Writer and campaigner Pat Thomas recently attended the Oxford Real Farming Conference, a prestigious event whose primary audience is farmers.
One of the speakers was the well-known environmental journalist, George Monbiot.
Monbiot was there to argue in favor of replacing farmers with “fermentation farmers, bioengineers, protein engineers, metabolic engineers, cell biologists, computer scientists, IT workers, food scientists and designers, nutritionists, and other similar professions.”
In other words, out with the farm, and in with the lab.
The farmers in the audience weren’t amused. In fact, it was a “wonder” that Monbiot “wasn’t chased down the street by an angry mob with pitchforks,” Thomas writes.
Monbiot may sincerely—or may not, depending on his true motives (which Thomas questions in her article)—believe that the key to solving the climate crisis is to end animal agriculture. This despite the fact that many scientists argue just the opposite—animals are key to a healthy, carbon-sequestering ecosystem.
But oh, George . . . getting behind the techno-food movement? Lab-grown food, and food created “out of thin air,” are unlikely solutions for “saving the planet.” And they’re definitely not the solution to improving human health.