Discussion question: Printable meat? What the heck?  »

As a disclaimer, I don’t really understand three-dimensional printing, like, at all. How does it work? Why does it work? Just the idea of it hurts my brain.

That said, what do we think about Modern Meadow’s 3D printable meat? It’s an idea that was born of this other crazytown scientific project, printing human organs; apparently, printing meat would be easier than printing organs, because the meat is “a post-mortem tissue,” which is less complicated a process than printing living tissue.

I have read a couple articles about this project and I still really don’t understand. Like, they’re going to start by “fabricat[ing] 3D cellular sheets composed of porcine cells.” How? If they succeed, will they be eligible for that $1 million from PETA, since technically they have to grown the cells in order to bioprint them? (Though with Peter Thiel money, they probably won’t need it.) What would a tissue-bioprinter even look like?

Most importantly, though, what do you all think? This falls under the same heading as “lab-grown meat,” right, so those of you who would eat test-tube meat would also eat printed meat? And on the ethics tip, would you accept a printed organ, should you ever need a transplant? I totally would, presuming it wasn’t being created unethically. About the meat, as always, I feel ambivalent. Divorcing “meat” from “living animal” is something we vegans work so hard to stop doing, but lab-grown meat legitimately would lack connection to that living animal, so presumably we would be able to uncouple them in our brains again. I just don’t know how to conceive of it, which is maybe what causes my ambivalence. What about you all?

Get more information about Modern Meadow’s meat-printing project at its website.

[3D image by Karsten Schmidt via Flickr]


Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use!  »

It’s that time again, The Humane Society of the United States’ Paul Shapiro brings on the funk with all the animal news you need and more for the week! Get ready to fall in love with with Paul and Stephen Colbert, two animal-loving DREAM BOATS!

Break out the box of tissues…Meat giant Tyson Foods is reporting poor sales due to “very difficult market conditions” resulting from decreased demand for meat.

There’s a new Pork mag editorial on HSUS’s campaign against gestation crate confinement in which they call HSUS “the mastermind behind this and many other challenges against animal agriculture.” They further note that “HSUS [is] methodically chipping away at an animal production sector, and it has the manpower and money to wait it out.” (Pork mag also has an article on a new online HSUS campaign.)

Finally, HSUS has been helping many schools and hospitals implement Meatless Monday programs, including Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Oregon, which The Oregonian reported on this week. And BTW, did you know the founder of “Meatopia” (I’d never even heard of it!) is now backing Meatless Monday? See his TIME piece on it. Crazy.

Video of the week: This week’s video is seriously so funny I literally cried while watching it. It’s Colbert’s segment on the dispute between HSUS and Iowa Rep. Steve King over his pro-cruelty stances. It’ll make your day—guaranteed.


Paul Shapiro presents: The Meatless Revolution, vegan men, and Wendy’s makes some changes!  »

It’s Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use! Yay!

Happy Meatless Monday! TIME’s great new feature, “The Meatless (and Less Meat) Revolution,” may make you even happier.

More good news: Wendy’s is joining McDonald’s in requiring pork suppliers to outline their plans to end the use of gestation crates. And on that topic, the Kansas City Star has a good story entitled “Humane Society says Seaboard dishonest about its treatment of hogs.”

Yes, even more good news: Major dairy industry trade publication Hoard’s Dairyman editorialized in favor of ending tail-docking of dairy cows.

And here’s a compelling piece in The Atlantic by a former HSUS undercover investigator about his views on ag-gag laws.

Finally, as both a man and a vegan, I’m apparently qualified to do a live twitter chat about vegan men, hosted by VegNews Magazine, this Wed at 9pm ET (I’m @pshapiro on twitter). Hope to see you there!

P.S. Photo of the week:

Yes, I met Angela from “The Office.” Turns out she really does have a cat (and she’s very nice). And for your video this week: No dancing goat, but rather a trailer for a provocative new film I’m glad to be interviewed in: Speciesism The Movie.

You can follow Paul on Twitter at @pshapiro.


Paul Shapiro presents: Animal News You Can Use!  »

It’s Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use! Yay!

First, some good news: A bill (H.R. 3798) was introduced in the Congress this week to ban barren battery cages for laying hens, ban starvation molting, require egg producers to label “eggs from caged hens” on their cartons, and more.  You can see a joint statement from major animal protection organizations on why they support this bill, and a joint statement from nearly all of the agribusiness trade groups on why they oppose it. Who would you side with?

I was on NPR’s All Things Considered yesterday talking about the above effort to help laying hens. Check it out.

Some bad news: The U.S. Supreme Court this week struck down portions of a law passed in California shortly after HSUS’s landmark Hallmark/Westland slaughter plant investigation (which led to the largest meat recall in U.S. history). While federal regulations still prohibit the slaughter of adult downer cattle for human consumption, the parts of California’s law prohibiting slaughtering other downer animals are no longer in effect.

Back to good news: Get a coffin, since Florida’s “ag-gag” legislation is now officially dead. However, Iowa is still debating its whistle-blower suppression bill, and similar bills are still pending in other states.

Time has a compelling online video about undercover investigations and these ag-gag bills that you won’t want to miss.

Video of the week: Ever try to teach a pig to sit? Here you go.

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