Monday, August 15, 2005

Manufactured Meat

The idea of growing meat as an industrial process not requiring the life of an animal is very distressing to me, and I don't quite understand my feelings. I have always thought that it was wrong to be a vegetarian in order to wash your hands of the suffering of individual animals. As satisfying to the conscience as it may be, if no one were to eat them, they would simply disappear. To humans, large animals are either useful or a nuisance. Land-use pressures and the basic Malthusian process insure that we will slowly chip away at wildlands until they are gone. Perhaps a pitiful remnant of the original population will remain as pets for the wealthy, much as horses are used in the US today. Yes I know that the Amish maintain work horses, and that ranchers still use them, but you can't argue that they hold a secure place in perpetuity. People don't even go to the races anymore.

8/15/2005 1:10 AM

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At Monday, August 15, 2005 7:37:00 AM, Blogger mal said...

JJ, intersting view point on the whole PETA thing. I never considered it from that view point and have to agree. As a species, we tend to wipe out creatures that are not useful to us

At Monday, August 15, 2005 12:23:00 PM, Blogger jj mollo said...

I don't mean to suggest that we are culpable in this regard. Individuals may act against the trend. Many act with generous hearts. A few are heroic in their defense of the vanishing kingdoms, but we don't yet have the capability to act in a concerted fashion.

Think about the American Bison. It was nearly wiped out by the concerted efforts of a handful of hard-minded men who recognized it as the linch-pin of American Indian culture and resistance. The rest of America had no input into this decision. If we had understood, if we had had the ability to project the power of the state, if we had had the ability to deconstruct the formidable logic promulgated by these men, would we have been able to stop them? There are many similar decisions facing us today, most notably in Brazil.

We have to start acting as if we were really a species, or at least a nation, a single entity capable of choice, rather than as a Von Neumann machine with destructive attributes.


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