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The Case for an Amazing, Animal-people Meat-Free World by Dr. Karthik Sekar (vegan), Part 1 of 2

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Dr. Karthik Sekar (vegan) graduated from Northwestern University in the US with a PhD in chemical engineering and held a systems biology postdoctoral position at ETH Zürich in Switzerland. Dr. Karthik Sekar’s 2021 book, “After Meat: The Case for an Amazing, Meat-Free World,” addresses the technological use of animal-people as a consumable commodity. He explains its fundamental limits and why this harmful practice will cease. Today, we have the privilege to speak with Dr. Karthik Sekar about his book. He begins with his journey to becoming vegan.

Dr. Karthik Sekar explains the direct cause and effect of animal-people livestock-raising on climate change and the problem of world hunger. “The first aspect is that animals are just so inefficient as a means to produce food. So that’s a lot of plants we’re feeding these animals that could otherwise be distributed to people and solve a lot of hunger issues. And then the other aspect is animal agriculture takes up a lot of land.”

The majority of the debate around moving away from animal-people products centers on ethical and environmental concerns. Dr. Karthik Sekar (vegan) pursues a largely unexplored perspective to the argument in his book “After Meat”: substituting technologies like microbial fermentation that outperform existing practices in terms of technological benefits.

“And recently, we’ve figured out how we can actually use fermentation to actually directly grow meat itself. So, as opposed to starting with a cabbage and adding the bacteria to grow into kimchi, you can actually use filamentous fungi. And what makes this technology so amazing is that it’s just so much more efficient than using animals. So, just to give you a perspective, one bathtub size microbial fermenter can replace about 10,000 cows. So just imagine you have this one vat creating all this meat and just how many cows you’re saving, all this land you’re freeing up, all this water you’re freeing up, the amount of resources that it took to feed those 10,000 cows. It’s just a win-win in every single way. And I see microbial fermentation technology as having a huge role in our transition away from animal products.”
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