Written by Jeff Mackey
In 2008, when PETA offered a $1 million incentive to anyone who could develop a marketable in
vitro (lab-grown) meat, there were some who scoffed. Since then, research
into in vitro meat has exploded—the
research, that is, not the labs—and the idea (along with PETA's offer) has shown
up in The New Yorker and on TV shows ranging from Better Off Ted (R.I.P., Veridian Dynamics) to The Colbert Report.
Who's laughing now?
wwarby|cc by 2.0
Though no one has yet stepped up to claim the prize by the
June 30, 2012, closing date, there has been so much encouraging progress that
PETA has decided to extend
the deadline until 2013. Several
scientists appear to be getting close—the University of Missouri (Go, Tigers!)
is a hotbed for in vitro meat
research, for some reason—but if you think you can close the gap, get crackin'!
Even if you don't know a test tube from a champagne flute,
you can help animals, your health, and the environment today by enjoying any of the delish vegan meats—from veggie burgers to faux hot dogs to chick'n nuggets—already in your grocer's
freezer case. View or order PETA's free starter kit to learn more about meatless living!
Written by PETA
The current issue of The New Yorker explores an idea whose time has come: test-tube meat. An international network of stem-cell biologists and tissue engineers, cheered on by animal-rights advocates and environmentalists, are working on growing muscle tissue in vitro just as it is now grown inside the bodies of animals, but without all the filth, environmental devastation, and cruelty associated with factory farms and slaughterhouses.
The author notes that one drawback to test-tube meat is its cost, but it's important to bear in mind that meat production is currently heavily subsidized. It is estimated that, without subsidies, the average cost of hamburger would be around $35 a pound. And that doesn't even take into account the huge medical costs associated with heart disease, strokes, diabetes, and other diseases linked with meat consumption.
Quick to see the tremendous lifesaving potential of lab-grown meat, PETA has sponsored biological engineer Nicholas Genovese's research into it. Says PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk, "If people are unwilling to stop eating animals by the billions, then what a joy to be able to give them animal flesh that comes without the horror of the slaughterhouse, the transport truck, and the mutilations, pain, and suffering of factory farming."
While you wait for test-tube T-bones to show up in your local Winn-Dixie, you can get started saving lives (your own and animals') today by ordering a free vegetarian/vegan starter kit.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
My interest in CBS's Amazing Race started to wane when PETA pal Mike White and his dad were bumped from the show.
Well, the announcement that scientists in Holland have created a sort of pork in a petri dish means a different kind of amazing race is on—one that can save tens of millions of animals every year. As you may recall, PETA announced earlier this year that we'll pay $1 million to the first team of scientists who could create test-tube chicken flesh that looks and tastes like the "real deal" by June 30, 2012.
The Dutch scientists definitely have their work cut out for them if they're to grab PETA's reward money. The article says their "meat" is presently a gooey blob that "requires exercise, like human muscles, to turn it into a tougher steak-like consistency" and that they expect to have laboratory meat within five years. It doesn't sound appetizing—yet—and five years is a little after our contest deadline, but we're hopeful that they'll work out the kinks and apply their findings to create in vitro chicken flesh for public consumption in time to win the prize.
Until then, my animal-defending compadres and I will keep serving up mouthwatering Gardein to entice meat-lovers to kick their cruel, unhealthy meat addictions.
Written by Karin Bennett
So, who watched The Colbert Report last night? I did, of course, but that's not unusual for me. Once again, Stephen's endless pursuit of hard-hitting news has led him to feature PETA's ideas—and Ingrid was on the show!
Colbert interviewed Ingrid on a subject that's either revolutionary or revolting, depending on your point of view: in vitro meat. As you may remember, PETA is offering 1 million dollars to the first team of scientists that can develop a method to produce viable, commercially available, lab-grown chicken meat by 2010. If the in vitro meat looks and tastes just like the "real thing" and can be sold at a competitive price, then even those who refuse to kick their meat addictions will have no justification for the continued slaughter of animals for food.
As you may have seen in last night's episode, scientists are already tackling this, ahem, meaty issue. And hey, who knows—maybe the "Colbert Bump" was exactly what this contest needed! We anticipate an absolute flood of entries in the very near future.
As for in vitro meat, what does the PETA Files nation think—revolutionary or revolting?
Written by Amanda Schinke
It's a great day when the American Public Media radio show Marketplace diverts its gaze from the stock market to notice things like the food crisis—and an even better day when it invites Princeton University bioethicist Peter Singer to talk about something other than whether the Machiavellians among us should invest in corn futures.
Earlier this week, the man who is considered by many to be the father of the modern-day animal liberation movement (and author of Animal Liberation) argued that the solution to the food crisis is as close as our dinner plates. Giving props to PETA's in vitro meat contest, Singer pointed out that environmental realities would force a change in the wasteful and inefficient meat-centered diet, whether we like it or not.
Listen to or read Singer's commentary here.
Posted by Grace Freidan
On behalf of thoroughbreds everywhere, a congressional hearing was held today to discuss horseracing—just weeks after PETA and tens of thousands of our members and supporters called for it. You can get a pretty cool play-by-play of the meeting here, but basically, the primary message was that the drugs are the problem—not just steroids but all drugs. Person after person said in testimony that if you get rid of the drugs, you get rid of a lot of problems in racing because horses who don't have the strength to run won't run and then won't be bred. What we need is a zero-tolerance policy!
The hearing was full of moving testimony, including comments from a woman who runs CANTER, a thoroughbred rescue. She gets the horses who have been on all kinds of drugs their whole lives and said that when they go off drugs, they go through withdrawal periods that include hair loss, weight loss, and depression. One of my favorite quotes from the afternoon came from Rep. Jan Schakowsky, who said, "Greed has trumped the health of horses." One person who was not so surprisingly absent was Big Brown's trainer, Richard Dutrow. Given his rap sheet of drug infractions, I can't say I was terribly surprised.
There will be at least one more hearing, possibly looking to consider legislation to appoint a federal racing commissioner so that all laws pertaining to racing will be uniform. The congressional committee also voted to admit PETA's written testimony—which you can read here—into record.
You can respond to our latest horseracing action alert to let Congress know that you care about Eight Belles and all the less famous horses who face death on the track and get your voice heard! These hearings are a wonderful step in the right direction, and we need to continue pushing for progress.
Posted by Christine Dore
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.