Topical Guide 460
Reservations Recommended, Chapter 3:
“Do genetic engineering outfits grow their creatures in agar?” he asks. “In petri dishes?”
“What?” says Belinda. “What on earth makes you ask that?”
“I — ” It seems too much to explain. “I don’t know. I just wondered. Probably not. They’ve probably engineered some new stuff to feed the newer stuff. Something bred to be eaten. The perfect diet. Salvation of the planet. Feed the starving. Allow more breeding.”
Edward Page Mitchell, The Senator’s Daughter (1879), via Technovelgy:
“I will not bore you with chemical and physiological facts,” continued Wanlee, “but you must know that the food which we take, in whatever form, resolves itself into what are called proximate principles—starch, sugar, oleine, flurin, albumen, and so on. These are selected and assimilated by the organs of the body, and go to build up the necessary tissues. But all these proximate principles, in their turn, are simply combinations of the ultimate chemical elements, chiefly carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen, and oxygen. It is upon these elements that we depend for sustenance. By the old plan we obtained them indirectly. They passed from the earth and the air into the grass; from the grass into the muscular tissues of the ox; and from the beef into our own persons, loaded down and encumbered by a mass of useless, irrelevant matter. The German chemists have discovered how to supply the needed elements in compact, undiluted form—here they are in this little box. Now shall mankind go direct to the fountainhead of nature for his aliment; now shall the old roundabout, cumbrous, inhuman method be at an end; now shall the evils of gluttony and the attendant vices cease; now shall the brutal murdering of fellow animals and brother vegetables forever stop […]”
H. G. Wells, The World Set Free (1914), via Technovelgy:
The chemists’ triumphs of synthesis, which could now give us an entirely artificial food, remain largely in abeyance because it is so much more pleasant and interesting to eat natural produce and to grow such things upon the soil.
William Gibson, Neuromancer (1984), via Technovelgy
“Jesus,” Molly said, her own plate empty, “gimme that. You know what this costs?” She took his plate. “They gotta raise a whole animal for years and then they kill it. This isn’t vat stuff.” She forked a mouthful up and chewed.
Jude Whiley, “Yes, Lab-Grown Meat Is Vegan,” Wired, February 19, 2023
This new technology offers an opportunity to free animals from exploitation. So why are some vegans opposed to it? […]
Ultimately, arguments against cultured meat could hamper the progress of animal liberation. Vegans should not permit this. If we want to see an end to animal exploitation, it is our moral duty to call lab-grown meat vegan, even if it unnerves us. […]
To cultivate meat involves taking stem cells from an animal to grow inside bioreactors. Though these biopsies are invasive, the process is less painful than many of the procedures an animal might endure during its lifetime on a farm, and, importantly, the process does not involve the animal being killed. In the bioreactors, the cells are fooled into believing they are still inside an animal’s body, as they are kept in a substrate made up of nutrients like amino acids, vitamins, carbohydrates, and proteins. Once the meat is grown, the product is harvested and processed into whatever form the manufacturers wish to sell.
See also: Food, Appetite for TG 56; Food, Chicken, Chicken versus Clams TG 44; Food: as Significant Element of a Remembered Incident and Its Literary Reproduction TG 34; Salami TG 135; Food: Preferences: Chicken versus Clams TG 155; Food: In Popular Culture TG 155; Food: International Cuisines in Translation: Chinese: Chow Mein TG 400; Food: Kartoffelklösse TG 367; Food: Aïoli, Chocolate Decadence TG 424
[to be continued on Wednesday, March 29, 2023]
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