Could vegetarians eat a ‘test tube’ burger?

Chi Chi Izundu
BBC News

The world could get its first lab-grown burger this year, with scientists using stem cells to create strips of beef. But could vegetarians eat it?

Scientists in the Netherlands hoping to create a more efficient alternative to rearing animals have grown small pieces of beef muscle in a laboratory.

These strips will be mixed with blood and artificially grown fat to produce a hamburger by the autumn.

The stem cells in this particular experiment were harvested from by-products of slaughtered animals but in the future, scientists say, they could be taken from a live animal through biopsy.

One usually assumes the main motivation for vegetarianism – aside from those who practise for religious reasons – is about the welfare of animals. The typical vegetarian forswears meat because animals are killed to get it.

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