One national animal rights group’s push for an “in vitro” chicken-meat substitute is among the more hypocritical things it has done in recent memory (“PETA plans $1 million prize for creation of in-vitro meat,” April 21).
Any reasonable attempt at culturing faux-chicken cells will have to involve a laboratory serum. And within the four-year window PETA has prescribed, the only reasonably economical choice will be the widely available “fetal bovine serum.” This protein-rich fluid is derived from the fetuses of unborn calves. Many of those animals would otherwise become “veal,” no doubt eliciting naked restaurant protests from the same PETA activists.
Moreover, before any lab-processed chicken-replacement could be brought to market, it would have to be extensively safety-tested on animals in order to satisfy the FDA. PETA’s president has insisted that “even if animal testing produced a cure for AIDS, we would be against it.” But in the service of promoting a vegan utopia, what makes animal testing suddenly appear more “ethical” to these zealots? Could it be the promise of media coverage?