Against Flesh: Why We Should Eschew (Not Chew) Lab-Grown and ‘Happy’ Meat

In Cheryl Abbate & Christopher Bobier (eds.), New Omnivorism and Strict Veganism: Critical Perspectives. Routledge (forthcoming)
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Many people believe that if we could produce meat without animal suffering—say, in ‘humane’ or ‘happy’ farms, or by growing it in a lab from biopsied cells—there would be no moral problem with doing so. This chapter argues otherwise. There is something morally ‘off’ with eating the flesh of sentient beings however it is produced. It is ‘off’ because anyone who truly understands the intimate relationship that an animal’s body stands in to all the value and disvalue in their lives would not want to eat flesh. The chapter concludes by arguing that, as a society, we should not switch over to ‘happy’ or lab-grown meat. Instead, it is imperative that we pursue a public reckoning on our treatment of animals in factory farms, not only for the sake of animals, but for the sake of humanity itself.



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Ben Bramble
Australian National University

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