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Why We Should Make Room for Debate about High-Tech Meat

GARRETT BROAD: ‘Glass walls — it’s a design philosophy that many animal rights activists have argued could turn the world vegan, if only people could see into the slaughterhouses that produce their meat. But IndieBio is taking a different approach. “If we put a lightning rod in the ground and say we are going to fund the post-animal bioeconomy,” Bethencourt, a self-described ethical vegan, explained, “then we’re going to create foods that remove animals from the food system”… “We built a lab with glass walls. That was on purpose,” Ryan Bethencourt, program director for the biotech accelerator IndieBio, told me as we sat in the company’s wide open basement workspace in the South of Market district of San Francisco… While the number of alternatives to animal protein has been growing steadily over the last several years, it remains a relatively niche market. Bethencourt and his colleagues at IndieBio are eager to get their food into the hands of the masses. “If we don’t see our products used by billions of people, then we’ve failed”

… Food-tech proponents insist that animals are really poor bioreactors for converting plants into protein. They suggest we simply skip that step—either by building meat directly from plant sources or using a laboratory bioreactor to grow meat cultures. It would be a clear win for animals, and one that could mitigate the negative environmental impacts of factory farming at a moment of growing global demand’. SOURCE…

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