Here we want to discuss the Youtube video “Eat animals” (Tiere essen ) by David Precht on the world food crisis. Not the usual veggie day morals, but the solution of meat consumption by means of the artificial meat from Silicon Valley. In this area now flow more investments than in artificial intelligence and it could be the solution to the world food crisis and the eco-crisis, which is why such investment has such a priority in Silicon Valley. Although if you think of Silicon Valley you are thinking of digitization, quantum computers, microchips, the Internet of Things, Industry 4.0, autonomous driving, artificial intelligence and computer algorithms, but nanotechnology, and biotechnology are leading the way, as evidenced in the writings of Ray Kurzweil and his book “Singularity” that envisions a posthuman fusion of man with machine and biotechnology and genetic engineering. A lot of science fiction, and a lot of spinning, a lot is being tested, but the main investments of the Silicon Valley are going into the technology of the artificial meat, and that is already feasible and is already produced, albeit not yet in mass production.
According to Precht, the cost of an artificial meat burger has dropped from initially 330 000 euros in 5 years to 80 euros and will soon be available soon for 1-2 euros and thus mass compatible and thus the challenge for natural meat. Of course, first of all it would be necessary to check whether the eschatological world salvation promises of David Precht are technologically and economically correct or whether Precht does not make himself the uncritical advocate of the Californian ideology and the PR promoter of the Silicon Valley. Elon Musk also invests in many projects, of which Space X and Tesla are successful, but already the Hyperloop and other projects are on weak legs. Investment volume does not say anything about the success of such investments. Scientific history is paved with bad investments. It is quite possible that the scientifically, technologically and economically less well-educated philosopher and humanities scientist Precht got an overdose of Californian ideology. Likewise, the question remains whether artificial meat would prevail against cultural resistance.
A friend wrote in response:
“I think that way is the wrong way, because all these things lack the essential element that I would like to call “souled nature”or “soulful nature”. After all, all these retort creations are not beneficial to our health, as we already experience with GMO food, the frequency of these creations does not correspond to ours. Since most people have “no antenna” for such a thing, we are running in the wrong direction like the lemmings.
Imho there is only one way: a radical global reduction of birth rates. For this, the UN would have to raise the bell as a voice and control authority. But since, in such questions, our Asians, Latinos, and Africans have the majority in voting procedures, that is, our representatives of the unrestrained “child blessing,” it requires greater persuasion and effort from the “awakened” industrialized nations.
But perhaps the problem is also regulated by nature itself, because with our growing misconduct. it is already measurable our life expectancy is reduced, a steadily rising repair medicine obscures that a little, and sperm fertility has been steadily decreasing for 2 decades according to the research report.”
But it is actually natural meat, which is bred from natural meat. Soulful nature sounds religious, even a little bit pantheistic, has probably the idea that what has no soul, can not be healthy either. Apart from the question of whether there is a soul and nature, man or an animal or even plants have a soul, apart from whether or not one believes in the more panthesistic idea of a “soulful/souled nature”, it would make sense to first research whether the artificial meat is harmless to humans. Before it comes to production and use, it should first be explored whether it has harmful effects on the human organism. Especially since it also depends on the production process, such as whether growth hormones or other growth-promoting substances are added with already have known effects.
Nevertheless, one should address such innovations and sometimes even further think about their possible consequences.
Although meat consumption in Germany is increasingly questioned and 10% of the population are now vegetarians, this is marginal on a global scale, with meat consumption rising as a result of the population explosion, as well as billions of Indians, Chinese and Africans eating more and more meat. Once India was a veggie nation with the Dall dish in particular, but it has become a carnivore nation today, the largest beef exporter despite sacred cows and meat consumption will continue to grow. And China and Taiwan are no longer the rice nations they were so eager to idealize themselves, though they ate anything that had more than 2 legs, as well as there was cannibalism during the Cultural Revolution in Guangxi and elsewhere (Jung Chang: Mao), not because of famine and there are also dog restaurants in Beijing, although the northern Chinese want to attribute these culinary excesses rather to the southern Chinese. At least one is criticized by the Chinese, if you order more vegetarian food or rice to the extent, why you order this “poor people food”, which also shows that here the meat consumption is more related to status issues.
Before trying to compensate for the global protein supply of humanity by insect food, there is now an innovation: artificial meat. Invitro meat. No science fiction: Meat that is already bred from meat cells today and in the future in mass production in silos, by means of 3d printers or what still exists .No genetic engineering, but in the broadest sense reproduction technology. It does not breed a whole chicken, but only the chicken thigh, does not fatten a whole goose but only breeds the goose liver, etc. No science fiction, but is already done and the prices fall rapidly. No more factory farming, no more destruction of the rainforests and deforestation, no more waste that pollutes the groundwater, no more cruelty to animals and no more animal transports, no chick shredding, no more vegetarianism and veganism as the only way out, no more ecological disaster and the organic farmers, the bio farmers are no longer the good guys. While vegetarians and vegans criticize this because the change is happening technologically and from the outside and not from the inside by a change in consciousness and thinking, David Precht sees here rather the problem that the companies have the patents on the manufacturing processes and monopolize the production chain as Montesano monopolizes seed.
Exciting social debates and conflicts will be the result: Quasi-religious and moral vegetarians, vegans, regional and organic farmers, and conventional agriculture business and factory animal farmers then would unite against “artificial meat” for very different reasons, but in the consensus that you want nothing “artificial”, but only “natural”. But the artificial meat producers will then argue that their product is not artificial, but meat from natural meat cells, so very natural, even without chemistry and no genetic engineering, especially just without cruelty against animals, the waste and contamination of groundwater, without deforestation, that artificial meat will prevent the food and ecological disaster. It will be exciting to see how the established parties position themselves, especially the CDU / CSU wich is obedient to the established agricultural lobby and the Greens, whose members often are vegetarians and vegans, but they also could also face problems with animal rights activists. The AfD is likely to be against artificial, un-German meat, which damages the peasantry, its sacred soil, and the previous business model.
We live in a time of new disruptive technologies and disruptive social changes. New means and technologies of production will be tried out, much will be tested after the try and error procedure, and the social forces will be rearranged and restructure themselves. The result is open and is currently being attempted to be understood and adapted, with some hoping for a 1970s Germany or going back further in history, while others want to rush forward a futuristic future, to a supposed new modernity of progress The latter is not the case in Germany, the energy transition and digitization threatens to fail and you talk more about flying taxis and e-scooters, but not about the really crucial issues. For example, artificial meat.