There are many reasons that people choose not to eat meat, whether in its entirety or only certain types. Religion, a general respect for life, protests against modern animal husbandry, even simple economics. A common solution is to eat meat substitutes like tofu, but there are still clear differences such as texture or flavor. However, modern developments in biology, particularly tissue engineering, have allowed us to use in-vitro cultivation of animal cells to grow meat genetically identical to that of a live animal. Currently this process is much too expensive to be widespread, but there are more issues than just cost.
Is there a meaningful ethical difference between "cultured" meat cultivated from animal cells and "natural" meat taken from a live animal? Should we still continue to raise animals for slaughter even if there's a cultured substitute? What if it's not an exact substitute, whether in terms of nutrition or taste?
At the end of every meeting we take suggestions and vote on what to discuss next week.
As always, free pizza to discuss Ethics of Artificial Meat.
NOTE: There will not be a Pugwash meeting next week, November 22, due to Thanksgiving break.