Contributed by Ahinoam Toubia, Gen-Z Advisor and Local Host at Aleph Farms
Have you ever wondered what exactly is the red, juicy, delicious food we call meat? Why do we find meat so attractive? Why do certain people avoid eating it, while others would kill (literally) for a hamburger or a good steak?
As we know, meat is an animal flesh that is eaten as food. Humans have always had a lust for meat and evidences of humans hunting and killing animals since prehistoric times, have been discovered. However, the fact that meat is a central part of our nutrition, it led to an intensive meat production on an industrial scale, disrupting our balance with nature.
A segment of friends and relatives from my inner circles define themselves as vegetarians or vegans. They choose not to eat meat. When writing this blog, I asked them about the reasons they stick to the ‘’Eat No Meat’’ agenda and lifestyle, and realized that these factors below have been the most popular:
1. My connections object from any way of harming or killing a living creature.
2. My connections are concerned about the environment.
3. My connections just do not like the taste of meat.
The bottom line is that most of them adopt the vegetarian/vegan lifestyle since they are concerned about the ethics, about their moral while eating meat. They are concerned about the environmental effects of their actions, or it is just the matter to of their personal taste. But what if we could eat the same meat, but with knowing that it did not include hurting anyone or anything? What if we could enjoy meat and save the environment at the same time?
Does it sound like a dream? well, it’s not.
I believe that should not try to change the future. We should just build it right at the first place. One solution that we could embrace to form this wonderful future we all are wishing to live in, would be cultured meat. Cultured meat/ clean meat/cultivated meat is a method in which few cells are taken from a healthy cow and are grown under controlled and clean conditions. By the end of the process, we get the same product we know, and love, but the only difference between the product we already know and cultured meat, is that it did not grow inside the cow’s body.
In my opinion, what are the advantages of cultured meat? Producers don’t use any kind of antibiotics or other chemical drugs in the process of growing meat — I know that the meat I’m eating is safe. Producers use much less water and feed, than what livestock requires for grazing. Producers uses much less land, under shorter time, to grow meat. Producers are not responsible for the same amount of emissions famously linked to livestock and to climate change.
Furthermore, we can see an increasing trend among younger generations. More and more young people are becoming aware of the need to preserve the world and the environment. The principle of sustainability has become important to them. Eventually, we want to eat healthy food, be healthy and we want the world the be healthy as well.
Meat is important element in economies and cultures. Most of us can’t completely abstain from eating meat and become vegetarians or vegans just because we care about sustainability. With the large number of people that need to be fed is rapidly growing (a large percentage of them wants to continue to eat meat — a major part of it actually), a transition that could maintain and support the capacity and the demand needs to happen.
Luckily, with cultivated meat I can continue to enjoy meat, with knowing that my eating habits do not pose a risk on my own health. I can continue to protect the environment, decrease my moral and ethical concerns, and make sure that my nutritional intakes haven’t been changed.
Ahinoam is an 18 year-old graduated high-school student who has just started two years of national service (community volunteering program). In her worldviews promoting sustainability is imperative. She has been advocating for the subject of sustainable lifestyle since young age with her own community, in and outside of school programs.