Here some scientific news we believe might be relevant for a future space-based society. Continue reading Science round up
Intensive animal farming, also known as factory farming, is controversial for two reasons. First of all, it has a huge negative impact upon our environment – cattle is, for instance, one of the major sources of methane (a greenhouse gas stronger than carbon dioxide) emission. Second but not least, is the suffering imposed on animals kept as livestock. Though animal slaughter is an unpleasant aspect of livestock farming, the way we keep animals is probably far more cruel than merely killing a sentient being.
In this essay I want to explore a not-too-far future in which technology has reconciled our demand for animal products and animal welfare. Of course, I know that certain animal welfare activists will argue that we should become all vegans in order to put an end to animal suffering. However, I do not believe such strategy will be successful. Too many people like meat and other animal products, while current plant-based alternatives cannot (yet) satisfy this demand.
What are the main animal products we humans consumer? Meat, dairy, eggs and leather. I will discuss each product one by one. Thereafter I will argue that we can return to small scale farms that both respect animal welfare and play an important social function.
The agricultural section of a Bernal Sphere (source: NASA)
Scientists have created genetic modified plants with a more efficient photosynthesis. On average plants only use about 4% of the energy of light. By increasing the efficiency of photosynthesis we can obtain higher yields of crops. Continue reading Supercrops
As everyone should know cheese is made from milk and milk is produced by female mammals to feed their young. From an animal welfare perspective there are two problems with cheese. Continue reading On cheese
Recently we discussed the production of animal friendly cultured leather. In this post we will discuss whether silk can be produced in an animal friendly method. Continue reading Can silk ever be animal friendly?
Although Space colonization and genetic engineering are separate concepts and the creation of space habitats is perfectly possible without the use genetic engineering, we believe that genetic engineering is a key technology for the success of Space colonization. Continue reading Space colonization and genetic engineering