PETA Offers $1 Million to First Scientist to Produce Marketable Lab-Grown Meat by 2012

MEAT WITHOUT THE SUFFERING

Norfolk, Va. - PETA cofounder and President Ingrid E. Newkirk has posed a challenge to the world's scientific community: The first person to come up with a method to produce commercially viable quantities of in vitro meat at competitive prices will receive a check for $1 million. The figure was determined by calculating the number of chickens killed every hour in the U.S.--about 1 million. PETA's offer comes just after the first-ever in vitro meat symposium in Norway, in which researchers met to discuss key scientific challenges, formalize an organizational structure, and work to fund their efforts. To qualify for the prize, which was announced today on the group's Web site PETA.org, the quantity of meat produced must be sufficient to market in at least 10 U.S. states at a price that is competitive with then-prevailing chicken prices.
PETA points out that although healthy and delicious vegetarian mock meats (made from plant protein and spices) abound, consumers who just can't get enough cholesterol and saturated fat in their diet could indulge their cravings without harming animals. Also, because a recent U.N. study concluded that raising animals for food generates more greenhouse-gas emissions than all the cars, trucks, and planes in the world combined and is a top contributor to land degradation and water pollution, switching to lab-grown meat would be a boon to the environment.
More than 40 billion chickens, fish, pigs, and cows are killed every year for food in the U.S. Chickens' sensitive beaks are cut off, and they are drugged and bred to grow so fast that they become crippled under their own weight. Their throats are cut while they are still conscious, and millions are scalded to death in defeathering tanks. Humans who eat animals suffer too. Consumption of meat and other animal products has been conclusively linked to heart disease, strokes, diabetes, obesity, and several types of cancer.
"Many people are stunned to hear that PETA is interested in lab-grown meat, but it's clear that we must overcome our own revulsion at flesh-eating to achieve a kinder world," says Newkirk. "One million dollars might seem like a lot of money, but it's a small price to pay for something that has the potential to save about 1 million lives every hour."
For more information, please visit PETA's Web site GoVeg.com. To view the New York Times story on PETA's offer, click here.

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