Answer: If you want a straight answer to “can vegans eat lab grown meat?” then it would be a 100% no.
To find out more about lab-grown meat and why it isn’t suitable for vegans, just read on.
More about Lab-Grown Meat
Lab-grown meat is nothing new. It’s just that it has not yet found a place in the market, mainly because of its high cost. About five years ago, the cost of a single lab-grown burger patty was about $300k. This price has reduced by a great margin in recent years, and now the price stands at around $11. However, it is still costlier than regular beef prices.
Lab-grown meat was introduced with the target of reducing the killing of animals. However, the process of producing lab-grown meat still involves the use of animal cells. Hence, in its real sense, lab-grown meat falls under the category of meat, making it completely unsuitable for a vegan diet.
How is lab-grown meat produced?
Here is a detailed explanation of lab-grown meat production to give you a clearer understanding of why vegans can’t eat it. Lab-grown meat also called cultured meat or in vitro meat, is produced by the in vitro cell culture of animal cells, meaning by growing animals’ cells under controlled conditions. It doesn’t require the slaughtering of animals.
It is a form of cellular agriculture in which cellular agriculturists take a minimum sample of cells from an animal from its feather, swabbing skin tissue, etc. These cells usually have a high proliferation rate and are placed into a nutrient-rich solution in a controlled cultivator.
As a result, the animal cells begin to act and multiply into high densities like they usually would in an animal’s natural body. The final result is an edible item that looks and tastes like animal meat. Thus, lab-grown meat is actually nothing different than regular meat. The only primary difference is that one does not need to kill an animal in this process of production.
So, this leads us to the ultimate question:
Is Lab-Grown Meat Vegan?
From the above explanation, you now understand where lab-grown meat comes from. It is basically meat grown from meat cells. Hence it is not vegan. Having said that, the concept of lab-grown meat or its production does create some kind of confusion among most vegans and vegetarians as the whole process does not include the killing of animals. Hence, they wonder if they can eat it or support it.
If you have such similar confusions, you might want to know some lab-grown meat productions do include extra animal use other than its cells. In fact, the world’s first lab-grown burger patty was produced in an animal-based broth by the Dutch scientist Mark Post. He believes that the most efficient way of producing lab-grown meat involves the killing of animals.
In contrast, some food-producing tech companies like JUST came up with their own lab-grown chicken nuggets without causing any harm to animals. Hence, the bottom line is that while lab-grown meat may or may not involve animals’ slaughtering, yet it can reduce animal cruelty by some margin.
As for the answer for whether vegans can eat lab-grown meat or not, still remains a solid no since lab-grown meat requires the use of animals (cells).
Alternatives for lab-grown meat:
There are several great meat alternatives for vegans that will help you meet all your protein requirements in a much healthy way. On top of that, these meat alternatives have relatively fewer calories and fat than meat.
Soya chunks are one of the best meat substitutes as they have a slightly similar texture to meat. You can buy dehydrated soya in the form of cutlets, balls, or mince. Once soaked in water, you can add all kinds of flavor and seasoning to it and create mouth-watering recipes.
Chickpeas generally contain more protein than meat. They are also a rich source of calcium, fiber, and iron. Due to its high nutritional content, chickpeas make an excellent meat substitute.
Tofu is one of the most common meat substitutes, especially in Asian countries. It is a versatile food item that you can use to create a wide range of dishes. Whether you want to boil, fry, or grill it, tofu can satisfy the taste buds of all vegans while also helping them get their required protein intake.