Liberals: What’s Wrong With Eating People? by Robert Gehl
With the most “click-baity” headline imaginable, Wired magazine has ventured into extolling the virtues of cannibalism.
Called “What’s wrong with eating people?” the article explains – or tries to – that since it’s possible to grow fake meat in a laboratory, then what’s to stop us from growing – and consuming – fake human flesh.
It’s a massive – and stupid – leap that writer Rich Wordsworth seems perfectly content to make. He starts out by suggesting we would be excited about the possibility of giving in to our cannibalistic urges:
What if you could tuck into a juicy human burger that was guaranteed cruelty-free? No-one has to lose a shoulder for your Sunday roast; no-one gets their leg sawn off for your signature slow-cooked tagine. No-one even has to die these days. In the not-too-distant future, we could all be tucking into lab-grown meaty cubes of our favourite celebrities. Or eating a synthesized slab of newlyweds to mark the special day.
He then quotes a scientist who says “In the West, this is a huge taboo.” Gee, duh. It’s a taboo almost everywhere. And in the few places it’s not, you do not want to live.
Wordsworth said that since scientists proved a few years ago that synthetic animal meat could be created in a lab, it’s only a short walk to cannibalism.
And to top it off, Wordsworth suggested we’d like to eat our favorite celebrities.
Cells swabbed from today’s hottest stars, grown into cubic canapes and speared on cocktail sticks. “Give European royalty a try before the next coronation,” the book suggests. Which would certainly change the atmosphere on The Mall. Celebrity Cubes might be feasible – if you can grow mutton, you can grow Miley – but even without a sacrificial lamb, any company hoping to sell lab-grown human flesh will … be selling to a market that is exclusive and esoteric in equal measure.
This is all incredibly silly and stupid, of course. But that doesn’t stop people these days.
Wordsworth writes that cannibalism is incredibly dangerous because any viruses or diseases the eatee has are easily passed on to the eater. In cows and other animals, it’s not that easy to transmit the pathogens.
And that’s why we should all eat synthetic humans, of course!
Except for the “yuk,” factor, he writes:
But even with the promise of clean human meat taken as read, there’s one final, potentially lethal (thankfully for the product, rather than the consumer), problem: marketing. Or, as bioethicists might put it: the yuck factor. “The yuck factor is an emotional, not necessarily logical, response,” says Dr. John Loike, director of special programs at Columbia’s Centre for Bioethics. “So, I think it would be more applicable to the use of human stem cells to generate meat, and would not really apply to animals such as fish or poultry.”
I don’t want to burst the bubble of the futurists over at Wired, but there are better chances of eating the pages of your magazine than dining on fake human flesh any time in the future.