Growing Leather?

Check out this TED Talk!

This topic is definitely going to be split up between multiple blog posts throughout the next few days. There’s just so much to talk about, and I’ve really got to get my hands on all the research.

I mean… growing meat? Can you imagine how much cleaner our environment would be if we reduced the production of livestock?

I’m no expert, but I know that these are some of the dirtiest businesses around. Hundreds of acres are needed to raise livestock. All animals produce waste. When you put thousands of animals in such a small place, there’s no way to ensure proper sanitation.

Animal waste contains harmful bacteria, such as E. coli, Salmonella, and fecal coliform, as well as nitrates that come from the fecal matter of these animals. These nitrates run off into the ground and poison the water that people drink. In 1993, cryptosporidium, a bacteria from cow manure, infected the water of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which resulted in 100 deaths, 400,000 sick, and $37 million in lost wages and productivity.

Not to mention the 29 million pounds of antibiotics being pumped into livestock, just to speed up growth and make money. This may not seem like a problem on the surface, but when antibiotics are used repeatedly, bacteria eventually form resistance, making it much more difficult to treat human illnesses.

If those two reasons aren’t enough, livestock produce about 14.5% of all greenhouse gas emissions into our atmosphere. These greenhouse gases consist of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone. You may think, “so what?” but with the emissions that have already been released, we already see changes in the climate in some parts of the world. If the climate changes too drastically, we could lose huge amounts of biodiversity.

An example we’ve all probably heard of is the polar bears. In the North and South Poles, climate change is being seen most drastically. It is becoming a large problem for polar bears because they have acclimated to the frozen conditions and darkness of the harsh winters in the poles, but now their habitat is slowly melting.

These aren’t even close to the only problems to which mass farming is contributing.

If it is possible to reduce the negative effects of food production, I am all for it. Why not grow meat in a lab? As Andras Forgacs explains, the protein of animal is pretty simple to construct. With bio-fabrication, a single cell can be taken from any species, whether it is to make leather or meat, and layers of protein sheets can be grown without much difficulty. Then these layers can be stacked together to create anything we need! No animals are harmed and no people are harmed either. It’s a clean process that would create minimal waste.

If you want to learn more about this process, visit the website for his business, Modern Meadow.

For a good website on the impacts of climate change, go here.

For facts about the pollution that the livestock industry creates, go here.

Thank you for reading!

I’m going to write more on this topic and others related to it, so stay updated!

~Micaela~

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