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All Flesh Is Grass
By S. A. Barton
Copyright 2012 S. A. Barton
Find other stories by S.A. Barton on his Smashwords profile.
The business calls it 'Vegan Meat'. Like every advertising brand, it's an accuracy-optional term. Yes, it's entirely cruelty-free and animal-death-free, but still definitely meat. Only a segment of tissue is grown, not the animal; there is no brain to be conscious of being a cow or a chicken, however conscious those creatures might be. Unless, of course, brains are on the menu. We don't advertise that option but it's obvious. It's true that a brain without input of some sort is just a lump of flesh, but the uninitiated can't help but think of it as an innately thinking thing.
Vegan Meat is a controversial name. The current thinking is that the controversy is an asset. It keeps the name in the public ear, keeps people talking and writing about it. It's the opposite of the thinking of the last generation of PR experts who repeatedly tried to change the name, which stuck the moment it came out of an uncredited technician's mouth. People simply ignored the new terms. Granted, some of them deserved to be ignored. 'Neat', short for 'New Meat' tops the deserved-it list. 'Cruelty-free Meat' was too dry, too factual. Also, few customers want to buy something with the word cruelty on the label no matter what the next word is or how good the product tastes. 'Cloneburger' was too weird, but collectors love to find the old packaging with Moink the patchwork mascot, a puzzle stitched of cow and pig sporting huge neon green neck bolts. And so on.