Factory farms, man-made climate change need to end

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Meat has been a key part of the human diet ever since before modern humans even evolved.  However, humankind’s meat-eating habits have now begun to cause major problems in the modern age.

As the consumption of meat per year grows in nations such as the U.S., Australia and Kuwait, the demand for it does so with it. Thus, meat production has favored efficiency over the welfare of the animals themselves. Factory farms are large, industrial operations that raise enormous quantities of animals for food.

They have been notorious for their disastrous amounts of animal suffering, ranging from male chicks being gassed and shredded soon after birth to the calves of dairy cows being separated from their mothers mere hours after birth. To make matters worse, Americans who want to have even some meat or dairy in their meal have little to no choice but to buy such products made in a factory farm as over 95 percent  of them are made via factory farming, according to research.

Animal cruelty isn’t the only problem caused by factory farming. These cruel industrial operations are also a major contributor of greenhouse gasses into our atmosphere, making them one of the main culprits behind humankind’s current climate crisis. Many of the animals in factory farms are fed large amounts of antibiotics, creating a potential danger for human health. Even local farmers have been hit hard as our industrialized agriculture system destroying independent family farms, leaving many of these agricultural workers unemployed.

All these problems have raised an obvious question: How will we put an end to factory farms? Should we make veganism the law? No.

While there have been many meat-like foods made with plant-based proteins in recent years, such as veggie burgers, most of these don’t taste exactly like animal-based meats. Many of these plant-based alternatives also have gluten in them. What about those with gluten allergies? Furthermore, there are many American who wouldn’t be willing to go vegan and, as both prohibition of alcohol during the 1920s and the War on Drugs have shown, some might even turn to a life of crime to gain access to meat and dairy products. The real solution to this crisis is another type of cruelty-free meat, cultured meat.

Cultured meat, also known as clean meat or synthetic meat, is meat grown from stem cells of the tissue of an animal. This had been a stunning innovation even predicted by the late British conservative, Winston Churchill, in a 1931 essay for Strand Magazine.

“We shall escape the absurdity of growing a whole chicken in order to eat the breast or wing, by growing these parts separately under a suitable medium. Synthetic food will, of course, also be used in the future. Nor need the pleasures of the table be banished. That gloomy Utopia of tabloid meals need never be invaded. The new foods will from the outset be practically indistinguishable from the natural products, and any changes will be so gradual as to escape observation.”

Furthermore, there have even taste tests with such meat that have received great praise. Cultured meat is extremely ethical, eco-friendly and potentially healthier than animal-based meat made in factory farms. However, since the first cultured meats have been grown and sold only a few years ago, this raises a vital question: Why aren’t cultured meats the norm, now? The answer to this is simple: Follow the money.

In 2013, the production a lab-grown burger was priced in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, two years later, though, the cost of doing so had dropped drastically to just 11 USD. Thus, the problem of money with cultured meats isn’t linked to the cost of producing them anymore. Rather, the problem comes from the corporate money that has poisoned the American political system.

In early 2018, the US Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) filed a petition to the USDA with the argument that startups for both lab-based and plant-based meats as their meats don’t come from the slaughter of animals. A truly disgusting action. To make matters worse, the stronger National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in lobbying Republican and even some Democratic politicians every recent election cycle and has especially skyrocketed since 2012, one year before the first cultured burger was even grown. Thankfully, cultured meat startups have stated that they won’t back down.

In order to completely replace factory farming with cultured meats, Americans need to vote for politicians that support cultured meats, are against factory farming, aren’t bought out by large pro-cruelty meat giants.

World Economic Forum

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