Vegetarian meat

I recorded Channel 4's Animal Farm documentary series and started watching it only this week.

There are many features I would love to discuss with you, but as today is a religious day, I will ask you a question that unusually for this topic, does not ask any moral questions at all.

During the second episode of the three-part series one of the co-presenters had a nose grown in a lab using his own cellular material. This is famous because of the human ear added to a mouse a while back. This was added, not for fun but to prove that an organ grown in this way will be accepted by the host body and that blood vessels will connect. Basically, by attaching it to a mouse, scientists proved that a nose or ear grown in this way could be successfully attached to the unfortunate person that has lost theirs. This is unambiguously good news and, aside from the initial experiment, uncontroversial stuff.

The possibility then, is that if you can grow organs for transplant, you could just as easily grow organs for food. If you could grow a rump steak using cells from a living bovine, no animal needs to die to feed you genuine meat. Again, entirely non-controversial and in fact less controversial than killing an animal to eat it.

But my question to you is this: If no pig has died then what possible moral objection could a Jew or Muslim have? If no bovine has died what possible moral objection could a Hindu have?

Happy Easter!


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