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Federal funding for cultured-meat research needed

To the editor:

While it’s hard to know what historical figures would think of modern circumstances, I suspect founding father Benjamin Franklin would be enthusiastic about the development of cultured meat. For those who don’t know, cultured meat is grown from cells, without slaughter. It’s better for the environment and public health, in addition to animal welfare.

According to his autobiography, Franklin was a vegetarian who viewed killing our fellow creatures as “unprovoked murder.” That is until until he smelled an especially tempting bit of fish. The founding father gave up his compassionate stance, noting animals eat other animals. “So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do,” he wrote, clearly not convincing himself.

I think cultured meat would have made it easier for Franklin to align his values and actions. For the sake of animal welfare, as well as public health and the environment, our legislators should support federal funding for cultured-meat research. Such an investment will help bring this revolutionary protein to market faster, at a competitive price.

Jon Hochschartner

Granby, Connecticut