Will Clean Meat Become Cruelty Free? (Repost)

This is a reblog from a Sentientist.org blog from August 2013.

Will In Vitro meat become cruelty free?

Today in London there was the first public tasting of in vitro meat (although it seems a bit silly that the fate of such a potentially gamechanging technology would be influenced by the initial reaction of a couple of gourmands). The Guardian has dubbed Post’s in vitro patty as “the world’s first cruelty free hamburger” although Peter Singer, who actually wrote the piece knows enough to steer clear of this misnomer. This is a milestone for sure but how much difference will in vitro meat make to actual animal cruelty or the number of animals used for food? I previously explored how lab meat is created and whether in vitro meat would help animals in this podcast, including an interview with David Pearce where I asked (around minute 7), what market forces might move lab meat to involve the least amount of animal suffering.

In this blog, I first discuss the aspects of in vitro meat that are still potentially unethical. Then I talk a bit about how disgust, and the groups that are most disgust sensitive, may reduce the impact that in vitro meat will have on the reduction of animal suffering.

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Understanding Evolution made me Vegan

Pleistocene hominins at Happisburgh
Ahh, the good old days- Illustration by John Sibbick

This is a reblog of a 2013 blog from Sentientist.org. 

I’m very often sent news stories that come out showing that meat (or other calorie dense foods seldom mentioned), helped expand human brain growth and reduce the interbirth interval in our species (enabling us to outcompete other nonhuman primates) or that the skeleton of a boy was found who died of apparent b-12 deficiency (because his mama was feeding him vegan, obviously). If eating meat is something humans evolved to do how can I argue against it from an evolutionary perspective? Here’s are my abbreviated arguments for being vegan.

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The Ethical Case for Eating Oysters and Mussels- Part 2

pearl oyster

This is a reblog of a post I first published in  2013. 

In the last blog, I made the case that there really wasn’t a good ethical reason not to eat mussels and oysters. As an astute commenter noted, I wasn’t really making a case FOR eating mussels and oysters so much as saying that the argument against lacked sufficient evidence from the perspective of reducing suffering. In this blog, I’m going to remedy that by outlining some positive effects that might result from the acceptance of oysters and mussels as ethical to eat if not defined as “vegan”. Specifically, I think that eating oysters and mussels 1) undermines the case that vegans are motivated by disgust and purity 2) offers some nutritional benefits that might make people more likely to eat (or continue eating) in a way that causes the least suffering.

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The Ethical Case for Eating Oysters and Mussels- Part 1

This is a post I first wrote in May of 2013. This was the most popular post on Sentientist.org.

oysters.jpg
Oysters aren’t really this cute

In May of 2008 I became vegan or…well, ostrovegan. In this blog I officially come out of the closet, err, shell.  I am almost sure that cultivated mussels and oysters are ethical to eat. I argue eating these animals is completely consistent with the spirit if not the letter of ethical veganism and the tenet of causing less harm with our consumer choices1. This blog is on bivalve sentience/ability to suffer; for further arguments, including nutrition arguments, see this second blog.

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