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PETA Will Pay $1 Million For Lab Meat

What if you could have your animal and eat it too? Or even better, not have your animal and eat it too.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is offering $1 million to whomever figures out how to grow meat in labs. The winner must develop a commercially viable chicken-meat product that does not contain, or make use of animal-derived products, except for starter cells obtained in the initial development stages.

Basically, PETA wants someone to use stem-cell science technology to skip the whole bird, and go straight to the bucket of chicken. Sound like you want an extra order of biscuits? To see what animal activists have to say,


Animal activists, including those within PETA, feel the contest abandons the philosophy that animals are not ours to eat. They also argue that the health risks of a carnivore diet — including obesity, diabetes, and cancer — will not be appeased.

Proponents counter that this is a practical solution, which could end the maltreatment of animals, such as caging, drugging, and brutal slaughtering.

Do you think PETA is compromising its mission with this contest, or making the ethical treatment of animals more realistic? With all the news about the origins of meat and its environmental impact, is this a step in the right direction? Would you eat an in vitro chicken-meat product?

Join The Conversation
mjane79 mjane79 9 years
I think this is gross and just...wrong. Food should not be grown in a lab. If I want to eat meat, I buy meat from local farms where the animals have been pastured and treated well. I have no problem with people hunting, either, as long as they use the meat they get for food. At least the animal roamed free before they were hunted. I think people need to eat less meat and avoid meat from CAFOs. If you want to eat meat and make ethical choices about it, no problem. If you choose not to eat meat or any animal products, no problem, but both sides need to avoid pushing their choices onto the other.
laurenautomatic laurenautomatic 9 years
90% of PETA members are probably against GMOs anyway. How is this different, besides the fact that it serves their interests?
hartsfull hartsfull 9 years
Hypnoticmix, I really appreciated your comment. It was very open-minded and you gave good suggestions without judgment. I wish I had your talent of writing without out getting so intense. :D Yes PETA is a hot button for me. Fiery burnin/ HOT. Sorry. Our ranch is actually 300 head of cattle. Where I live there are a lot of ranches, pig farms, or regular farms, and of all sizes. None of the ranchers/farmers that I personally know would allow their livestock to suffer. Not only because they just don’t like to see anything suffer, but also it RUINS THE MEAT. So, that said, it seems strange to me that such compassion and good business concepts, would only be around me. I should have made it MORE clear before, I don’t doubt or even deny that there is, or has been bad treatment with animals. But, factories are strongly investigated. Perpetrators are fired or reprimanded. What is making me go so crazy is that it is being treated as the norm. It’s not. That is PETA propaganda. I don’t blame you for thinking it would be possible for the meat industry to have some front by promoting Dr. Grandin. I think of those possibilities with everything. I do keep forgetting to recognize that chickens are yes, raised badly. Not saying they are tortured, but I wouldn’t agree with eating chickens, for myself, because yes, they are raised in small cages. But I’m still not telling anyone they ignorant for eating them. I would suggest if they are bothered or if the topic were to come up, they buy free-range chickens or free range eggs. Or if they are in a semi rural area, raise them. Again, that is just a personal preference and suggestion. Actually, my own personal preference is to go out and get the animal myself-hunting. I wouldn’t tell everyone they should be hunters! Some people just don’t want to kill an animal. There’s nothing wrong with that. I think I have stated several times that I have no problem with anyone being vegetarian. As far as I’m concerned, if it’s good for you and makes you happy, then that’s what you should do. I even agree with a lot of vegetarian concepts as far as health goes. Not to mention, there are religious reasons for being vegetarian/ vegan. Seventh Day Adventists are vegan. That right there falls into my strong personal beliefs of religious freedom. Also, if you want to eat less meat or want to suggest eating less meat, fine. I know there are more points to make. I just have to go. I wanted to say, Kimpossible, you marvelous and correct, big hugs! Of course Dave too, is always good at proving a point. Nyar, thank you bunches. Mmmuah.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
I see your point LiLRuck44 I guess it would depend on what type of illness were discussing. Acute or developed. When it comes to cancer, obesity etc. those are developed over time. Also I would gather I mean I wasn't there, LOL, that in the begining it was eaten supplimentaly and was certainly not as easily available as a walk to the grocery store.
angelfromlsu angelfromlsu 9 years
Why can't we just agree to a happy-medium? I think Americans should eat way less meat. That's all? It's healthier anyway.
angelfromlsu angelfromlsu 9 years
zeze...Animals are not "pets". We are animals also if you remember...
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
hmm interesting foxie, thanks!
foxie foxie 9 years
Cabaker, lots of vegan/veggie food has good protein. I eat a lot of tempeh which has a shiz ton of protein in it. Plus there are yummy hemp protein shake mixes & stuff. Er... I mean, I don't build muscles but my husband does... seems to work well for him. He eats all vegetarian and the only supplement he takes is vitamin b12 (when we remember).
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
let me clarify, i think the average person could keep most of their muscle skipping meat, but if you want to build muscle or if you have a ton of it already and want to keep it, I don't see how you could if you don't eat meat daily, unless you supplement like crazy...
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
hypnotic how do you keep your muscles only eating 1 meat meal per week? do you rely on shakes?
laellavita laellavita 9 years
I think this tactic was specifically geared by PETA to be 'friendly' towards meateaters, which is a different tactic than the ones they usually use. I'm not a PETA supporter, though I eat vegan - both for personal health and animal rights. I'm severely lactose intolerant and I've never liked the taste of meat at all so it just became easier to bite the bullet and eliminate all animal products from my diet. The thing is, I am the only person in my family who abstains from eating meat, and my dad even owns a ranch! I know that some farmers do try to raise their livestock ethically and soundly, and kill the animals in "humane" ways, but the sheer numbers of animals who suffer on massive, massive factory farms is disheartening. There are simply too many animals to be grass-fed and to have adequate space, too many animals to kill to fill a daily quota, and too much money to be made for many of the very large factory farms to slaughter the animals humanely (so that they are stunned and do not feel anything - often, they're simply stabbed and left to bleed to death), let alone raise them healthily enough. I'm not trying to get on a soapbox or anything, I just think that if the cattle and chickens were raised healthily, they wouldn't need the mass amounts of antibiotics and products pumped into their bodies or feed, the way so many FACTORY farms do. I wouldn't want those chemicals in my body, so I don't eat the meat into which these chemicals were injected. But I know I am never going to convince my family otherwise - my dad grew up in a very large, poor family where eating meat was a luxury so now that he can afford it, he goes all out with gusto - and I will forever be the odd one out on the issue, especially during holiday meals. My family thinks its sad that I choose to eat a baked sweet potato over the turkey at Thanksgiving, but it is simply my choice. I'm not asking them to make the trade too. It really is to each his or her own. But all that being said, I think petri-dish chicken just seems weird and alien. I wouldn't be able to eat it - even if I did like the taste of chicken.
Bettyesque Bettyesque 9 years
I posted this yesterday too. PETA disgusts me once again.
foxie foxie 9 years
Hypnotic, I don't know what kind of experiences YOU have with talking to people about meat, but in my experience no one cares about their health or the health of the world anymore. Besides I'm a vegan Republican, not a vegan hippy. Flowery just isn't my style.
LiLRuck44 LiLRuck44 9 years
Well said, hypnoticmix. I love your approach on eating meat. My husband eats meat (I don't) but he only has it once per week-ish. Americans consume a ton of meat, I wish people could use some restraint, it would be better not only for their health, but the environment and animals as well. Something in your post did make me stop though. You said "Isn't it biological instinct not to eat things that make us sick? If it made us sick in the beginning we would have stopped eating it in the beginning." If it were biological to not eat things that made us sick, we would only eat about 1/4 of what's available at the grocery store. You can't look at all the garbage in the food supply (HFCS, partially hydrogenated oils in everything, aspartame, artificial food colorings) and look at all the disease (obesity, IBS, diabetes) and say that humans aren't getting sick.
beingtazim beingtazim 9 years
why don't people come at this from an environmental stand-point? even if you think eating animals is wrong etc. getting your message across is easier if you try a different approach. just a thought.
MandyJoBo MandyJoBo 9 years
I love animals and choose not to eat them, but I understand that it's a personal choice. There is rarely a middle ground between the two camps, but this just might help bridge the gap. My boyfriend eats meat, but he has said that if they made meat in a lab he would eat that instead. That was long before this news. If chicken-less chicken were created, there would be less animals raised for slaughter. It would help. People could choose to eat it or not, but the existence of it--as long as it's 100% safe--would be a positive thing.
MisterPinkNoTip MisterPinkNoTip 9 years
PETA is a rather horrid organization, and I'm generally disinclined to agree with anything they do, despite the fact that I am a vegetarian.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
foxie: You had an excellent opportunity here to promote the health benefits, environmental benefits and promotion of humane animal treatment through a vegan lifestyle. However, by choosing to be aggressive, judgmental, insulting you greatly diminished an opportunity enlighten. Human kind has been eating meat for thousands of years. I find it hard to believe that we need small k-9's if our dietary intent was to be purely a vegan species. I'm also perplexed at your argument that it took us hundreds or thousands of years of eating meat before we did not get sick. Isn't it biological instinct not to eat things that make us sick? If it made us sick in the beginning we would have stopped eating it in the beginning. I am not familiar with Dr. Grandin but I will agree in saying that I wouldn't put it past the meat industry to use her name and her knowledge as a front to suggest that they are completely humane and everything is just peachy. That it is not but this fault lies with the industry and supervising agencies not Dr. Grandin herself. You say that " My objective is for people to be healthy, for the earth to be healthy, and for animals to be healthy." I believe that this can be achieved but not necessarily dependant on every one living a vegan lifestyle. As I mentioned in my first comment it is gluttony and greed which got us to this unfortunate stage of meat consumption, environmental degradation, and other consequences which have expressed them through health issues. It is perfectly healthy to eat meat in moderation as I suggested 4oz. per week. It is my opinion that inhumane treatment of live stock animals was born out of greater demand for the product. The need to get it to market faster and in greater amounts. If we reduce the need by eating in moderation than that need for quantity to market falls and dramatically reduces the need for as many live stock, reducing the environmental impact, eliminating a perceived need for inhumane treatment, and have a beneficial peripheral impact on health in general. I also think that the vegan lifestyle is great. I prepare and eat many vegan meals myself and go to a raw restaurant here in town on a regular basis. The fact of the matter is I also like meat and it is my source of protein. I eat one meat entre once a week because that's all I need. hartsfull: I get the impression that you are speaking more from personal experience as it relates to the smaller more independent ranchers. I appreciate your conscious proactive concern when it comes to the welfare of the animals which you have experienced. However, the fact of the matter is the greater meat industry is out of control and our glutinous consumption of meat has caused serious health, environmental and animal welfare issues which must be checked. This is not an issue of mandate. This is an issue of conscience. What I would suggest to people is think about how much meat you eat on average per week and consciously decided to cut back little by little. If you go all the way vegan great, if you just maintain in moderation great but just remember the impact of gluttony and greed on this issue and what a difference your actions would make.
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 9 years
Peta is fullof horrid people with militant tactics. I don't like bullies therfore i loathe PETA and everything they stand for, if people put that much effort into stopping child prstitution the world would be a better place. I will not eat meat grown in labs, I want it coming from a cow, chicken or pig and if that makes me heartless, then i'm a well fed heartless human being.
yesteryear yesteryear 9 years
dave: we are not at the top. ever heard of a tiger? an alligator? a boa constrictor?! ha! just because we've figured out a way to outsmart the animals by trapping them in cages and forcing them to reproduce, or shooting them with rifles, does not mean we're at the top of the food chain. if you believe this line of reasoning i suppose you also think that just because we figured out how to travel into outer space we also own the galaxy.
Kimpossible Kimpossible 9 years
foxie you can extend that to animals all you want to - that's your choice. If others don't want to that's their choice. but do I think they should have the same rights as humans, no I really don't think they should - however, that doesn't mean I think they should be abused or treated cruely either. but I'm sure you'll have something to say on that as well - I just get the feeling that you like having your say and possibly even the last word, and that's fine with me, so I'm done now- I've said my peace, I'm not going to argue with you over something that obviously can't be agreed upon. I simply choose to allow you to have your opinions and me, mine.
foxie foxie 9 years
Dave, could you indicate the post where I insinuated that "because I don't like it" is the reason why people shouldn't be allowed to eat meat? You're missing the issue entirely, which is factory farming; not whether you, in your all-mighty human status, care to eat meat or not just because you can... spinspinspin.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
foxie, there is a food chain. We are at the top, and eat everything below us. Plants and animals included. We have discovered that some animals are very tasty, and have found ways to cultivate those animals. If you don't like it, that's fine. Don't tell us that we have to not eat something just because you don't like it.
foxie foxie 9 years
Kimpossible, I guess we shouldn't extend the "live and let live" courtesy to animals?
foxie foxie 9 years
I've never had a post that says I'm a PETA supporter. I'm a supporter of animals. Nor have I ever had a post that says meat eaters are bad people. You're a spin doctor, and it makes me less and less inclined to believe anything you say on the topic of livestock.
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