WHAT TO CALL IT: This lab-grown chicken tender couldn't be called meat under legislation moving through the Arkansas legislature. Ferrari/ZUMA Press via Reason

So many bills, so little time. Here’s another example, highlighted for me by an opponent of legislation that has now passed both the House and Senate to prevent labeling of lab-grown products as “meat.”

Under HB 1417, meat means “a portion of a livestock, poultry, or cervid [deer] carcass that is edible by humans.” It does not include products derived from plants or insects or grown in a laboratory.


This legislation is part of a national campaign by cattlemen and others in expectation of the coming commercial debut of lab-grown “meat.” This article explains the background on the campaign against “fake meat.”

Serious stuff, no doubt, with implications for the planet (cow gas, anyone?). But my mind wandered. The bill doesn’t include rabbits among the animals whose carcasses can be labeled as meat. Nor horses (more understandable given that there’s no inspection of horse meat in the U.S. and without inspection its legal sale is impossible though it’s consumed in many other countries). And what about donkeys, long rumored as a meat source for a popular sausage-style snack? As I say: my mind wanders.