Wednesday, February 26, 2014

MOOve Over "Real" Meat

As I was scrolling through my newsfeed on Facebook I was surprised to come across a video that pertained to our class discussion: it was about how cows jumped for joy when they were freed from the hands of those that wanted them dead.

These cows were saved from a slaughterhouse. Usually, cows are happy when they get out in spring, but these cows were even happier than the average "milkcows" because even after they have been drained of all of their milk, they still serve a purpose in life for these farmers; and that is: to live. It made me think about the comments made about the difference between test-tube meat and “real” cow meat.

After dairy cows have been milked they are sold and mostly ground into hamburger. Dairy cows don't have as much meat in prime cuts. like (loin and rump) as beef cows because there purpose is to milk. Regardless, they serve a purpose to feed humans, after they have been killed. Studies and experiments have been being done over the past decade to find a new way to create meat (such as hamburger) without actually having to slaughter/kill cows, and some have worked. According to Scientific American test-tube burgers/lab-cultured meat has been passing taste tests.

After reading some articles about this type of test-tube meat process I realized it would save a lot of cows lives in the long run, and it doesn’t hurt them. But in the grand scheme of things it is very expensive to do these kinds of procedures. “The resulting five-ounce burger, cooked by chef Richard McGeown, was made using 20,000 strips of cultured meat—about 40 billion cow cells—and took about three months to produce, "which is faster than [raising] a cow,” Post joked. The most impressive number associated with the burger, however, is its $325,000 price tag, donated by Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google,” (Duhaime-Ross). If the world had more co-founders of Google to donate money to these types of experiments I think it would be more plausible and popular. It’s really interesting how the taste-testers couldn’t even tell the difference between the “real” meat versus the test-tube meat.

It reminds me of the questions that underlie the novel, “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” such as how simulations can sometimes be so “real” that it can be hard to decipher what is real and what is fake (things created to pose as the real). One might argue that this test-tube type meat is “fake” but is it really fake if it tastes and looks the same as regular meat that we are used to? Is it the different process it takes to make this test tube meat that bothers people & makes people think it isn’t real? If the properties are same, and the taste is the same, I personally don't see the difference between the two--it could be different, but if they share the same purpose I don't see the harm in switching to this kind of process, as long as it doesn't cost too much, and the cow population can be regulated--in a humane manner; meaning they don't force them to reproduce or die.  

1 comment:

  1. I still can't get over the fact that it makes us more squeamish to eat the test tube meat than to eat a slaughtered animal. Gross--produced in a test tube! So much yuckier than just slitting a cow's throat, draining its blood, chopping it up, and frying it. Hmm. This seems to be about what is "natural" (ie- the food chain is natural, but chemically producing something in a lab is unnatural). Are natural things always considered more acceptable than artificial things? Can you think of examples where it's reversed? Is the definition of "natural" always stable?


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