Earlier this year, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals announced that it will offer a $1 million X Prize for the creation of affordable, humane, and "commercially viable" test-tube meat by 2012. This announcement, not at all surprisingly, piqued public curiosity (for starters, why is PETA endorsing anything with the word "meat" in it?).
I assure you that you are not alone in your ambivalence about test-tube meat. When I first read about test-tube meat, I experienced psychological delight at its humanitarian prospects coupled with a simultaneous gag reflex at the thought of actually eating it.
Test-tube meat is also known as in vitro meat, cultured meat, victimless meat, vat-grown meat, hydroponic meat, and, finally, shmeat. (Note to self: Be sure to apply for inevitable X Prize to rename this stuff.)
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