Presentation on theme: "Talking about the future: how in vitro meat may solve a moral dilemma for meat lovers and do good for the environment Stellan Welin Linköping University."— Presentation transcript:
Talking about the future: how in vitro meat may solve a moral dilemma for meat lovers and do good for the environment Stellan Welin Linköping University Sweden
The risk of being silly Old predictions of what the future may look like are often wrong and silly Air travel in 2000 according to Swedish TV program in the 60th
Science fiction…. It is hard to seriously discuss the impacts, dangers and benefits of a new technology until it is already there. It is just science fiction When the technology is already there it is too late
It is already going on IVF and stem cell technologies The possibilities for regulation are still there Saying yes or no to the technology not possible
Pure science fiction? Ectogenesis or out-of-the-body-pregnancy J.B.S Haldane Aldous Huxley ”Brave New World” Feminist discussion
New technologies may create new moral space The case of Ectogenesis Most arguments in favour of abortions rely heavily on the biological fact that the fetus develops inside the female body. Most arguments for the present legal situation in Western countries that women alone decide on whether or not to continue the pregnancy rest on the same biological fact.
New technology and new risks The discussion often (rightly) focus on the dangers of new technologies The risk society
New technology may create new moral problems At present, everyone who has a functioning kidney could wonder if he or she should donate the kidney to someone with end- stage renal disease as a living donor. Is keeping both kidneys consistent with the duty of helping suffering human beings?
New technology may do away with (some) moral problems if a kidney for transplantation can be tissue engineered then there is no need to donate. That particular moral problem goes away
Moral problems of meat eating Bad for the environment The overall worldwide livestock activities have been estimated by Steinfeld et al. (2006) to contribute 18% of the total anthropogenic emitted green house gases. A conservative estimate is that about 80% of the energy input in animal farming is lost. Meat eating is hurting the environment and the climate
Moral problems of meat eating bad for animals A general consensus seems to be that animal suffering is evil and should be avoided as far as possible Confined indoor intensive meat production causes animal suffering Killing animals not necessarily wrong – but making them suffer. Some claim killing animals always wrong
In vitro meat Producing meat without suffering No animals need to be kept to be killed Less environmental impact More control in a confined bioreactor
Gone with the wind? Fewer domestic animals around The end of thousands of years of traditional domestic animal husbandry No more sheep in New Zealand(?)
conclusion Tissue engineering of meat will constitute a moral progress and we should try to realise it. You can enjoy meat eating without causing suffering or hurting the environment (so much) Direct medical benefits will also be gained by developing this technology
The EU project IMPROVESS In vitro Meat PROduction is Vital for Environmental and Societal Sustainability Call FP7-KBBE-2009-3 Activity 2:2 Fork to farm Subactivity KBEE-2-2-3 Sustainable food and feed processing