Cultured meat for the climate
To the editor:
In order to help meet our obligations under the Paris Climate Agreement, the United States should invest public funds into cultured-meat research. For those who don’t know, cultured meat is grown from cells, without slaughter. This revolutionary protein will have a dramatically smaller environmental impact than conventional meat.
“Industrial livestock agriculture — raising cows, pigs and chickens — generates as much greenhouse gas emissions as all cars, trucks and automobiles combined,” Greenpeace states. “Cattle ranchers have clear cut millions of acres of forests for grazing pastures, inhibiting the landscape’s ability to absorb carbon from the atmosphere.”
Furthermore, as the environmental group notes, factory farms create huge cesspools of manure that emit methane and nitrous oxide, in addition to carbon dioxide. Over the course of a century, a pound of methane actually has 25 times as much of a negative impact on the climate as a pound of carbon dioxide.
The United States Congress should support development of cultured meat through funding for open-access research. This new protein will significantly benefit the environment, as well as animal welfare and human health. Bringing the product to market at a competitive price is too urgent to leave to the private sector.