Leather and Meat Without Killing Animals?
TED Talks are known for being at the cutting edge of technology and innovation, and they give us a glimpse of where society could be heading. So we were both intrigued and excited by entrepreneur Andras Forgacs’ lecture, in which he explains how printing leather – without harming a single animal – is the way of the future.
Sound zany? “[T]his is not so crazy … What’s crazy is what we do today”, Forgacs says. “[W]e raise and slaughter billions of animals to make our hamburgers and our handbags.”
It’s clear why we need to move away from the current system of abusing and killing animals for food and clothing: by 2050, he predicts, it will take 100 billion land animals to provide the world’s population with meat, dairy products, eggs and leather goods if we continue in the same destructive fashion. That’s no good for the planet and even worse for the animals involved.
Forgacs points out that livestock are “one of the largest users of land [33 per cent of ice free land], fresh water [8 per cent] and one of the biggest producers of greenhouse gases [18 per cent]” and that “[a]nimals are not just raw materials, they are living beings”. We couldn’t agree more!
Here’s his talk:
In vitro meat is already starting to become a viable possibility. Last month, the first lab-grown hamburger was tasted in London. It’s a project that PETA fully supports because it could save billions of animals’ lives. Read what PETA Managing Director Ingrid E Newkirk has to say on the subject.
Tissue engineering takes cells from living animals (without harm) and cultivates them in a lab to produce living tissue without the suffering, destruction and death caused by traditional farming. Forgacs compares it to the process inside breweries and points out that this new technique is far more environmentally responsible, efficient and, most importantly, humane.
While innovative science may provide an alternative to leather in the future, there’s no need to wait! You can avoid the cruelty of leather today. Many retailers and designers – including Vegan Fashion Award recipient Stella McCartney – sell fashion that’s fabulous and free from suffering.
Watch Stella’s exposé of the leather industry, and pledge to wear only fake leather here.