fat tissue closely resembling the flesh of actual animals.

What is the Clean Meat Lobby?

The Clean Meat Lobby is an emerging alliance between capitalist entrepreneurs, Big Meat, and animal welfare advocates who are "selling" new synthetic flesh technologies as the solution to the problems of animal agriculture. A former PETA Vice President named Bruce Friedrich is at the center of much of the advocacy, through his work with the Good Food Institute (GFI), a nonprofit he founded to promote Clean Meat as well as vegan "meat" products, and with New Crop Capital and Clear Current Capital, venture capitalist funds which Friedrich also founded (and now advises).

What does the Clean Meat Lobby want?

Good question. Because there are so many different players and institutional interests involved, it is difficult to say just what is driving the nascent Clean Meat industry, apart from money. Friedrich, as well as some of the entrepreneurs involved in Clean Meat research or production, have at times expressed their hope that Clean Meat will one day come to replace meat from animals raised in factory farms, in the name of improving sustainability, food safety, and animal welfare. However, it is difficult to know how seriously to take such sentiments, given the lobby's cozy relationship with the meat industry. The Good Food Institute has aggressively helped to broker investments in Clean Meat technology from some of the biggest players in agribusiness, including such multi-billion dollar behemoths as Cargill, Tyson, and Perdue. The latter seem most interested in exploiting the new technology to diversify their existing "protein" portfolios, not in using it to transition away from factory farming. As for the motivations of the investors funding the new Clean Meat start-ups, New Crop Capital's Chief Investment Officer, Chris Kerr, put it best when he told one potential corporate partner: “We will be rich, no matter what."

Should animal advocates worry about the Clean Meat Lobby?

Yes. They should. Clean Meat is a bad idea for animals and for the environment, and its leading proponents are in the midst of perpetrating a fraud on the public. Already, the Clean Meat Lobby is seriously damaging the animal advocacy movement in critical ways--not least by obscuring the simplest, most direct way to create a sustainable, healthy, and ethical world food system--namely, a plant-based (not flesh-based) diet. In these pages [], you will learn how the Clean Meat Lobby is undermining the cause of animal justice by....

  • Helping the Meat Industry fold cellular meat into its wider strategy of preserving animal agriculture.
  • Trivializing the lives and interests of animals in marketing materials and interviews.
  • Reinforcing the myth that meat is something we all need, a commodity essential to human happiness.
  • Belittling vegans and vegetarians, and even depicting them in interviews as gormless losers.
  • Exaggerating or misrepresenting the likely carbon footprint and sustainability of the new technology.
  • Helping destructive corporations greenwash and vegan wash their products and reputations.
  • Praising as "noble," and strengthening the institutional interests, of the very companies who profit from killing billions of animals, such as Tyson, Cargill, Perdue, and Smithfield.
  • Snatching defeat from the jaws of potential victory, by promoting flesh as the "solution" to animal agriculture at a time of growing interest in veganism and plant-based food alternatives.
  • Creating confusion in the marketplace between "good" animal flesh products and "bad" animal flesh products.
  • Leaving the public in its vast ignorance concerning the suffering of animals and the injustice of all forms of animal agriculture.
  • Depicting a future in which consumers will choose between "humane" meat from living animals and so-called Clean Meat, while downplaying the possibility or desirability of a plant-based diet.
  • Deceiving the public by promoting the myth that animals can be raised and killed "humanely."
  • Employing unethical practices in product development, including use of Bovine Fetal Serum.
  • Entrusting the fate of animals to the capitalist free market (improbably depicted as a friend to animals).
  • Exploiting the energies and good will of animal justice advocates by relying on them to promote Clean Meat, while meanwhile telling the public that the animal rights movement has "failed" and has been made obsolete by the advent of Clean Meat technology.
  • And more.

It's time to fight back.

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