From: Howie Jacobson <>
Subject: Can animal-free meat save us?

Hey there! I've got an important podcast conversation to share with you. (Watch or listen here: )

But first, a really short history lesson:

The original mission of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was to combat the mistreatment of horses in New York and other large American cities.

And while educating people and advocating for reform on ethical grounds is important and lovely work, the ASPCA didn't make a dent in the problem.


The automobile rendered horses unnecessary for transportation. At which point people could hear the arguments for treating them with kindness, dignity, and respect.

Similarly, the practice of plucking geese for their quills didn't stop because people suddenly developed empathy for the birds. Rather, the invention of the metal fountain pen did the trick, and fairly quickly.

Which is all to say, convincing people to do inconvenient things for moral reasons doesn't have a great track record in terms of changing behavior directly. (It may lay the groundwork, and spur innovation, but it's a long game.)

While innovating new ways of doing things that render the morally objectionable ones obsolete – that appears to be a winning strategy.

At least that's the view of my guest, Paul Shapiro. Paul is the author of Clean Meat: How Growing Meat without Animals will Revolutionize Dinner and the World. He's also the founder of the Better Meat Company, which uses fermentation to create meat analogues out of Rhiza mycoprotein.

His most excellent book, Clean Meat, introduces the reader to various visionaries, researchers, and entrepreneurs working to make animal-free meat as delicious, convenient, and cost-effective as beef, chicken, pork, and fish.

Once immersed in this world, Paul decided that just writing about it wasn't enough for him. So he did some research, uncovered a potential match between emerging technology and a market need, and started his own company.

In our conversation, we talked about Paul's evolution as a vegan activist, from trying to convince people that animals are not ours to dominate and violate, to working on law and policy, to creating better alternatives to the current animal agricultural industry.

Watch or listen here: