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The Future of Carnivores


Written by Gabriel Mathews
25 Tuesday 25th July 2017

Unless you are Donald Trump or one of his supporters you will be aware that for one reason or another our planet is well and truly fucked. We have surpassed the Earth’s biological capacity of carbon, the largest coral system in the world, the Great Barrier Reef has been declared dead and by 2024 the global average for meat consumption will be up to 35.5 kilograms per person. The fact the livestock sector is already responsible for 15% of all human greenhouse gas emissions the state of our planet is only going to get worse.


One of the solutions to at least slow the rate of decay of our planet is to stop consuming so much meat. That seems reasonable, maybe just don’t eat so much meat right? We are a stubborn bunch and rather than eating less meat some very clever people in America have found an outside the box solution and missed out the middleman so to say. They have created meat in a petri dish from stem cells.

Memphis Meats have grown a “clean” meatball, a piece of chicken and a piece of duck in the lab. Their definition of clean refers to the fact that no animal has been raised and then killed. CEO Uma Valeti says the process involves taking tiny meat cells from an animal (via a painless biopsy or sample). These are then fed nutrients, which enables the cells to grow, and they eventually turn into edible meat.  They hope to remove the animal from the process all together.

The effect Memphis Meat could have on the world is truly incredible. “If the US switched to Memphis Meats beef, the reduction would be like taking almost 23m cars off the road. One burger could save the amount of water used in 51 showers,” Valeti says. So why don’t we start consuming lab grown burgers right away? Well currently it costs the company £1,800 to create 450 grams of beef. However they aim to be serving the world’s meaty desires by 2021… let’s hope that’s case because if not we’ll be eating our way and the planet into an early grave.


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