Sally Fallon Morell:
Arguments for lab meat capitalize on the fact that factory production of beef (and other animal foods, from pigs to fish) is an abomination; basically, modern agriculture has turned the sacred cow into a receptacle for corn – which suits the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) just fine because its mandate is to sell grain, not to promote any kind of rational agricultural policy. The result is vast monocropped fields poisoned with Roundup and other noxious chemicals and requiring huge amounts of water, along with animals crowded together in feedlots, creating a festering environmental nightmare.
All of the hype about lab meat begs the question; why not just eat meat from animals humanely slaughtered rather than promote a processed product tied to so much suffering? The real answer to the crazy factory farm system is to put our animals back on pasture eating the food they were designed to eat, using portable electric fencing to move them daily to new pasture. A pasture-based grazing system maximizes soil fertility and hastens the creation of topsoil. The Earth has millions of acres available to raise livestock this way, most of which cannot support the production of grains or produce. Properly raised, beef is the most environmentally friendly meat, because – unlike poultry, fish or pigs – beef animals will grow well without any grain whatsoever. The only water they need is the water they drink – which is much less per pound of beef than what’s needed to produce a loaf of bread. But why mention such a sensible solution when you’ve got grant money to develop lab meat?