Swabmeat Swapmeet!

For those of you who have read Margaret Atwood's prescient and deliciously apocalyptical novel 'Oryx and Crake,' wherein chicken breasts are grown by the dozen upon bizarre entities with legs that are engineered into roots, mouths that are always open and fed with a constant stream of nutrients, hearts and lungs, but no brains or wings or feathers, the idea of science blurring the boundaries between plants and animals will come as no great surprise. For those of you who have not, prepare to empty your stomaches upon your keyboards! The future is here, faster and more disgusting than we ever imagined.

According to the globe and mail (YUCK!), scientists are now capable of growing meat in a petri dish. That's right, they can grow a slab of steak out of thin air without a cow anywhere in sight.

And you laughed when I wrote about pork moss!

One of the leading scientists in the field dreams of placing a new appliance upon your counter-top, right next to your toaster oven. In honour of EZ-cheeze and the EZ-bake oven, I hereby proclaim that it shall be called the EZ-Meat Oven!

"Home chefs could make meat in a countertop device the size of a coffee maker. Before bed, throw starter cells and a package of growth medium into the meat maker and wake up to harvest fresh sausage for breakfast."

Perhaps you have been completely disgusted and are left without an ouce of gust in your entire body. Perhaps you are so thoroughly nauseated that you can no longer think clearly. Well dear reader, do not fear, I have steeled myself against nausea through years of training. Once, while trapped under the collapsed capstone of an ancient Mayan gateway, I survived for three years, unable to move even far enough to forage for berries, by collecting and eating the maggots that were growing in my own wounds. It is experiences like this that have made me the master of omens that I am.

Immediately upon reading this article I realized that EZ-meat would decimate the cult of vegetarianism. Indeed, do not the dirty vegetarians always propound their ethical arguments?

"Meat is murder!" they say, but it no longer seems to be the case!
"Don't eat me I'm cute," they cry, but what in God's name is cute about a steak that clings to the edges of your sink and continues to grow when you try to throw it out!

Those of you who feel guilty killing living things for your food certainly must agree with me, that EZ meat, while disgusting, would be in a different ethical category.

Listen readers, clearly EZ-meat is the beginning of the end for vegetarians, and it seems clear to me that our Lord and Saviour has promised the people Texas that he will return when they host a BBQ in Jerusalem that is attended by everyone on the planet. What else could explain Texas?

And just when you thought it couldn't get any more disgusting: SHAZAM!!!!

"One group, which he would not name, did offer him money, but they wanted him to grow meat from human cells, so they could grow pieces of themselves to eat."

If this process removes the ethical barriers that keep many people from indulging in the delicious flesh of animals, then why would human EZ-meat be any different?

Chew on that, dear reader, CHEW ON THAT!

Or this:

"In 2003, scientists in the United States announced that they had successfully grown a rabbit penis in the lab."

Yours truly,
Matteus Von Mustard
The Undisgustable Undertaker of the Unfathomable


Blogger me said...



i'll get over the gag reaction once i erase this silly association i instinctively make between meat and animals.

besides, i get it now. if we can replicate naturally occurring things artificially, then we can do all the unethical things we've been trying to avoid. i mean, who has never wondered what human meat tastes like? fake humans would be okay to eat. feel like murder? grow a human.

it's so much easier to spend more money on research so that we don't have to take responsbility for the treatment of animals or the environment.

why change ourselves and our practices when we can create an environment in which we can realize our full potential?!

you know what, i'm sold! it'll be so convenient, plus it'll come in a coffee maker-like contraption. you know how i love coffee!

11:56 p.m.  
Blogger deadpan said...

I think my favourite part about the article (I love the Globe for reporting on it in the first place) is the fact that when researchers served petri-dish-grown frog steaks at some la-di-da reception, they admitted that the steaks tasted like "jelly on fabric".

1. Who knows what jelly on fabric tastes like?
2. Why?

Actually, this process grosses me out far less than eating meat that was once breathing. Furthermore, it arguably leaves a much smaller ecological footprint. I'm not saying I will start eating meat when I can grow it on my countertop, but my gag reflex responds less to this than to current meat.

Procrastination over, now to work. Thanks as always for good posting.

12:19 a.m.  
Blogger justin said...

First: Hufu

Next: counterpoint: the new bacon-etics

Sorry. I didn't read TFA, but aesthetics aside, could food grown as culture be used to alleviate problems of world hunger? Or does it require too much "starter"?

Also, I think this idea only seems really disgusting when we forget how close to this way of production we already are... which I guess was Atwood's point.

Well, off to walk my Rakunk.

10:23 a.m.  
Blogger Matthew Lie - Paehlke said...

Yeah, the more I think about it, I must say I agree with Justin and Lessa. The industrial farming system is in my opinion even more fucked up then bathtub meat. Does anybody remember my post on the EZ-Catch harvester? It had video of a chicken machine gun, which had a giant vacuum hand and an internal conveyor belt that could fire chickens through the air into cages at a rate of 2/per second. The video has since been removed from the internet by the company that makes it.

My main concern though is that perhaps skin and nerve cells and whatever chemicals are released during the moment of terror before the slaughter are what make meat so tasty. Can we simulate that?

Also, was Hufu on the daily show?

11:28 a.m.  
Blogger Jay said...

Mmmm, petri meat. What's not to love?

12:53 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to say I was not disgusted by the idea. I haven't (yet) read the article, but I didn't have the gag reflex that Matteus expected. My first thought was actually "no more mad cow!" ... although I wish I could say it was something closer to the world hunger question posed by Justin.

6:26 p.m.  

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