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Question: Is lab-grown meat (i.e. cultured meat; clean meat; in vitro meat) ethical from the Buddhist perspective?

Answer: It must be noted that starter cells from animals are used in the initial stage of growing lab-grown meat. Though its production seems to harm much less animals, animals are surely still, to some extent, continually bred, trapped and exploited for their cells. To this extent, lab-grown meat is still not ethical enough in the eyes of strict Buddhist standards.

When we look at the Buddha’s teachings on non-consumption of meat in the Surangama Sutra (https://thedailyenlightenment.com/2017/02/how-the-buddha-gradually-urged-the-kindest-diet), we should realise that in essence, the Buddha was advocating not just minimal conditioning of the suffering of sentient beings by our choice of consumption, but the non-support of any such suffering. Where there are kinder choices of diet, there is no reason to opt for crueller ones.

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