Responding to the news that meat harvested from the stem cells of animals could soon be hitting are shelves, famed atheist Richard Dawkins seemed to suggest the same could be done with humans if we could only get over the “taboo” of Cannibalism.
In vitro animal products, often referred to as “clean meat,” are made from harvested stem cells from living livestock, and are grown in a lab over a number of weeks. Josh Tetrick, CEO of clean meat manufacturer “JUST” believes that the new product could be on our supermarket shelves by the end of the year.
Tetrick told CNN that chicken nuggets, sausage and foie gras created using the controversial manufacturing process could be served in restaurants in the US and Asia “before the end of 2018″ but admitted that cultured meat faces many obstacles. His products will come up against “gnarly problems, communication issues, regulatory issues,” he told the Guardian.
At the moment, production is also incredibly expensive. Memphis Meats, a food technology company based in San Francisco, reportedly has to spend around $2,400 (£1,800) to make 450 grams of beef.
Animal rights charity PETA has pumped a huge amount of money into the projects.
“We believe it’s the first important step toward realising the dream of one day putting environmentally sound, humanely produced real meat into the hands and mouths of the people who insist on eating animal flesh,” the charity said in a statement.
But renowned atheist Richard Dawkins wants to take it even further – advocating for the consumption of human meat that is harvested from stem cells.
“I’ve long been looking forward to this,” Dawkins tweeted. “What if human meat is grown? Could we overcome our taboo against cannibalism? An interesting test case for consequentialist morality versus “yuck reaction” absolutism.”
Dawkins, a fierce abortion advocate, told the Times in 2017:
“We put humanity on a pedestal miles higher than the surrounding territory. A human fetus that has approximately the anatomy and brainpower of a worm is accorded more status than an adult chimpanzee.”
He notes that chimpanzees have more rights than livestock that become our major food source. “When I pass one of those lorries with little slats and see fearful eyes peering out, I think of the railway wagons to Auschwitz,” he added.