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What PR genius came up with the catchy, dismissive moniker "fake meat"? The term, along with the euphemistic "protein plants" for slaughterhouses, shows just how threatened meat producers have become by the legions now embracing plant-based meat".and the prospect of cultured meat coming up the rear.
There are many euphemisms for killing animals that seek to occlude the struggle and fight to the last breath that animals, who value their lives and don't want to die, will muster. The euphemisms include "harvesting," "culling," "taking" (hunters) and "sacrificing" (researchers). But now, hiding the blood and violence behind meat is a financial emergency for meat producers as grocery store aisles fill with plant-based meat offerings and restaurant franchises add plant-based items. Never has it been easier to be a mainstream vegan, no longer needing to seek out specialized stores or restaurants. As many as 35 percent of young people now plan to go meat-free.
An old saying held that "if slaughterhouses had windows, everyone would be a vegetarian" but today slaughterhouses do have "windows" -- in the form of Internet images that are available for everyone to see on their computer or phone" and sometimes impossible to ignore. Moreover, testimony from those who work or have worked at slaughterhouses is also readily available; I personally have reported it for years.
Last year, a slaughterhouse worker said on the BBC of the calves it was his job to kill, "They sniffed us, like puppies, because they were young and curious"Some of the boys and I stroked them, and they suckled our fingers."
Increasingly, meat producers need to censor such messaging to keep selling "product."
I recently saw a two-column comparison of ingredients in plant-based meat to "real" meat, with the latter presented as purer and more healthy. Nowhere in the real meat column was there a mention of slaughter -- as if "death" and its preceding bloody struggle were a moot point.
Moreover, in the meat column there was no mention of the antibiotics, hormones, growth drugs like ractopamine, other animal drugs, heavy metals, vaccines, feed additives, aerosolized antivirals and preservatives like ammonia, carbon monoxide and chlorine "baths" that do not appear on the label. Few in the U.S. realize that other countries boycott its meat because of many of these unlabeled ingredients. Riots and trade wars have ensued.
It is obvious why meat producers are fighting the plant-based meat movement with inaccurate and fear-producing terms like "fake meat." Not only is "fake" an emotional word, it is not even accurate when referring to cultured meat which derives from the cells of "real meat" and is identical except that no slaughter occurs.
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