An Inconvenient Petri Dish

With the help of today’s New York Times, the anti-everything fanatics at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals are announcing a $1 million prize for anyone who can create an in vitro (lab-created) replacement for meat — provided it’s commercially marketable in just four years. While test-tube beef jerky might be the wave of the distant future, we’re not expecting anyone to collect the prize money. Like everything PETA does, this is 100-percent publicity stunt.
If PETA were actually serious about developing in vitro meat, it would cease to be PETA. Meat cells in a lab “culture,” you see, would need to be supplemented with “carrier proteins,” hormones, growth factors, and a host of other macromolecules in order to grow. And where do today’s science labs get these elements? From blood serum from farm animals like horses, cows, and pigs. The most widely used animal-serum supplement in modern research is fetal bovine serum. Translation: blood products from unborn calves.
Yes, PETA’s leaders are offering today to pay big bucks for research that will undoubtedly require the uncooperative use of countless animals. The same animals they would normally strip naked to defend a few months later, when the rest of us might call them “veal.” And the end result of this research won’t be something noble like curing cancer or AIDS. (That they’re against, if it costs the life of a single rat). No. It will merely be a giant ego trip for the kings and queens of VeganTopia. How’s that for an inconvenient truth?

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