Oftentimes, it’s the analysis that comes a few days after a breaking story that’s the most thought-out and worthwhile. This seems the case here, with a pair of Slate.com articles on vat meat.
The first basically accuses of PETA of offering its $1 million prize in bad faith, since there’s no seemingly no way even to get governmental approval for such a groundbreaking food product, let alone develop it, by the prize’s deadline. I think this analysis is spot-on. Merely showing that a commercially feasible, 100 percent realistic meat product is ready to go should be enough to win the prize. This realistic target would be much more likely to convince researchers to jump in, compared to the current terms of the prize.
The second article provides a big-picture look at what vat meat means to animal rights philosophy, and includes this great phrase: “Reality is changing. Eating meat and eating animals used to be the same thing. Now they’re coming apart.” The only problem with this second piece is that it treats seriously the part of the AR movement that frets about vat meat — when the reality is the revolution will occur regardless of what our fundamentalist fringe thinks or says.