Mooncalf: ‘Unclean meat’ | Intellect Skip to content
1981
Taboo–Transgression–Transcendence in Art & Science
  • ISSN: 1477-965X
  • E-ISSN: 1758-9533

Abstract

The calamitous warnings of climate science have been latched onto by a growing roster of biotech start-up companies who propose to invent lab-generated meat alternatives to the ecologically disastrous livestock industry. They use solutionist hype to promote ‘sustainable’, ‘eco-friendly’, ‘cruelty-free’, ‘clean meat’. This moralized marketing, however, masks a continued reliance on animal agriculture. The fact remains that mammalian cells and tissues are grown in vitro using foetal calf serum, a blood-derived nutrient. Is it really possible to grow meat without banking on the bodies of nonhuman others? Might there be more tasteful material? In , Lindsay Kelley asks, ‘[h]‌ow do technologies taste?’ This article proposes one answer to her prompt, centred on a technofeminist contextualization of the research-creation project, (2019–present). is a series of wet lab experiments and artistic outputs that showcase the potential viability of human menstrual serum for culturing mammalian tissue. These experiments present a direct provocation that problematizes the cellular agriculture industry as it pertains to the production of ‘clean meat’ and instead works towards a proof-of-concept ‘unclean’ meat prototype. is a symbolic precursor or speculative promise meant to facilitate a ‘cultural taste’ for feminist biotechnologies.

Funding
This study was supported by the:
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Doctoral Fellowship (Award 752-2019-0002)
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2020-10-01
2024-05-26
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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): autophagy; feminism; in vitro meat; menstruation; unclean; witchcraft
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