back to article PETA offers $1m for test tube chicken

PETA, the US Animal rights organization, is challenging scientists to create test-tube meat for a cash reward, in a similar vein as X Prize Foundation. PETA announced today it will offer $1m to an organization that can successfully create and market "in vitro meat," i.e. muscle tissue grown without the pesky animal attached. …


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  1. ratfox
    Thumb Down


    Not taking too many risks, are they? A 4 years limit to MASS PRODUCE and sell at a COMPETITIVE PRICE? If it was anywhere in the realm of the possible, it would have been done long ago.

    All right, here's my challenge:

    - The prize is 100 billion dollars (100'000'000'000$)

    - The goal is to find a way to reverse global warming

    - The time limit is next Sunday

    - Oh, it has to be cheap, too

  2. joe_bruin

    Cult of the Non-Dead Cow

    Where is the X-prize to develop non-animal derived insulin so that the head of PETA doesn't have to harm animals in order to have the insulin she requires to continue living?

    I'll get my coat, we're going for steaks.

  3. ImaGnuber


    And they could hook up billions of these slabs of meat a la Matrix and power the world!

  4. The Aussie Paradox
    Paris Hilton


    I must ask the obvious. If we were not meant to eat meat, why were all those animals made so delicious?

    And where is the Paris Hilton angle? oh the meat bit...nevermind...

  5. Captain DaFt

    So this...

    Is what PETA wants the future of chicken farming to look like?

    No thanks, I prefer the old fashioned, farm raised Chicken, thank you very much!

  6. lglethal Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Vegetarian "Chicken" Dish

    umm... how exactly do you have a Vegetarian "Chicken" Dish? Is that like having a big chicken dish but only eating the salad on the side? Or is it more along the lines of licking the side of as living chicken to get that chicken flavour?

    Either way, who would want to eat a non-vegetarian dish prepared by a devoted vegetarian?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Alert Hollywood

    We have here the makings of an excellent B grade Sci Fi flick, as a batch of chicken stem cells is accidentally flushed down the drain. From that point on its development is influenced by DNA from various sources that it encounters on its journey through the sewer, finally evolving into an enormous, underground sentient lifeform that devours anyone who uses a toilet. (Did I mention it was B grade?)

  8. Jacob

    Done and Done


    Massive seeding of the oceans with photosynthetic algae. (There is no requirement in your competition that I have to actually do it, just "find a way").

    Waits patiently for money to be transferred...


    Insulin was the first protein to be produced from bacterial vat cultures to be purified and sold in a commercial environment. We have been producing it without the help of animals for decades. (Other than that, nice call!)

  9. Wade Burchette
    Paris Hilton

    Have fun with that

    And while we are at, lets make a lion that eats tofu and a shark that eats algae. Maybe all that vitamin B-12 they haven't been getting is affecting their brain. After all, these are the same bunch that thought we needed to encourage college kids to have a beer instead of milk. Yeah, college kids overdosing on milk, that is a problem of epic proportions.

    (Paris because I think even SHE has more sense than PETA.)

  10. kain preacher

    People like her

    .people like her need to live %100 by what they stand for. No products derived from or tested on animals.

    So no vaccine , No medicines .

  11. Maty
    Paris Hilton

    technosteak yes please

    Well, despite the overwhelming majority of meatards on the reg, I'm with Peta on this one. It's nigh on two decades since I had a good steak - I'm not prepared to kill a cow, but boy, I could murder a steak. I reckon one day meat from animals will be seen in the same way as rape and slavery - a relic of our caveman genes that we have to overcome to be truly civilized. We'd have done it centuries ago if meat didn't taste so good. Have you noticed that no-one offers prizes for bacon that looks and tastes like lettuce?

    Paris, because her admirers know a thing or two about beating meat.

  12. Andy Worth


    Actually I forsee a situation like in "I am Legend" or "28 Days Later". People eat genetically engineered meat, contract strange body-changing illness, lose all social etiquette and start eating each other.

    As for PETA, well you have to say that deriding anyone who eats the meat from animals but then pumping your veins full of a medicine developed through years of testing on animals is more than a little hypocritical.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Who's First on The Dinner Guest List?

    I'm assuming the testers will be PeTA employees, right?

    Mmm...ingesting untested vat-grown organic materials...


  14. davebarnes

    I hate these sanctimonious bastards

    Soylent green.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @Wade Burchette

    That reminds me of a Far Side cartoon... it showed a bunch of disgusted looking lions around this carcass made out of big cubes and rectangular extruded legs, and had a caption something like, "The lions soon realized their mistake in bringing down the Tofudebeest".

    And, of course, as the saying goes, if we're not supposed to eat animals, how come they're made out of meat?

    Agreed with Ratfox, though. This would be a good idea if it was the for the first team to generate edible tubemeat in significant quantities. The aforesaid restrictions are, however... onerous.

    In other news, Firefox knows 'aforesaid'. Not bad.

  16. JK

    Re: People like her


    Then natural selection can take over and we won't have PETA anymore! :D

  17. Kanhef

    @ Iglethal

    They can do a lot with tofu these days... chicken, pork, beef, shrimp, squid - not the same as the real thing, but the taste and texture are pretty close.

    @ kain preacher

    So, no flu vaccine (taken from chicken eggs), no contact lenses (tested on rabbits), no cellphones (radiation tested on animals), nothing made of wool, no bug repellents (tested on insects). Almost every synthetic chemical has been tested on animals for either efficacy or toxicity.

  18. Tsu Dho Nimh

    How will they know?

    "Produce an in vitro chicken-meat product that has a taste and texture indistinguishable from real chicken flesh to non-meat-eaters and meat-eaters alike"

    How will the non-meat-eaters know? "Tastes like chicken" only works when the person doing the tasting has eaten real chickens.

    Let them eat tofu!

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    They have had synthetic human insulin now for many years it's not made from animals. Brand name Humulin.

  20. Haku

    Twilight Zone

    Reading the title & subject matter of this publicity stunt reminds me of a certain 1980's (colour, not the original black/white) Twilight Zone episode "The Elevator" where two brothers go and try to find their father in his warehouse type lab and discover he's been working on a growth serum, in one part of the building they find this mass of meat which has been grown for food (or something), it looked pretty disgusting.

    I wouldn't want to eat "test tube meat", it sounds like something out of a sci-fi horror movie, the idea kinda makes my skin crawl.

  21. vincent himpe

    The chicken with three legs

    One day a famer decided to breed three legged chickens. This came to the ears of a journalist who promptly set out to check this story. After some digging the journalist found the farmer and promptly arranged an interview.

    Journalist : My good man , can you shed some light on what prompted you to this undertaking ?

    Farmer. Well , Both my wife, my son and i really like the chicken drumsticks. The problem is when we prepare one chicken we are one leg short. When we prepare two chickens we have too much and have to throw some of it away , which is a real waste. So this is what got me started.

    Journalist : And are they like any other chicken ? I mean they taste the same ?

    Farmer. I couldn't tell you ..

    Journalist : why not ?

    Farmer : Wih those three legs they run so bloody fast one can't even catch them...

    mine's the soylent-chicken one ...

  22. Anonymous Coward

    Peta why not just eat the meat they kill?

    Why are they wanting people to produce meat? Their last campaign was titled " Meat is Murder ".

    This was aimed at parents saying that feeding children meat was equivalent to murder.

    Talking of murder there is one thing they don't want you to know....

    check out the link

  23. JB

    Eat humans

    mmmm chinese. Maybe a big yank, dripping in fat. Yum.


    Population problems sorted and we can have more sex.

    Obesity solved (fat *ucks should be easier to catch)

    Teenage pregnancy, UK would be world leader.

    I would reccomend John Prescots liver, he has been force feeding himself for quite some time.

  24. Shane Lusby

    Pointless prize.

    How bloody stupid is this? Frankly if someone was able to produce the product the wish, that tasted perfectly like chicken and was commercially viable(i.e. as cheap or cheaper to produce than chicken) they are going to make so much money that the million prize will seem like chump change. Vat grown protein I think is still hovering somewhere over 10k a kilo last I heard.

  25. Steve

    @ Andy Worth

    What you foresee already exists - it's called the USA.

  26. Anonymous Coward


    Good to see that they're trying to live up to their acronym:





  27. Tanuki


    Biggest problem would be getting any such creation past the horribly-conservative regulatory authorities - hell, we've been trying for the last decade to get them to approve ordinary GM food.

    Me? I'll pluck tasty poultry-products from my vast orchards of MeatFruit(tm) trees just as soon as I can work out a way to stop the foxies and buzzards getting there first.

  28. Danny


    All the hippies are dead set against genetically modified crops because of worries about mutation\unexpected interaction with other species\damage to the eco system etc but they're all for the idea of genetically modified meat.

    Double standards?

  29. Anonymous Coward

    Volunteers Please.

    If the PETA fanatics want to be so right-on, why don't THEY volunteer for slaughter.

    They do say human flesh "tastes like chicken" after all!

    That said, there's probably not that much eatin' in your average malnourished lentil muncher anyhoo.

  30. Jason Clery


    Soylent green. The miracle food of high-energy plankton gathered from the oceans of the world.

  31. Peter


    Funny how a lot of people think vegetarians should live up to their principles 100%, but anyone pro-human rights (I'm guessing most of you?) can buy cheap clothing (made by well-paid adults in countries famous for treating their workers correctly), cell phones (with coltan, mined by well-treated miners in conflict-free Congo), put their money in a big bank (which will of course never invest in the giant weapons industry) etc.

    Just something to think about. You can never live 100% to your principles, but that doesn't mean you should have any.

    Apart from that, I still think it's a strange idea.

  32. Jon

    no more animals

    but if we don't eat animals then we won't need to keep them so all the food animals will never get a chance to live

  33. Obtuse


    ...purely on the basis of economics. If this were possible on a industrial scale, it would mean massive farm bankruptcies, and an ever increasing firm grip held by massive international food manufacturers (cough*nestle*cough). If it was cheap enough to sell in third world countries it would destroy whatever agricultural economies they have.

    Environmentally I have to believe that it would take a similar or greater amount of energy to produce this test tube meat, especially given that it may have to be transported over greater distances than "traditional" meat, having a net increase effect on global warming.

    It makes far more sense to try and regulate animals minimum living conditions more carefully, as it's not only PETA bait, but just begging to have further health problems enter the meat lovers world. Something worse than CJD perhaps?

    If you're a vegetarian, you probably just don't like meat, so you don't eat it. If you're not, then you do, so you do. Let's just leave it at that, eh?

    PS: I hate those PETA nutters, and i've been a vegetarian almost all my life.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As an (almost) veggie

    To me it's very simple. If you eat meat (and I eat fish) you make sure that the animals you eat have been brought up in good descent healthy conditions and then killed humanely. That's it, that's all you need to do. Don't eat the £1.50 factory farmed chicks that have been brought up in miserable conditions, then throw half of the meat away as happens all to offen. Wait a bit, have some meals without meat* and have good meat whenever you eat it.

  35. Nev


    PETA (the terrorist funding "charity") is against animal testing of any kind.

    They have a VP (Mary Beth Sweetland) who is a diabetic and requires insulin.

    She is quoted as saying: "I don't see myself as a hypocrite. I need my life to fight for the rights of animals."

    I think it's valid to raise the awareness about this animals-first, we-hate-humans, terrorist funding hypocrites.

    Anyway, they're barking up the wrong tree, they need to put up money

    for research into Herakleophorbia IV.

  36. Steve

    Just eat PETA

    That's what we do with any other herbivore that can't be put to useful work.

    And just think of all the innocent animals that will be saved by being kept away from PETA - who execute over 90% of the animals that they "rescue".

  37. Ishkandar

    Please, please guys, don't knock PETA

    They have some of the world's best adverts. Especially the anti-fur ones where they show many (female) stars in the buff protesting against the wearing of fur !! I have a complete collection of that !! I will encourage them and ask for more of the same !!

    Letching aside, if I were to vat-grow any meat, I'd start with lobsters. Since they are a lower evolutionary order of animals than chickens, they should be easier to grow in the VAT. And have you checked the latest prices of shellfish ?? Meanwhile Tesco flogs chickens at 2 for a fiver !!

    Alternatively, I could vat-grow brains !! Whoever thought(?) up this prize(?) is in serious need of some and might pay well for that privilege !!

    I can't find an icon with a leer so a smiley one will do !!

  38. Paul Herring

    Pro technosteak too!

    I've been vegan for about 6 years, I'm perfectly healthy (except for some amazing wind) and I'd love to eat some cruelty free meat. The substitutes are getting better all the time, but generally miss out on that x-factor that real meat has - It is just so damn tasty and has an amazing texture.

    This is obvoiusly a ludicrous promotional campaign by PETA, but they generally do seem to be about LOUD NOISES without much substance... Still if something even better than the amazing food I'm already eating lands on my plate in four years, I'll be pretty happy.

  39. Ian Yates
    Dead Vulture


    What do they think's going to happen to all the surplus chickens once we don't want them for meat?

    Is the extinction of a species better than causing it to live through pain?

    Obviously, I'm assuming that any successes result in synthetic meat that's cheaper than real chicken.

  40. Nick
    Dead Vulture

    Douglas Adams got it right:

    Instead of worrying about the issue, why don't they cut through the whole tangled problem and breed an animal that actually wants to be eaten and was capable of saying so clearly and distinctly.

    (Restaurant at the end of the universe)

    Dead vulture, cos it'll "Taste like chicken"

  41. Richard Scratcher
    Paris Hilton


    The idea of test-tube meat is not at all crazy. Many people like to eat meat and yet the meat they eat is often processed to the point of being astronaut food. I remember being talked at by an American "turkey farmer" who was explaining how the turkeys go in one side of his factory and powdered turkey comes out the other side in boxes. Turkey Twizzler anyone?

    Farming chickens is a wasteful process because evolution desigend chickens to survive, not to taste good. If we can just get chicken cells to produce tasty muscle meat alone, then we can do away with all the bone, feathers, offal and other unnecessary structural items.

    However, as has already been pointed out, PETA's prize money is chicken feed compared to the commercial rewards available.

    Paris - Because I suspect she's not 100% natural

  42. John

    soylent chicken

    Interestingly if successful this would also benefit the worlds food shortage since animals gobble up so much grain, "760m tonnes will be snatched from the mouths of humans to feed animals - which could cover the global food deficit 14 times. If you care about hunger, eat less meat." ( Then on top of that if viable and done with cows rather than chickens it would also reduce global warming by stopping all those smelly farts. But unfortunately as others have pointed out by asking it to be competitive after only 4 years, its a bit unfair. Then again who knows how desperate vegetarians are to eat this stuff, a 10x premium could seem cheep.

  43. John Larrigan

    @ Ratfox


    All right, here's my challenge:

    - The prize is 100 billion dollars (100'000'000'000$)

    - The goal is to find a way to reverse global warming

    - The time limit is next Sunday

    - Oh, it has to be cheap, too"

    simple. Capture all the warm air above the Antartic in plastic bags, then let the hot air inside carry them through the hole in the oxone layer! Result!

    I'll forgo any prize giving ceremony, and instead of an oversized cheque you can write me an I.O.U on the back of the £20 note.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good comments here

    1)Milk/beer. At my uni milk was half the price of the beer and at the time I didn't like beer so drank mostly milk, lots of it, around 3 litres a day. Maybe it's why I left uni with money in the bank and could actually remember what I did.

    2)Meat needs bones to make a good stock. I usually cook curry with bone in meat. Much cheaper and better tasting.

    3)I have family who work in farming. I want them to keep their jobs producing food and not hand it over to some multinational food generator.

    4)Better use of some animals we already have. eg Male cows in the UK, other than the lucky stock bull, are simply shot and thrown at 2 days because there is no market for veal. This is not the same as crated animals but if we could let the animals live a little longer then sell the meat it's less waste.

    Go back to old style orchards and apple trees, nicer fruit and keep pigs around them. More expensive to pick but losses made up in nice free range porkers.

  45. Anonymous Coward

    eating fish

    Could someone explain how dragging a live animal out of it's natural habitat on a line or in a net and then leaving it to suffocate on the deck of a ship before gutting it is humane?

    BTW I do eat meat and fish, it's tasty.

    But the "eating animals is cruel, so I just eat fish" argument, p*sses me off.

  46. The Douros

    Bunch of hypocrites, the whole load of them...

    That air of moral superiority by PETA & Co has gone beyond a joke. In fact, it is a textbook case of licensed bigotry, where the "others" are morally/cuturally/evolutionarily inferior and "we" are entitled to dictate a way of life to them.

    No price for guessing who was the most famous vegetarian ever in the history of the western world.

    Really, if they are so keen to eat genetically engineered, tube-grown shit, let them go ahead and do so -it's their stomachs and they can do whatever the hell they want with them. What is annoying is that they would really like to enfore the above mentioned genetically engineered, tube-grown shit, into the stomachs of the rest of us. Vegetarianism is an eating disorder, get over it!

    Besides, everybody knows that cute animals taste better.

    Coat please! (mine's the genuine leather one...)

  47. Anonymous Coward

    Bob the Angry Flower...

    ... was doing this years ago. He also did a sideline in human flesh that wasn't really cannibalism.

  48. Ru


    It is a little sad that hypocrisy is considered to be a far worse thing than at least *attemping* to make a moral stand. It is seen as far better to be totally amoral, and to take no stand at all. (thankyou, Diamond Age. Go read it if you haven't).

    I'll eat veal and foie gras, but not battery farmed chicken, for example. OMG hypocrit (sic) you might say, but factory farming is not only a far, far more unpleasant process than the production of either of those two, it also produces decidedly disappointing products.

    If the PETA boss does manage to improve the lot of cute animals across the world at the expense of a few litres of insulin, then she's done well. Attack PETA because of the stupid things it does (there's no shortage of those!) but not because of the proclivities of its management.

    The problem is that we demand far more meat than is practical to farm in 'nice' ways, and we demand it at a cost which is rather impractical to sustain without these rather unsavoury production methods. Moreover, the production of meat is quite inefficient, enerywise, compared to growing edible crops on the same land. Historically, you'd farm animals on land which could not be used for grains or veggies. LIvestock can process grass into things which are actually nice to eat after all.

    If synthetic meat becomes practical, thats great. The world could benefit from cheap and widely available protein, and all sorts of less desirable farming practices can be stopped. But what are the chances of s'meat being a) cheaper b) just as nutritious c) actually accepted by consumers (its far more deserving of the label 'frankenfood' than GM wheat, or whatever) and finally d) being less destructive to the environment?

    Pretty slim, I'd say.

  49. Smallbrainfield


    Soylent Green is made of people.

    Pass it on.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Chicken in a basket.

    S'Obvious innit! Chicken in a jar!

    > * Produce an

    > in vitro

    In a jar.

    >chicken-meat product

    It's a chicken.

    >that has a taste and texture indistinguishable from real chicken flesh

    It's a chicken.

    >to non-meat-eaters and meat-eaters alike

    Since when were non-meat-eaters the arbiters of what a chicken tastes like?

    > * Manufacture the approved product in large enough quantities to be sold

    > commercially, and successfully sell it at a competitive price in at least 10 states."

    Might be able to squeeze more in a shed than battery chickens and the disease risk should be lower because they can't really move much.

    So they could be dirt cheap.

  51. Tony


    "I reckon one day meat from animals will be seen in the same way as rape and slavery - a relic of our caveman genes that we have to overcome to be truly civilized."

    Oh dear. And you started out sounding vaguely rational Maty.. Then your santimonious veggie genes took over.

    I have had this exact discussion/argument many times with my best friend (who is a moss-muncher).

    I tend to look at being vegetarian as similar to being gay. It is a personal choice and if that is the way that you want to live your life then I will fight for your right to do so. It is also true that our technology has moved on to the extent that we could all become gay without the human race dying out (we could reproduce entirely through artifical insemination). However do not try to convince me that it is the natural state of affairs or that we would all be better off that way.

    Mine's the leather jacket.

  52. Anonymous Coward

    Oh no....

    I never thought I would say this......but...........

    the day when Vegans / PETA / Health and safety Politburo take over the world, I will take the what little remaining "real" livestock there is, some seeds and retreat to my barricaded, heavily fortified farm with the rest of the Coalition of the Meat Eating Militia® (The Mrs, my mates, and a few "birds").

    Once the side effects of eating Tofu and other substitute foods has killed off the entire global population (half die because they are unable to afford the food license fees let alone the food) the wild beasts will once again roam the earth.

    This time the Coalition of the Meat Eating Militia® will be there with the trusty AR15 :-)

    On a more serious note.....this does open up a very important debate.

    Accommodating preferential dietary groups is one thing - having crackpots tell me how to eat or live is just OTT. How does society tolerate vegan parents who kill their newborn children by feeding them Vegan food (substitute milk in this case).

    This time, the parents were prosecuted - but a bit too little too late for the child.

    How many cases of negligent parents, forcing their children to follow "lifestyle" dietary habits in detriment to the child's health, go unreported every day?

    Tell me again how the human body is designed only for nuts and berries (or is it soy for the Millennium Vegan)?

  53. Chris

    Done already?

    Quorn + some chicken flavouring. Job done!

    Mine's the one with used $10 bills stuffed in the pockets.

  54. Dan

    Meat tastes good and

    I have no qualms about where it comes from.

    I totally agree with the AC who commented on the parents that force a dietary lifestyle on their children when it is clearly bad for them. I know at least one kid whose mother is vegetarian by choice but he is not. They both used to eat meat, she changed her ways and has forced him to do the same.

  55. TrishaD

    @The Last AC

    >Accommodating preferential dietary groups is one thing - having crackpots tell me how to eat or live is just OTT. How does society tolerate vegan parents who kill their newborn children by feeding them Vegan food (substitute milk in this case).<

    How does society tolerate 'normal' parents who feed their children junk food like Turkey Twizzlers and condemn them to a life of immobile obesity? There are rather more of them around than nutcase Vegans, I'd suggest.

    PETA advocate the vegetarian lifestyle. I'm not aware of them actually forcing anyone to do anything.

    I'm totally baffled by the completely OTT reaction from meat eaters that any article on El Reg that relates to vegetarianism seems to generate.

    Its all a bit 'These nasty people want me to do something I dont want to do so I'lm going to sthqueem and sthqueem....'

    You still have a choice you know......

    (and yes, I do eat meat. Rather a lot of it)

  56. Anonymous Coward

    @Done already?

    Damn right ( although Quorn does taste like a mouthful of soggy bread! ) I gave up meat 'cos the only thing I kept craving was the bloody stuff that was smeared over all it, BBQ sauce, southern fired coatings, etc.

    Before you start with your palid veggie shite, after 3 years on a veggie diet, I'm still about 6 stone overweight and red-faced, my God I still love the smell of cooked bacon sarnies in the morning, roast beef on a Sunday and nothing beats the smell of a BBQ full of grilled, quality meat! I just can't bring myself to eat the poor little piggy-wiggies and moo-cows anymore I'm afraid.

    Look at this way, with more of us hippie-freaks leaving the moo-steaks alone, the more and better quality there is for you meaties!

  57. Anonymous Coward

    What about those poor plants that get killed..

    What gives us the right to take their lives away?

  58. Karl Lattimer

    god damn hippies

    My idea for the ethical treatment of animals...

    Cow goes into a narrow chamber with a bright light at the end of it, at the far end of said chamber they see A wonderfully bullish, well BULL...

    They get a little "horny" they're feeling like they're slowly drifting to heaven...

    And before they notice, BAM! A bullet goes through the brain...

    /me is a member of the other peta organisation, the people for the eating of tasty animals.

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Quorn doesn't really taste like chicken or have a chicken's texture. It can be *disguised* as chicken, and the mince can be disguised as other meats, but if you just cut cubes and fried/grilled/poached them, or braised a pan full of mince, you'd know the difference.

    There are soy "mock meats" that are pretty convincing.

    All the same, meat should be more ethically produced. but trying to get the masses to accept that is difficult. Jamie and Hugh did a good job on Factory chickens; there are often no free range ones left in Sainsbury's these days, while the shelves groan with unsold "not quite battery" ones.

  60. Chip Mefford

    I think PETA should partner with the US MIlitary


    Sorry, I'll just be getting my coat.

  61. Darren B

    When are these clowns going to realise

    Potatoes have feelings to. At least I don't cook my pork chops while they are still alive.

    Oh no, I am fine to go out in the garden, pull up a carrot that is happly wallowing in dirt and skin it alive then drop it into boiling water.


  62. O

    Lunatics ...

    While I agree with many or most of the sentiments shared across the animal rights movement, I've long suspected that PETA might be more than a little mad. I think this confirms it.

    In order to stop the suffering of animals, they want people to eat 'meat' made by huge biotech companies in labs - not organic free-range meat for those who are desperate to eat it, and a plant based diet for the rest. Good call, guys.

    I strongly suspect that this insane idea will alienate 90% of their supporters.

  63. Brent Alldred

    Go PETA

    I am a meat eater.

    If the idea helps the PETA people eat protien then let them do it.

    + the procedure may actually allow me to "live the dream" and eat ethical MAN-burger before I die.

  64. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    @Darren B: Dead right!!

    I'll have the fillet steak on a bed of fluffy white lice.

  65. Anonymous Coward

    "...animals are made of nearly 50 per cent delicious, lip-smacking meat...."

    Remind me never to accept your invitation to dinner. Most animals are made of nearly 80% delicious, lip-smacking water. If yours is 50% meat, you must've overcooked it until it's as dry as an old leather boot...

    Uncontrollably-burning flame icon, to represent your cooking technique ;-)

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Moral dilemma for PETA

    They really need to team up with the US military:

    They're looking to make synthetic meat as well.

    In a manner of speaking.


  67. Mister Cheese
    Paris Hilton

    They won't become extinct...

    ...because we'd still need the eggs for pancakes. And cakes. And waffles. And McBreakfast burgers. And omelets. And full English breakfasts.

    Plus - tube-shaped chicken is like eating sausages instead of slices of roast pork all the time. Maybe once in a while - but carving a whole roast-chicken when all the meat looks compressed chicken-mince just doesn't seem as exciting. Leg or wing? Dark or light meat?

    Paris, cos she'd give anyone a dilemma over the 'leg or breast' question.

  68. A J Stiles
    Dead Vulture

    @ AC - fish

    "Could someone explain how dragging a live animal out of it's natural habitat on a line or in a net and then leaving it to suffocate on the deck of a ship before gutting it is humane?"

    I think it has something to do with fish not being cute and cuddly.

    But it's also misplaced. Think about it: with something the size of a cow, if you don't finish it off quickly then it'll come back for you -- whereas a fish or a chicken is much less likely to be able to exact revenge. On that basis, red m**t is more likely to have been humanely killed than white.

  69. John Savard

    Why Not?

    While I have little use for PETA, if it is possible to have meat without killing animals, that would be a good thing. Among the people who would benefit from this particularly are the Tibetans, who, living in cold climates, have a dispensation to allow them to eat meat despite being Buddhists.

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @AC "alert Hollywood"

    "We have here the makings of an excellent B grade Sci Fi flick, as a batch of chicken stem cells is accidentally flushed down the drain. From that point on its development is influenced by DNA from various sources that it encounters on its journey through the sewer, finally evolving into an enormous, underground sentient lifeform that devours anyone who uses a toilet."

    While you're at it, check out The Clone, by Kate Wilhelm and Theodore L. Thomas. They wrote the story in 1965 - forty or fifty years does seem about par for Hollywood to catch up.

  71. vincent himpe

    I Tried

    I really tried an all vegetarian diet once. I gave up after about a month. it's simply too much of a hassle. They are way harder to catch than cows and the meat is really stringy and tough...

  72. Richard

    Angry Meat Eaters

    Too much red meat for some readers here?

    Its a lifestyle choice, not a religion, being either a meat eater or a veggie (as I have been for 15 years). If someone wants to raise an animal and then kill and butcher it that's up to them but its the people that say "oh don't tell me where it comes from, I could never kill an animal!" that annoy me ... don't be hypocritical !

    As for a veggie diet being bad for you ... yeah right, go read the independent research. For B12, well you can live without it for years as it hangs around in the body for a long time and you only need micrograms a day of it (unless you smoke!) and apparently its manufactured by bacteria and so eating other things contaminated with the bacteria is also effective ... personally I prefer Marmite 8-)

    Quorn is very nice and comes in loads of different shapes and flavours these days ... so its a good way to hoodwink meat eaters !-)

  73. Snert Lee

    Chicken Knobs

    From Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake is what comes to mind.

    Personally, I'd much rather have a chunk of real meat than some highly processed meat-like substitute. After all, cows and chickens are raised on vegetables and plant products, so meat is just a concentrated form of vegetables.

    But then it's not like Peta is really about anything aside from the mass emotional manipulation of people for fun and profit.

  74. Daniel B.

    Soylent Green

    Soylent Green is made of people!! ... wait ...

    Soylent Green is made of PETA ... no wait wait ...

    I don't know what Soylent PETA is made of! It looks like meat, tastes like meat, but there's this weird machinery & chemicals in the Soylent factory...

    Funny how this proposal, if done, would end up being an exact copy of that "KFC & McDonalds" rumor about not using chickens & cows:

    I can't find the McD's one, but I distinctly remember it coming in the same e-mail as the KFC one. I wonder what PETA would say about that one!

  75. Kanhef

    Practical objections

    My main beef (coat!) with meat production is the inefficient land usage and consumption of crops that would otherwise go to humans. Feeding the millions of people who face chronic malnutrition is more important that being able to indulge in 'free range' chicken.

    /the one with the starving children on the back

  76. Chris

    Chicken Little

    Fred Pohl did it years ago in "The Space Merchants"

    I just wonder what kind of nutrients this in vitro chicken is going to need. Probably not unprocessed grains. But wait! That means there will be more corn to make ethanol to power our SUVs when the oil runs out.


    Tux because at least he's a live bird, just not a chicken.

  77. The Douros

    @ TrishaD & Ru


    "PETA advocate the vegetarian lifestyle. I'm not aware of them actually forcing anyone to do anything.

    I'm totally baffled by the completely OTT reaction from meat eaters that any article on El Reg that relates to vegetarianism seems to generate."

    No, you are right, they are not forcing anyone to do anything, but quite obviously they would very much like to. You see, although I see vegetarianism as a lifestyle *choice* and respect people's right to make it, PETA-type vegetarians are notorious for failing to reciprocate the respect to my right to make a choice different to theirs. The reaction by meat eaters is provoked by vegetarians' statements about their supposed cultural/moral/evolutionary superiority (to quote Tony, above: "a relic of our caveman genes that we have to overcome to be truly civilized") and these statements, quite frankly, stink of nazism. In view of that, yes, I will bloody scream and scream about it, and you know where you can stick your sarcasm.


    "It is a little sad that hypocrisy is considered to be a far worse thing than at least *attempting* to make a moral stand"

    PETA are not *attempting* to make a moral stand. They are *pretending* to make a moral stand, which is a lot worse than *attempting*, by a considerable margin.

  78. kain preacher

    @By Tony

    I'm sorry being gay is not a choice.

  79. Anonymous Coward

    Hypocritical vegetarian fundamentalists

    "I reckon one day meat from animals will be seen in the same way as rape and slavery" a typical core belief for vegetarians who try to ram their supposed moral superiority down our throats all they can.

    I couldn't even begin to imagine what's going through the minds of loonies who consider themselves morally superior to anybody on account of having an eating disorder?

    The fact is that vegetarians are essentially disordered people (the human animal is an omnivorous one) with emotional problems, bizarre phobias and a consequent eating disorder.

  80. TrishaD

    @The Douros

    ''In view of that, yes, I will bloody scream and scream about it, and you know where you can stick your sarcasm''

    Proof perhaps of the vegetarian assertion that eatring meat makers you more aggressive?

  81. The Douros


    In a way, yes. (It's the assertion that makes me aggressive). And it seems to me that you are using the label "aggressive" as a negative - but then again this is only your opinion.

    Have a very nice day :-)

  82. T. Harrell

    Economic? Not even close...

    Over and over, reg readers say, "This would be great if it became economically viable."

    Please, let me inform you! For those of you who have not performed sterile cell culture, growing animal cells out of the body is INCREDIBLY intensive, delicate, and *expensive* work. All of the chemistry required to keep that meat alive, normally performed by the GI tract, liver, kidneys, pancreas, etc, will have to be performed synthetically. Tons of compounds on par in price with pharmaceuticals would be needed to keep your meat alive. Next, meat has no immune system, so that a single virus, or bacteria could wipe out your entire stock in hours or days. All of the products would have to be kept perfectly sterile.

    Luckily enough, however, animals are already born with skin and immune systems to keep their meat sterile, and organs to keep their meat supplied with appropriate chemicals. The closest we may come to a feasible alternative that might meet PETA's needs are modified organisms that retain no upper brain, and have their hormonal controls modified to bulk up their muscles in the absence of actual use. Those you could hook to an in and out hose and stick on a shelf for growth, maybe. But then, that's hilariously beyond our abilities.

    On a side note, I'm glad to see PETA splinter their own group!

  83. Swee' Pea

    And now time for the judging...

    Judge #1: (Cuts and and examines piece): Interesting texture. Cuts easily but has a definite grain. Nicely browned.

    Judge #2: (Cuts piece and smells piece): Smells appealing.

    Judge #3: (Cuts piece and eats it): Tastes okay but it's missing something... I think it could use a little meat.

  84. Deano

    PETA are correct

    Hmmm, I'm with PETA on this one. Of course, the meat eaters don't get it but then no one looks to the average meat eater for either wisdom or knowledge on food or farming.

    I believe there was much uproar amongst some chicken eaters recently when a TV

    series showed how cheap chickens are produced - hardly news for the average PETA member/vegan/vegetarian who would have known about this 20 years ago.

    Just as there are valid raesons why the informed reject religion - while the masses really can't understand atheists - There are reasons why some choose to abandon the cultural norm of eating dead animals - while the masses can't understand how anyone can possibly survive without eating pigs, cows or


    For decades, meat eaters have quite happily lived with and financially supported the ill treatment of animals on a strictly "Don't tell me, I like to be kept in the dark...hmmm, this kentucky fried chicken tastes do they manage to sell it so cheap?" basis so it's weird to see them suddenly become concerned with the ethics of mass producing meat which can be produced without the need for concious animals to suffer.


    "The fact is that vegetarians are essentially disordered people (the human animal is an omnivorous one) with emotional problems, bizarre phobias and a consequent eating disorder."

    Yes, of course that's a fact, dear.

    As an atheist, I'm quite used to the internet God Squad telling me I'm mentally ill - indeed, a new idea has started to spread - that we are suffering from "Christophobia".

    Isn't it funny how those who reject the cultural norms of society come in for so much stick?

  85. Ishkandar

    @Volunteers Please.

    >>If the PETA fanatics want to be so right-on, why don't THEY volunteer for slaughter.

    They do say human flesh "tastes like chicken" after all!

    That said, there's probably not that much eatin' in your average malnourished lentil muncher anyhoo.<<

    Well if you think that, then you are very wrong !!

    I'd certainly wouldn't need a second invitation to chew on all three of them, leaves and all !!

  86. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This has been done.

    some guy has done this you can find an interview with him on

    its about 3 years from the the freezer.

  87. gerda99

    Great PeTA idea

    Great PeTA-idea. For more backgroud-information, technology, ethics and success-criteria on „in-vitro-meat“ (others call it „cultured meat“) visit . There are still many obstacles to overcome. On this website other alternatives to animal meat are presented, too.

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