Can vegetarians eat lab-grown meat?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “Can vegetarians eat lab-grown meat?” and will discuss what is lab-grown meat and is it safe?

Can vegetarians eat lab-grown meat?

No, vegetarians can not eat lab-grown meat. Because animal cells would still be used in the production process for lab-grown meat. To obtain stem cells, a little piece of the animal’s muscle would be used. In other words, this is animal exploitation and hence would not be considered vegetarian.

What is lab meat?

In vitro growth of animal cells is how lab-grown meat is made. A tiny sample of an animal’s cells is collected by cellular agriculturists. These may be obtained by swabbing a piece of skin tissue, a feather, or any other natural material. Embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells, myosatellite cells, and myoblasts are examples of cells with a high rate of multiplication.

During cultivation, the cells are put in a controlled cultivator and exposed to a growth media-rich in nutrients. As a result, the stem cells behave as if they were still in the animal’s body, which is to say that they reproduce rapidly and at high densities as fast as possible.

As a consequence, an edible product is created that resembles animal flesh in appearance, cooking method, and flavor. The main distinction is that it does not need the death of an animal to be made.

Is lab meat vegetarian?

Meat produced in a laboratory is, by definition, meat and as such, is not vegetarian. For others, though, the notion might provide a “loophole” as no animals were harmed in the making of it.

Not all lab-grown meat is devoid of animal usage manufacturing processes. To create his clean beef patty, Dutch scientist Mark Post used cells cultivated in an animal broth, which he exhibited at a press conference in 2013.

According to him, animal slaughter is the most effective form of cellular agriculture. Post told The Telegraph that his long-term goal is to have a small herd of animal donors that he keeps in reserve and sources his stem cells from.

Vegetarians considering lab-grown meat have a dilemma because of the use of fetal bovine serum (FBS). FBS is the most extensively utilized serum supplement in the industry for eukaryotic cells since it is derived from the blood of a cow fetus.

Some businesses, on the other hand, such as the food technology firm JUST, go to great lengths to ensure that their products are devoid of animal byproducts. JUST demonstrates the process of creating its lab-grown chicken in a video. To us, “how we acquired the cells” was more significant than “getting the cells,” as JUST put it. A single feather from the finest bird we could locate was all it took.

Waiting for Ian the chicken to spontaneously lose a feather took some time. Using the cells from Ian’s feather, the scientists were able to save his life while still making a substantial contribution to the cause. While Ian walked around their feet, alive and well, the JUST crew ate actual chicken nuggets from the JUST restaurant.

For Ryan Bethencourt, a co-founder of Indie Bio, one of the world’s premier life science accelerators, lab-grown meat may fill the void between people’s craving for meat and their desire to cause as little damage as possible.

According to vegetarian Bethencourt, the goal is to maintain people eating what they want while producing food in a manner that does not harm the environment.

Is Lab Meat Safe to Consume?

The dangers of eating conventionally raised beef cannot be overstated. The WHO classified red meat as a Group 2 carcinogen in 2015, indicating that it is likely to cause cancer in humans. Processed meat, such as bacon, is classified by the WHO as being carcinogenic to humans. Other examples include exposure to asbestos and cigarette smoking.

Lab-grown meat, according to Post, may be safer to consume than regular beef. “We get better control over the beef’s fat level,” the inventor of the first clean meat burger told The Atlantic. Reduced numbers of farmed animals also lessen zoonosis risk, which is when an infectious illness spreads from animals to people through the air, water, or food.

JUST have the same opinion. When it came to food safety, the company noted in its film, “We are doing things differently now than we used to.”

The film produced by JUST outlines the dangers of conventionally raised beef. Infectious diseases including salmonella, swine flu, giardia, and foot-and-mouth disease are also on the list. Clean beef, on the other hand, contains none of these dangers, according to the study. And the change is “stunning,” according to the business.

Doctor Neal Barnard (president of PCRM) thinks that lab-grown beef might be enriched with additional nutrients like vitamin b12, in the same way that vitamin d is added to orange juice. 

In March, the FDA and USDA announced the creation of a framework for the regulation of “clean beef.” The notion of clean beef is still very much in its infancy, but that hasn’t diminished people’s curiosity. 66 percent of Americans, according to a new poll by the Good Food Institute, are willing to try lab-grown beef.


In this brief guide, we answered the query, “Can vegetarians eat lab-grown meat?” and discussed what is lab-grown meat and is it safe?


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.