Why Won’t Vegetarians Eat Fake Meat? Ctd

A reminder of where real meat comes from:

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A reader answers the above question:

But they do! Have you ever wandered into a vegan health food store and seen tofu cut and colored to look like grilled chicken, or veggie patties made to look (and taste) like hamburgers?

Another quotes the previous post:

“In a poll run on the website of the Vegetarian Society, nearly four in five said they would not eat IVM [in vitro meat], while fewer than 7 per cent said they would.” In a related story, nearly 999 out of a 1000 vegetarians never heard of the Vegetarian Society.  Seriously, polling the holy rollers of vegetarians says nothing about what the vast majority of vegetarians (myself included) would do.  Most of the vegetarians I know (including myself) have “fallen off the wagon” one or more times for various reasons.  I had a couple of female former vegetarians tell me they weren’t feeling all that well and their bodies just “told” them to eat meat.  Assuming IVM has the taste and nutrition of “real” meat, I would imagine first, the ranks of vegetarians would significantly increase, and second, that while a majority of current vegetarians may not use the IVM option, I’m betting a lot more than 7% will.

A few who won’t:

I’m 45 and I’ve been a vegetarian for almost 20 years. Although I like animals and believe they should be treated with dignity, that’s not my primary motivation for being vegetarian. I just don’t like to eat meat. There’s something about it that I find repulsive.

I’m regularly confronted by people who hear that I’m vegetarian and project all sorts of political significance on it. The most belligerent ones want to believe that I’m in PETA and spend my time throwing paint on women in fur coats. It really seems to get their goat that I don’t want to eat a steak, even if it’s “free range,” “grass-feed,” 100% organic, locavore’s delight. Oh, and then the inevitable question: “Don’t you crave it? What about bacon?”  It’s like I’m being chased around by that character in “Green Eggs and Ham.” Do you like it in a house?

For the majority of vegetarians whom I have met (and we’re NOT in a club or anything), the answer is no, I don’t crave bacon. That’s like asking a person who doesn’t like olives, “Don’t you just want one?” Or someone who doesn’t smoke: “How can you restrain yourself? Everyone loves the taste of a Marlboro.”

And really – synthetic meat? Are you serious? That sounds even worse than real meat. I almost barfed just thinking about it!


I’ve been a vegetarian for about 15 years now, and am mostly vegan. I can say with 99% certainty that my vegetarianism has to do with animal welfare and suffering and environmental concerns.

I shit you not, this is what I wrote to my wife a few hours ago, in an email planning our family’s dinners for the upcoming week: “I also think we should try to make some sort of fish thing once a week [for the wife and kids]… I wish I could make myself eat fish, but I just don’t really think I can.” I think fish is good and healthy. It’s great (aside from environmental concerns). But I don’t want it bad enough to say “ha ha, sucker, I want to taste your flesh so badly that you have to die!”

So would I be first in line to eat some IVM-produced fried chicken? Probably not. Why? It’s not because my actions don’t align with my professed values; it’s just that I haven’t eaten it in so long, the desire for it is just long gone. But just because I’m not all that interested in buying it, doesn’t mean I don’t think IVM is not an awesome development.


I’ve been a vegetarian since 1979. I became a vegetarian solely for ethical reasons. If fake meat were being marketed today, I would probably force myself to use it, to insure that the producers found it profitable to produce, but I wouldn’t really want to. For the first few years of being vegetarian I still lusted after meat, but after five years or so I no longer perceived meat as food and didn’t find it attractive. A friend of mine, who is 25 years sober through AA, has told me that he went through the same process with alcohol.

One more vegetarian:

If it is clear to me that my eating lab-grown meat would reduce animal suffering, then I would absolutely do it – I’m sure I’d get used to it fast enough. But I think the money I would spend on the product would do less to support and grow that market than if I spent that money on programs that educate people about the horrors of factory farming. Even a small contribution to Vegan Outreach, for example, would get many more booklets like this one in the hands of college students: “Even If You Like Meat“.