Picture of Michel Vandenbosch and Philip Lymbery, co-writers of "Meat to Secure Our Future : Hope for Animals, Food Security, and the Environment"
Brussels, the 7th of February — Europe faces a pivotal decision. Delegates from Italy, France, Austria, and other nations convened in the AGRIFISH Commission on Jan. 23, 2024. Concerns about cultured meat were voiced by some of these delegates, who see it as a threat to the current industry. However, many of these concerns lack substantiation or refer to the non-peer-reviewed UC Davis study. In contrast, numerous experts in cultured meat argue that the UC Davis study does not offer an accurate depiction. They prefer to cite the CE Delft - LCA report, which has been peer-reviewed. This report highlights the potential for cultured meat to emerge as a more sustainable alternative. During the Commission, delegates from the Netherlands and Norway emphasized the importance of considering the potential benefits of cultured meat alongside these discussions.
7 February 2024

Will apprehension towards the unfamiliar prevail among our European leaders? Or, akin to many of their counterparts on other continents, will they embrace new technologies with an open mind, recognizing their potential to complement and enhance our current food system?

Exploring the potential of cultured meat in addressing issues of cruelty, climate change, and biodiversity loss, a new book titled Meat to Secure Our Future: Hope for Animals, Food Security, and the Environment emerges as a significant initiative by Europe's most influential animal activists, Michel Vandenbosch and Philip Lymbery.

This visionary book, which brings together an impressive array of experts, will be presented on Feb. 7 at the Residence Palace in the heart of Brussels, the European capital. The book aims to inform, inspire, and spark debates surrounding cultured meat. It provides new insights that hold the potential to drive essential changes in our food system.

Cultured meat represents a breakthrough: it is real meat derived from animal cells, yet produced without slaughter. The book contains several chapters written by internationally respected experts delving into various themes such as consumer acceptance, health implications, environmental impact, and religious considerations.

Farmed meat could be produced on just one percent of the farmland currently used for livestock production. This shift could result in an 85% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions globally, and water usage would be significantly decreased. Diseases commonly associated with livestock and poultry, including those transmissible to humans such as BSE (mad cow disease) and avian flu, could potentially be eradicated. In contrast to conventionally slaughtered meat, cultured meat does not need to contain traces of antibiotics.

Prime Minister Winston Churchill foresaw the idea of cultured meat as early as 1932. "Fifty years hence, we shall escape the absurdity of growing a whole chicken in order to eat the breast or wing by growing these parts separately under a suitable medium", he wrote.

At one time it seemed impossible for man not to get around by horse and cart, but today we know better. Future generations are likely to view the practice of confining living animals in deplorable conditions to satisfy our dietary needs with disdain, perhaps even labeling us as fools for perpetuating it.

Michel Vandenbosch, co-founder and President of animal welfare organization GAIA, said: "This inspiring book sheds new light on the possibilities and challenges of this technological innovation. The future of meat is without animal suffering. Cultured meat can help save our planet, biodiversity and spare billions of animals a terrible life in factory farms."

Philip Lymbery, Global CEO of Compassion in World Farming and award-winning author, emphasized: "There is a growing urgency for humanity to establish a new relationship with meat. World governments must urgently redirect public-funded investments away from supporting meat from animals raised in deplorable conditions. Instead, support should be directed towards alternative sources of protein, such as plant-based and cultured meat."

Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI), remarked: "Factory farms inflict unacceptable cruelty upon sentient animals and inflict significant damage to the environment. This book demonstrates that cultured meat can play a crucial role in transitioning to a more humane and sustainable system."

Peter Singer, professor of bioethics at Princeton University, said: "Producing meat from animals on an industrial scale, as is currently done, is an environmental disaster and poses a serious risk to public health.”