This boar cart will seem primitive in a few decades.
James McWilliams has a thought-provoking article about vat-grown meat. Although he's a vegetarian (and many vegetarians strike me as irrational), he and I agree on many things.
I've thought about in vitro meat (and fat), and written about it previously. When we can produce meat (or tasty fat) in vitro, a number of interesting things will happen:
- We'll have products like foie gras produced without force-feeding.
- We won't need as many machines to control large animals.
- Battery chickens are going to be replaced. Pigs too. The bar to replace them is low.
- "Real" meat products will be for those with money.
- We won't need as many pigs. They may get used in poor countries to dispose of waste, but in general, they won't have a place in our economy. The same thing that happened to horses and oxen will happen to cows, pigs and chickens.
The article mentions that some advocates of small agriculture are against vat meat. They fear that it will be worse for small farms. Perhaps it will - but is it really so great right now? Small farms producing commodities are always disadvantaged - because they aren't as efficient as their competitors.
It is hard to see that vat meat is more of a threat than Big Ag to small farms.
As I have written before, my focus has always been on the food and processing, the people and the live pigs, not the farm (physical location of agricultural activity). I care about the food, not whether or not it comes from a big or small farm, or a farm that is 61 versus 60 miles away.
 If it had been possible to eat the products I wanted to eat without importing pigs and setting up a breeding, fattening and processing network, that would have been a lot more convenient. Unfortunately, you can't have Mangalitsa products without the genetics (because they really are special), special fattening techniques and processing techniques.