Meat that isn’t real (artificial, fake, faux, mock, pretend)

You know vegans who tell the rest of us not to eat meat, because methane from cows is causing polar icecaps to melt and bovines are water hogs as they’re drinking but not excreting?

And how healthy, wholesome and nutritious a meat-free diet is?

And how tasty a vegan or vegetarian diet is?

Guess what increasing numbers are fanging into these days.

One of the most un-environmentally friendly creations (it can’t be rightfully called food) imaginable.

Artificial meat. Vege ‘roasts’, vege ‘sausages’, vegetarian ‘bacon’, vege ‘chicken stock’ (with no animal products!), ‘vege schnitzels’, ‘vegetarian haggis’; you name it, someone’s fanning the misinformation fire, cooking up profitable alternatives and pocketing the proceeds.

Front and centre – the Fry Family (“analogue meat” meat manufacturers – and promoters of Meat-Free Mondays).

Just how much energy (via ploughing, seeding, spraying, irrigating, harvesting etc) goes into the plants grown as a monoculture then highly processed (expenditure of a huge amount of completely avoidable energy) to turn them into pretend meat?

(More environmentally friendly than free-range beef and lamb raised on native vegetation, knocked on the head, barbequed then served on a plate? I think not!)

And what other ingredients are added, to create fake meat?

(Healthier than red meat? As if!)

The fake hamburger patties reported in The Age’s “Good Food” today, ‘only’ cost $20 each to make.

But that’s the ingredients, not the research cost.

And what about the 220,000 GBP spent creating pretend meat in a petrie dish?

Great to discover what Bill Gates and other philanthropists have been squandering their millions on.  Yes – millions of dollars have been sunk into these projects.

This is a first-world embarrassment, when so many people are short of food and vital medical treatment.

Some references, regarding the creation of artificial ‘meat’, if you have the stomach for it:

Good Food article

Why do artificial meat makers seem to think meat eaters will swap to artificial meat, if it looks like meat, has the texture of meat, and drips fake blood?  There appears to be a a misguided belief that meat-eaters are a voracious pack simply addicted to tearing into flesh. When in fact most omnivores simply see meat as just another logical element of a balanced diet.

Wall Street Journal article (behind a paywall)

UK Telegraph – on fake meat grown in a dish

The above articles are written with a great deal more scepticism than is usual regarding these issues. Usually, fallacious vegan and vegetarian statements such as ‘meat eating is bad for the environment’, are published and repeated with no-one checking whether these sweeping statements are based in fact.

Whenever someone tells you meat shouldn’t be eaten as it’s bad for the planet, ask them to explain exactly why they believe this. Ask for specific facts in support of their argument, and where these ‘facts’ were obtained.  As them why they think the protein source they eat instead of meat, is more environmentally friendly and sustainable.  Keep asking the questions.  Ask newspaper, magazine and online article writers the same questions.  And bandwagon-jumping actors, musicians and sportspeople.

People are free to think and say whatever they like. But others are equally free to ask questions in response to such statements, and ask for an explanation.  I don’t give a rat’s toss what people choose to eat (as long as humanely raised, farmed rather than wild harvested, and I don’t have to pay their medical bills).  But I care very much about the truth.

Encourage people to think for themselves rather than swallow whole, what they’re told by others regarding food production and the environment.

Because a mistruth repeated often enough becomes accepted as fact.  So statements such as ‘being vegetarian or vegan is better for the environment’ must be queried.

I’m yet to meet anyone who can provide well thought out, logical answers to the above questions.  Invariably, the answers are vague and firmly rooted in assumptions and heresay. Inavariably, asking these questions reveals a lack of understanding of the complexity of food production and the environment, especially in Australia. The single greatest ommission is consideration of the effect on the environment of protein alternatives.

The immutable truth:

  • Every human being has an impact on the environment. Regardless of how they live.  All have a responsibility to minimise the impact. Eg consume less and use energy and other resources wisely, and raise children to do likewise.
  • Eating a moderate amount of unprocessed food from a wide variety of sources, as sustainably produced as possible, is the best way to help look after the environment.
  • Out of control population growth is the single biggest threat to the long-term  health of the planet. Anything else – from low food miles to organic production – is just tinkering around the edges.

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