Last week, Stanford's Center for Ethics in Society posed a loaded question to a packed house at the CEMEX Auditorium:
What if we could feed the world with animal products without killing a single animal?
Spoiler: This future is not only possible, it's in the making right at this moment.
In a panel moderated by Civil Eats founder Naomi Starkman, an animal welfare advocate, a philosopher, a food tech CEO, and our very own executive director came together to explain how and why the future of food will be humane and sustainable.
The "how" is through a groundbreaking new method for producing animal products called cellular agriculture. Specifically, the panel focused on the production of clean meat, in which real meat is grown directly from cells, without the need for slaughter or factory farming. By completely subverting the current model for animal agriculture, clean meat is poised to disrupt a trillion dollar industry.
[For an in-depth look at the clean meat production process, click here]
The "why" is, well, to save the world. Not to be a downer, but humanity is facing tremendous challenges as we prepare to feed 9.7 billion by 2050. Right now, our food system primarily relies on unsustainable, environmentally damaging methods of production, and time is running out to right the course.
With clean meat technology, we don't have to hope and wait for mass dietary behavior change. People can continue eating the chicken nuggets, hamburgers, or ground beef they love without paying into a system that produces more greenhouse gases than the entire transportation sector and subjects billions of animals a year to confinement and slaughter.
[To learn more about the global problems associated with animal agriculture, click here]
Watch the panelists dive deep into what a clean meat future means for ethics, animals, business, and the environment: