Go ahead, joke all you want. I did (see post title). But the fact remains that for the many, many of us who will completely give up eating meat only at the point of a gun, this approach could be beneficial not just for us but for those who have to share the planet with us.
That’s because raising animals for food, ethical considerations for the animals aside, is hard on the planet. It takes a lot of land, a lot of water and a lot of feed crops, and those animals leave an awful lot of poop behind before they move on to the supermarket, all of which has to go somewhere. (Here in N.C., which vies with Iowa for the national lead in hog production and where hogs outnumber people, this is an important environmental issue, particularly when things go wrong.)
Right now, the Netherlands is eating our lunch, so to speak, on this area of research. We ought to be leading the world at this: It would let us have our bacon and eat it, too — we could keep eating what we like, at substantially less cost to the health of our planet, and the research would create jobs.
Who should pay for the research? Well, let’s see. The railroads didn’t think they were in the transportation business, they thought they were in the railroad business, right up to the point at which they weren’t in business at all. I’d say the sooner the hog industry realizes it’s in the food business rather than the hog business, the better off we’ll all be — in terms of good food that’s less toxic to both the planet and our politics.
UPDATE: A friend writes, “‘Cuz Oscar Mayer has a way/With b-o-l-o-D-N-A.”