Got questions about Supermeat? Watch the video!
Did you enjoy Monday’s post on Supermeat? Did you miss it? Either way, please check out ModVegan’s Supermeat video, where I examine Supermeat and the question of lab-created/in vitro meat in general.
Supermeat seems quite close to market with their product, which is encouraging, because this is something we’ve gone through with other companies before, without really seeing much of an end product.
Why I don’t think Supermeat is “icky”
As I mention towards the end of the Supermeat video, while I’m not currently interested in eating Supermeat myself, I have no problem at all with it being “unnatural”.
This is something I might discuss at a later date, but my views on veganism definitely fit into larger goals that I have for society as a whole (not just the abolition of suffering but the promotion of well-being).
My concept of morality is generally based around the Golden rule, NOT what is natural. Nature, as I am loathe (but obligated) to state, does not care about you. It doesn’t care about the human race or any other species on the planet. It is morally neutral.
Looking to nature for moral guidance is a losing proposition. I consider arguments against Supermeat on the basis of what is “natural” completely invalid.
I reject the idea that raising animals and killing them for their flesh is somehow morally superior to the “unnatural” process of growing stem cells in a lab. Why are we using nature as a moral baseline? Nature, as the poets remind us, “is red in tooth and claw.” And personally, I think we can do better.
Does that make me arrogant? Maybe. Hollywood makes half its bread and butter scaring us about what happens when we interfere with the evolutionary process (think Jurassic Park) or having too much faith in technology (The Terminator).
From the time we’re young we’re warned we shouldn’t “play god.” People fear stem-cell research, genetic engineering and even organ transplants. Interestingly, when these technologies can save our own lives, we seem to suddenly change our minds. Hence the great shortfall of organ donors. Nearly everyone will take a kidney if they need it – but very few are willing to donate one.
Caution, not fear
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think we should throw caution to the wind and start engaging in irresponsible science. But we also can’t be governed by fear. We can’t forget how the Catholic church (among others) persecuted scientists during the middle ages (and beyond). I think if he were alive today, Galileo would be likely to urge caution over fear. Yes, we should exercise caution with new technologies. We should discuss them and examine the benefits and drawbacks. But fear of innovation hurts everyone. And I can’t really think of any example where fear of scientific discovery worked in our favour.
But I’d love to hear what you guys think. I know that my views are a little out there, so I’d really like to hear what other people feel about this subject.