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The project of growing meat artificially represents for some the next best thing to humanity. If successful, it could be the solution to several problems, such as feed- ing a growing global population while reducing the environmental impact of raising animals for food and, of course, reducing the amount and degree of animal cruelty and suffering that is involved in animal farming. In this paper, I argue that the issue of the morality of such a project has been framed only in terms of the best conse- quences for the environment, animals, and humans, or in terms of deontic princi- ples. I argue that to appreciate how deep and difficult this issue is, it is necessary to consider it in terms of a virtue-oriented approach. Such an approach will reveal aspects that are not apparent, not contemplated by typical approaches, but are essen- tial to our understanding of the morality of lab-grown meat. As I argue, evaluating the issue from a virtue-oriented perspective suggests that the project of in vitro meat should not be supported because it stems from unvirtuous motivations.


This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics. The final authenticated version is available online at:



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