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Open Access Publications from the University of California

In Vitro Meat: An Ethical Solution to an Unsustainable Practice


In vitro meat, also recognized as test tube meat, cultured meat or cloned meat, refers to an animal flesh product, which has never been a component of a complete and living animal (Martin, Wendt, & Heberer, 2004). It is among the emerging technologies that are under research. The current research into this form of food resulted from a NASA experiment that attempted to find improved forms of long-term food for astronauts in space. NASA has been at the forefront of trying to find an in vitro meat, since 2001, by producing it from turkey cells. With constant increases in the costs of farming conventional meat and demand from the world population, in vitro meat might be one of the various new technologies necessary in maintaining the food supply by the year 2050. In vitro meat will have some profound effects on human daily life. The production of conventional meat might become too costly for the normal consumers to facilitate, especially when the world’s population reaches about 8.9 billion people (Bhat & Bhat, 2011).  In light of this, the paper discusses the impacts of in vitro meat as an emerging technology.

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