PETA: Artifical Meat: $1 Million Dollar Prize

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wants to pay a million dollars for fake meat — even if it has caused a “near civil war” within the organization.

The organization said it would announce plans on Monday for a $1 million prize to the “first person to come up with a method to produce commercially viable quantities of in vitro meat at competitive prices by 2012.”

snip….

New Harvest, a nonprofit organization formed to promote the field, says on its Web site, “Because meat substitutes are produced under controlled conditions impossible to maintain in traditional animal farms, they can be safer, more nutritious, less polluting and more humane than conventional meat.”

Jason Matheny, a doctoral student at Johns Hopkins University who formed New Harvest, said the idea of a prize for researchers was promising. Citing the example of the Ansari X Prize, a competition that produced the first privately financed human spacecraft, Mr. Matheny said, “they inspire more dollars spent on a research problem than the prize represents.”

Full Article

Over 10 billion animals a year in the US are killed for meat. Vegans are less than a fraction of a single percentage point of the US population. The population of the US isn’t going vegan anytime soon. This research reward has the potential to save billions of animals the horrors of the factory farm, while still letting orgs like PETA hammer away at the AR and Animal Welfare philosophies on other fronts.

This is a very practical move that gives something to everyone, a “win-win” situation.

Money well spent!

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6 thoughts on “PETA: Artifical Meat: $1 Million Dollar Prize”

  1. What about the environmental impact of all this? Is anyone even talking about it? Where are they gonna get the raw biomass to feed the cultured cells?

    Probably corn. Gigantic fields of GM corn.

    Sustainable my ass.

    Some ppl are vegan for more than AR reasons….

    PETA, you a-holes are never getting a cent of my money ever again.

    PW

  2. PW, they are feeding that GM corn to animals right now. What will be different is that they will not have to rip the animals apart.

    They will also need less of that GM corn with lab meat as lab meat doesn’t need to grow bones, hooves furr, feathers and various other things.

    Lab meat also does not produce manure and does not fart methane gas.

  3. Ugh, soon they’ll be doing both…

    Yes, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be waste products…

    We should be advocating a more sustainable diet….

    Would you rather eat a tomato grown in a garden, or in a sterile lab?

    PW

  4. I personally would never touch the lab meat stuff and think people should to a low processed organic vegan diet, but the fact is the majority of people are not giving up meat. Lab grown meat has the potential to take animals, much cruelty, and a large chunk of environmental degradation out of the equation. That puts us ahead on every issue vegans care about so I think it is a great move.

  5. This article raises some good points that I hadn’t thought of before:

    http://www.slate.com/id/2189693/

    Assuming that PETA realizes all of this (and they probably do – they didn’t get to where they are by being stupid), I think this prize is more about PETA than it is about artificial meat. But that’s not such a bad thing. Seems to me that they’re saying, “We’re not trying to take away your meat for the sake of being killjoys – we really do care first and foremost about the animals,” in the hopes that it will better their image among people who like meat but don’t like the idea of hurting animals. I’ll be among the first to note that a lot of PETA’s tactics are really goofy, but I think this one is pretty smart, and I hope it works out for them.

  6. I don’t know if I agree with that point, but it is an interesting point.

    A million dollars may not be a lot of money for the level of research needed to produce the technology. That reward may not be big enough to be rewarding to people who will need serious resources to come up with industrially practical methods of growing meat.

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