posted on Jun, 22 2008 @ 11:35 AM
My initial thoughts on this ...
Sounds like an ideal thing for long distance space travel. Grow your own meat without all the hassles of caring for livestock in zero-g's... can you
imagine that mess? Cows wouldn't do well wearing diapers.
In the OP link...
"Peter Singer, author of the 1975 treatise Animal Liberation, is all for it.
"I always thought it would be a good thing," he says. "The same way that I think it's good that the abuse of horses for pulling loads has ended.
... I think it would be good if the abuse of animals for raising them for meat were to end, because we had a technological solution to that. We had an
The thing about his point of view is it doesn't factor in the unintended consequences. Yes, when tractors and automobiles became widespread and
cheap enough to make the switch, farmers didn't have to subject their poor "abused" horses to pulling loads anymore. But farmers are a practical
sort, and when their horses could no longer pull their weight around the farm, off they went to the glue factories... by the hundreds of thousands. At
least they weren't abused anymore eh?
I can foresee a similar fate for various livestock on a much wider scale if this sort of technology were to become the norm. If it becomes cheaper to
buy a chunk of shmeat than to raise livestock, there would be a whole lot of livestock that would become "unpractical". Right now there are many
different breeds of livestock, developed over hundreds if not thousands of years of domestication by humans. They are adapted to various climates and
conditions, have different characteristics and personalities. Shmeat would only require a small population of tissue sample donors, and due to
economics and human stupidity they would only use the variety that grew tissue the quickest.
Raising livestock it a prime consumer of a goodly part of the grain that is grown, so it would also change the whole grain and food market economics
in ways I haven't had time to consider.
If it will only grow a pure protein tissue its value may be limited. I watched an episode of "Man vs Wild" or something where he talked about rabbit
meat being so lean that if you tried to live off it alone for too long you will develop a condition called "protein poisoning". It seems we have to
have some fats and such to balance it out.
All that said, I still think this technology should be developed for future space travel use.