Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews -- For those who like their news and truths frank and sharp

Fake news about fake meat

What’s the difference between an ad and a news report? The first tries to sell something, to make some profit, to gain money, while the second tries to inform, unconnected to interests of anyone. The latter is in danger when producers try to highjack journalists into publishing their “unadulterated” propaganda. And journalists should be extra alert when the “news” bringer says he’s looking for cash. The way to distinguish itself as a genuine source of information is to ask for proofs about things that seem unbelievable and to ask questions about holes in the story. The latter refers to much of fraudulent advertising not using lies but rather lying by omission. As the top psychiatrist of the Netherlands in my student time tried to help us find when someone uses the psychological trick that helps us ignore our problems (repression): what stands out in being absent?

Now we learn that a company aims to start a pilot factory outside of Tel Aviv, a first of its kind worldwide, to begin operations in 2020, which would decrease the cost of cultured meat to under $10 a pound — NIS 80 per kilo. That was 15 years ago, the price of kosher cow tongue from South America — the cheapest choice of the most expensive meat that I ever ate.

For the uninformed (that’s what you get if you don’t read my blog posts), this is great news. Sorry to rain on your party, but it’s  not all that great. Let me explain.

Fake meat is better than meat taken from an animal because, especially cows, are terrible for ecology and the climate. Further, to keep afloat financially, meat producers cut many corners in animal welfare and most cows are slaughtered by bullet, which is outright cruel. (Kosher slaughter can be much more humane (the slit is painless) but in the kosher-meat plants, cows are hung upside down in making the process more efficient which is outright cruel. (I don’t understand how a stolen booth is unkosher but meat obtained after animal cruelty is deemed ritually fine to excellent.))

So, you would say, what’s so disturbing about meat not destroying the planet and not hurting animals? Right, nothing wrong with those two points but here are all the points that are still wrong with this ad — but ignored for profit.

  • The way most people eat, as I explained at length in a recent blog post, is totally warped. A notorious meal cannot be, meat at the center with a few side dishes. Meat, if at all eaten, for our health, should be a side dish. And the tasteless meat is given flavor by salting, scorching (both extremely dangerous for living our full life in good health), adding garlic, onion, pepper, and often much other stuff. Eating meat gives a feeling of being full so we stop eating before we have eaten enough roots, veggies, beans, nuts, fruits, and fibers. And it spoils out cooking style and taste buds because we have begun to give all these very tasty plant foods the ‘meat treatment.’ By law, it should be obligatory to say in every meat ad: eating more than a tiny bit of meat is most dangerous to your health. This is all the same for fake meat, except that it must have no antibiotics in it; but I wouldn’t be surprised if it would have preservatives in it — what is worse? Fake meat still resembles our body so anything that grows on or in it is most dangerous for our health. While we can’t get an infection from plant microbes.
  • Meat is expensive, giving the false impression that it’s desired and desirable. Fake meat is, like animal produce, a waste of money, better spent on nutritious, harmless, and tasteful foods.
  • E-cigarettes are produced by the tobacco industry, which hypes it as a healthy way to smoke. (Recently, we saw already in one way, how ‘innocent’ this drug is.) They know that it associates health with smoking (a terrible association), that people easily switch from the new to the old way, and that suppressing your emotions with any drug is bad. Promoting fake meat gives the impression that meat is a good thing to eat and so encourages the buying of slaughtered meat. It strengthens the false impression that here you have something healthy (not true) and inexpensive (not true). It maintains meat at the center of the diet and the myth that this is something you should eat if you love yourself, if you love a good meal.
  • Bad for the climate doesn’t start to describe how destructive producing this fake meat is. According to its own info, it is “environmentally friendly than farming, producing 80 percent fewer greenhouse emissions.” Those who can read between the lines understand how polluting it must be. A main part of how keeping billions of cows for consumption kills off our survival on this planet is that cows fart methane, which is 23 times (NB: not: 23%) more contributing to the greenhouse effect than carbon dioxide. If growing fake meat costs so much energy that it’s comparable to 20% of 2300%, that still makes for a whopping 460%.
  • One of the insidious ways animal produce is maintaining human starvation is that for every kilo of protein ‘produced’ by animals, they have to eat 7 kilos of it. This might be a bit more efficient for producing fake meat but I don’t know by which factor. If you get 1 kilo of fake meat by using 3 kilos of protein, why not eat a nice, tasty, nutritious, non-destructive, economic, vegan dish instead?
  • Last but not least at all, the Rabbis explain that If you take cells from a living animal, Jew nor Gentile is allowed to eat them. I’m sure that there is a way around this, namely, harvesting these cells right after the kosher slaughtering. Are these cells from a kosher animal? Are they created from blood cells? Jews are forbidden to consume blood. But the article is completely silent about this, which is an ominous sign. Cells from a (still) living animal are, for Jewish Law, worse meat than pig meat or meat that is not from kosher slaughtering. That such a fake-meat plant would be worse than a pig farm in Israel should say a lot. (For more on this all, see: here.)

So, this fake meat is bad for your health, bad for your diet, bad for your wallet, bad for fighting climate change, spiritually bad, and good hype for the meat industry. As a vegan, I see little reason to celebrate this news.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, previously a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He often makes his readers laugh, mad, or assume he's nuts—close to perfect blogging. He's proud that his analytical short comments are removed both from left-wing and right-wing news sites. None of his content is generated by the new bore on the block, AI. * As a frontier thinker, he sees things many don't yet. He's half a prophet. Half. Let's not exaggerate. Or not at all because he doesn't claim G^d talks to him. He gives him good ideas—that's all. MM doesn't believe that people observe and think in a vacuum. He, therefore, wanted a broad bio that readers interested can track a bit what (lack of) backgrounds, experiences, and educations contribute to his visions. * This year, he will prioritize getting his unpublished books published rather than just blog posts. Next year, he hopes to focus on activism against human extinction. To find less-recent posts on a subject XXX among his over 2000 archived ones, go to the right-top corner of a Times of Israel page, click on the search icon and search "zuiden, XXX". One can find a second, wilder blog, to which one may subscribe too, here: or by clicking on the globe icon next to his picture on top. * Like most of his readers, he believes in being friendly, respectful, and loyal. However, if you think those are his absolute top priorities, you might end up disappointed. His first loyalty is to the truth. He will try to stay within the limits of democratic and Jewish law, but he won't lie to support opinions or people when don't deserve that. (Yet, we all make honest mistakes, which is just fine and does not justify losing support.) He admits that he sometimes exaggerates to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quite a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * Sometimes he's misunderstood because his wide and diverse field of vision seldomly fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what some love about him. He has written a lot about Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (including basic statistics), Politics (Israel, the US, and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight reality), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, LGBTQIA+, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), the Climate Crisis, Ecology and Veganism, Affairs from the news, or the Torah Portion of the Week, or new insights that suddenly befell him. * Chronologically, his most influential teachers are his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach, and, lehavdil bein chayim lechayim, Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff, and Rav Meir Lubin. This short list doesn't mean to disrespect others who taught him a lot or a little. One of his rabbis calls him Mr. Innovation [Ish haChidushim]. Yet, his originalities seem to root deeply in traditional Judaism, though they may grow in unexpected directions. In fact, he claims he's modernizing nothing. Rather, mainly basing himself on the basic Hebrew Torah text, he tries to rediscover classical Jewish thought almost lost in thousands of years of stifling Gentile domination and Jewish assimilation. (He pleads for a close reading of the Torah instead of going by rough assumptions of what it would probably mean and before fleeing to Commentaries.) This, in all aspects of life, but prominently in the areas of Free Will, Activism, Homosexuality for men, and Redemption. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, and disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed. He aims to bring a fresh perspective rather than harp on the obvious and familiar. When he can, he loves to write encyclopedic overviews. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds should be disputed. In short, his main political positions are among others: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, anti those who abuse democratic liberties, anti the fake ME peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, pro-Science, pro-Free Will, anti-blaming-the-victim, and for down-to-earth, classical optimism, and happiness. Read his blog on how he attempts to bridge any tensions between those ideas or fields. * He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (, born in 1953 to his parents who were Dutch-Jewish Holocaust survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork. He grew up a humble listener. It took him decades to become a speaker too, and decades more to admit to being a genius. But his humility was his to keep. And so was his honesty. Bullies and con artists almost instantaneously envy and hate him. He hopes to bring new things and not just preach to the choir. * He holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam) – is half a doctor. He practices Re-evaluation Co-counseling since 1977, is not an official teacher anymore, and became a friendly, powerful therapist. He became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years, he was active in hasbara to the Dutch-speaking public. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second-generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having an original peek outside of your cultural bubble. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me. * His newest books you may find here:
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