In her book, Friederike Schmitz also points out the promising developments in the field of cultured meat, also called in vitro meat. This is real meat from the bioreactor in lieu of meat from the slaughterhouse, as long as the cultured cells are fed on a plant-based diet. Today, however, the nutrient solution still partly consists of fetal calf serum, which is obtained from the blood of unborn calves. From an animal welfare point of view, the extraction of the serum is to be rejected, especially because the calves are presumed to suffer a painful death. The carbon footprint of lab-grown meat is better than that of beef, but about the same as that of chicken and pork.
However, intensive research is also being conducted into other so-called alternative protein sources that - unless insects are used as a basis - do not have an animal origin. These include proteins of plant origin, which are obtained from vegetables, cereals or oilseeds, for example. In addition, experiments are carried out with micro- and macro-algae, fungi and other sources. They are all considered to be more resource-efficient and in some cases play an important role in the global carbon cycle. For example, algae, which can grow rapidly, have the ability to absorb carbon dioxide very effectively. They do not need fertilisers, and cultivation areas are not required, as algae can be cultivated in tanks and tubes. Research into the potential of algae in the energy sector and as a plastic substitute is still in its infancy. The Swiss-based investment company Blue Horizon Corporation AG, for example, is specifically looking for investors to invest their assets in start-ups with animal-free and sustainable protein production.
Finally, the book also deals with leather production, a multi-billion dollar business that makes animal husbandry and the slaughter industry more profitable worldwide. However, there are already various alternatives to animal leather, such as leather made from mushrooms, pineapple fibres and other fruit waste, to name just a few, which do not require petroleum or toxic ingredients.
Friederike Schmitz provides reasons and solutions for developing a better human-animal-environment relationship. She is convinced that improvements are possible and that a system reform is necessary. There are ways to get out of the animal industry, but for this to actually happen, there need to be fair conditions for all.
The book "Anders satt - Wie der Ausstieg aus der Tierindustrie gelingt" is available in shops and can also be consulted by appointment during opening hours in the TIR library, where reading and working space is available. Current new additions to the TIR library are always presented in the TIR library newsletter.