A rather silly and speculative article, this piece from 2009 presents 8 probable impacts of bio-beef. Bullet #2 on Urban Cowboys is goofy as there aren’t that many cowboys in the first place. (This reddit thread on bio-beef is much more interesting). Still, there will be market effects from eating bio-beef, and they should be discussed.
I suspect bio-beef will just be a niche product or a novelty, like bacon ice-cream or bubble tea.
- Bye-Bye Ranches.
When In-Vitro Meat (IVM) is cheaper than meat-on-the-hoof-or-claw, no one will buy the undercut opponent. Slow-grown red meat & poultry will vanish from the marketplace, similar to whale oil’s flame out when kerosene outshone it in the 1870′s. Predictors believe that IVM will sell for half the cost of its murdered rivals. This will grind the $2 trillion global live-meat industry to a halt
- Urban Cowboys.
Today’s gentle drift into urbanization will suddenly accelerate as unemployed livestock workers relocate and retrain for city occupations.
- Healthier Humans.
In-Vitro Meat will be 100% muscle. It will eliminate the artery-clogging saturated fat that kills us. Instead, heart-healthy Omega-3 (salmon oil) will be added. IVM will also contain no hormones, salmonella, e. coli, campylobacter, mercury, dioxin, or antibiotics that infect primitive meat.
- Healthier Planet.
Today’s meat industry is a brutal fart in the face of Gaia. A recent Worldwatch Institute report (“Livestock and Climate Change”) accuses the world’s 1.5 billion livestock of responsibility for 51% of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. Statistics are truly shitty: cattle crap 130 times more volume than a human, creating 64 million tons of sewage in the United States that’s often flushed down the Mississippi River to kill fish and coral in the Gulf of Mexico. Pigs are equally putrid. There’s a hog farm in Utah that oozes a bigger turd total than the entire city of Los Angeles. Livestock burps and farts are equally odious and ozone-destroying. 68% of the ammonia in the world is caused by livestock (creating acid rain), 65% of the nitrous oxide, 37% of the methane, 9% of the CO2, plus 100 other polluting gases. Big meat animals waste valuable land — 80% of Amazon deforestation is for beef ranching, clear-cutting a Belgium-sized patch every year.
- Economic Upheaval.The switch to In-Vitro Meat will pummel the finances of nations that survive on live animal industries. Many of the world leaders in massacred meat (USA, China, Brazil) have diversified incomes, but Argentina will bellow when its delicious beef is defeated. New Zealand will bleat when its lamb sales are shorn. And ocean-harvesting Vietnam and Iceland will have to fish for new vocations. Industries peripherally dependent on meat sales, like leather, dairy and wool, will also be slaughtered.
- Exotic & Kinky Cuisine.
In-Vitro Meat will be fashioned from any creature, not just domestics that were affordable to farm. Yes, ANY ANIMAL, even rare beasts like snow leopard, or Komodo Dragon. We will want to taste them all.
The convenience of buying In-Vitro Meat fresh from the neighborhood factory will inspire urbanites to demand local vegetables and fruits. This will be accomplished with “vertical farming” — building gigantic urban multi-level greenhouses that utilize hydroponics and interior grow-lights to create bug-free, dirt-free, quick-growing super veggies and fruit (from dwarf trees), delicious side dishes with IVM.
- We Stop the Shame.
In-Vitro Meat will squelch the subliminal guilt that sensitive people feel when they sit down for a carnivorous meal. Forty billion animals are killed per year in the United States alone; one million chickens per hour.
Read in full at H+ Magazine
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