If one man’s meat is another’s poison, there is a simple way to resolve this. Fake it. If you can have faux fur, why not faux meat? That should give you something to chew on. People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta), those high priests of going back to nature, have now come up a million dollar offer to anyone who can produce fake meat. Before you say eww, the idea is to produce ethical meat but with veggie ingredients for those who like to get their teeth into it. Well, a soya Chateaubriand may not exactly be haute cuisine, but we’ll leave you to read between the leaves. But what we would really like to know is why, in their obsessive quest against fish, flesh and good red herring, Peta has a penchant for advertising using the airbrushed flesh of the bold and the beautiful wearing at best a cabbage leaf or two. Does a caged Pamela Anderson, in all her pneumatic ebullience put you off meat? Depends on your taste. Now comes the million dollar question. Can anyone really produce commercially viable quantities of in-vitro meat at competitive prices by 2012, which is what Peta want? Will this ever work out cheaper than letting loose herds of cows or lambs to gambol in the fields and pastures before being sent off to the animal farm in the sky?
But wait a minute. Don’t people who shun meat do so because they can’t bear the taste, odour and texture of flesh? Could such a person stomach a fake steak or an imposter tandoori? But who said that common sense and political correctness had anything in common? Unless you could fake it.