You are what you eat: Meat, novel protein foods, and consumptive freedom [Book Review]

Animal husbandry has been accused ofmaltreating animals, polluting the environment, and soon. These accusations were thought to be answered whenthe Dutch research program ``Sustainable TechnologicalDevelopment'' (STD) suggested a government-initiatedconversion from meat to novel protein foods (NPFs).STD reasoned that if consumers converted from meat toNPFs, non-sustainable animal husbandry would no longerbe needed. Whereas STD only worried about how toconstruct NPFs with a meat bite, this paper drawsattention to the presumed, but problematic, role forthe government in the execution of the STDsuggestions. Although vegetarians take the credo ``YouAre What You Eat'' literally and accuse non-vegetariansof being beasts, a different interpretation is morepromising: eating meat has become a leading thread inmany lifestyles and narratives of self-identity. Sincethe freedom to follow your own lifestyle orconsumptive preferences is a core value incontemporary affluent societies, governmentintervention in the formation and satisfaction ofconsumer preferences for meat dishes is a precariousissue. Hence, NPFs might be interesting for a smallfraction of society, but we had better not expect toomuch from a government-initiated conversion from meatto NPFs as the answer to animal husbandry'sproblems
Keywords Anti-Perfectionism  freedom  meat consumption  novel protein foods  self-identity
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DOI 10.1023/A:1009555118131
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