In vitro meat and human diversity
I find it interesting, though, that the debate over in vitro meat is always framed as making concessions. In vitro meat is presented as a sort of sop to incorrigible carnivores, a way to accommodate the people who say "I see all your points about the horrible suffering and exploitation that meat production involves, but on the other hand bacon is tasty." It's understandable that vegans would feel reluctant to let these people "win," to effectively admit that they can't, and don't have to be, won over to see that they can be perfectly happy and healthy eating plants. Offering them in vitro meat seems to concede that they had a point about the imperative tastiness of meat.
But when I think of in vitro meat, I don't think primarily of incorrigible carnivores (many of whom, I imagine, would be reluctant to let vegans "win" by admitting that animal suffering or rights should factor into their eating decisions even if they get to keep eating meat). Nor do I think of vegans who stick with it but still sometimes crave animal flesh. The first thing that comes to my mind is people whose bodies don't cooperate with a purely plant diet. Both vegans and omnivores have an unfortunate tendency to universalize the human body, with blanket declarations that people either can or can't be healthy without animal products. In reality, our needs vary. The vegan universalizing position is closer to true than the omnivorous universalizing assumptions prevalent in modern Western culture. However, some people, because of the way their bodies handle (or can't handle) certain forms of protein or vitamins, find it extremely difficult -- or even impossible -- to maintain a reasonable standard of well-being without consuming animal products, even under optimal socio-economic conditions. (And some people's bodies go the opposite way, finding it hard to subsist on animal products.) In vitro meat solves the mismatch between these folks' bodily demands and the interests of the potential foodstuffs available in their environment.
*Perhaps some enterprising company could get the readers of "odd news" columns all a-twitter by offering to grow you an in vitro steak made out of your own cells.