Every summer, one of the village’s many wild meadows gets populated with a dozen or so cows and bulls. During our daily walks to and from the harbor, we pass these gentle summer guests. Seeing them graze so peacefully with the sea as a beautiful backdrop, always gives me a sense of privilege. To experience these wonderful creatures up close is such a great gift. A reminder of how we used to respect the animals that give us so much and the contemptuous behavior we have for them today.
From time to time, I also consider that the summer meadow is the last place the cows will exist in freedom before being trucked to a factory and slaughtered. Yesterday, during our long walk with Lenny on the fresh, crunchy snow, I imagined what it would look like if one of the past summer’s cows had somehow managed to escape when the rest of the herd were removed from the meadow, unknowingly headed towards their final moments as living beings. And so, I call the above image, “The One That Got Away”.
I haven’t made up my mind about the burgeoning lab-grown meat industry. It’s interesting and I’m sure to try a BBQ:e ribeye once it becomes available. But this is kind of like electric cars. EVs are cool and certainly better for the planet short-term. But even when electric cars and trucks become mainstream, will they really help reverse the environmental impact we’ve inflicted on the planet long-term?
There’s just so much energy and raw materials needed to produce an electric vehicle that it’ll take years before today’s embryonic benefits will offset the cost of excavating all the precious materials needed for batteries and the emissions generated from the car industry’s manufacturing process. Not to mention that most of the electricity used to charge all the car batteries, especially in countries like the US, will for decades continue to predominately come from fossil fuel sources.
So, correspondingly, I worry that all the raw material and chemicals needed to produce lab meat (as well as much of the processed ingredients many fake-meat, vegan products contain) won’t justify the means environmentally.