Saturday, April 12, 2008

The In Vitro Meat Consortium

David Lowe passed along this fine blog entry, by New York Times reporter Andrew C. Revkin, on the scientific, economic and ethical issues of laboratory-grown meat.

Whereupon Andy Rindsberg, bless him, pointed out that the ambitions of the In Vitro Meat Consortium are to create Chicken Little, as depicted in Frederik Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth's The Space Merchants (1952):
Scum-skimming wasn't hard to learn. You got up at dawn. You gulped a breakfast sliced not long ago from Chicken Little and washed it down with Coffiest. You put on your coveralls and took the cargo net up to your tier. In blazing noon from sunrise to sunset you walked your acres of shallow tanks crusted with algae. If you walked slowly, every thirty seconds or so you spotted a patch at maturity, bursting with yummy carbohydrates. You skimmed the patch with your skimmer and slung it down the well, where it would be baled, or processed into glucose to feed Chicken Little, who would be sliced and packed to feed people from Baffinland to Little America. Every hour you could drink from your canteen and take a salt tablet. Every two hours you could take five minutes. At sunset you turned in your coveralls and went to dinner -- more slices from Chicken Little -- and then you were on your own.
In that seventh sentence, note the alarming pronoun "who" -- a pronoun the In Vitro Meat Consortium presumably tries to avoid.

1 comment:

Dr. Psycho said...

And let's not forget that Chicken little was itself a tribute to Arch Oboler's legendary "Chicken Heart" story: