Clean Meat

I recently finished Clean Meat and found it to be a seminal book on the topic of meat grown using tissue culture rather than living animals. (This meat goes by various names, including clean meat, cell-cultured meat, and cultivated meat.)
 
The author Paul Shapiro’s research is detailed and the writing flows spectacularly well. The book helped me understand the people in the space as well as the companies and the possibilities.
 
Shapiro mentions that factory farms can lead to a pandemic; this seems especially relevant given that we are currently in a pandemic. (I also mention in my book Project Animal Farm that factory farms are breeding grounds for disease.)

Shapiro points out that the technology of clean meat isn’t as new as we might think—it is similar to that of beer breweries and growing bacteria for yogurt.
 
In the same way that whale oil and horse carts are a part of the past, it is possible that factory farms will one day be a part of the past. This will be a good thing, given that factory farms ignore animal welfare, as I document in Project Animal Farm. Clean meat can be like clean energy in that it offers an alternative to conventional production. The impact on the environment, animals, and human health would be tremendous.
 
I also enjoyed McKinsey’s recent report on clean meat, titled Cultivated Meat: Out of the lab, into the frying pan.

The report concludes: “Cultivated meat has the potential to replicate the taste, texture, smell, of conventional meat… Since developing the first prototypes, companies have been able to reduce production costs by 99 percent” in less than a decade.

The report expects clean meat to achieve cost parity with conventional meat by 2030. It concludes, “Cultivated meat has garnered significant attention as a protein source that can meet consumer needs with a reduced impact on the planet. That potential is real.”

I find the potential of clean meat very exciting for animal welfare and the environment! It is possible that in the next decades the meat industry will look very different, relying on science rather than factory farms.

Father’s Day

This Father’s Day almost coincides with mine and Aamer’s wedding anniversary of June 22, 2014.

The last seven years have been a whirlwind! But none has been as eventful as the last, when we welcomed our son Raheem into our lives. Aamer and I had to learn to work together as a tight-knit team, whether it came to changing baby diapers or doing baby’s bedtime.

I am continually inspired by Aamer’s kindness and generosity. We share a passion for animals and the environment. And Aamer makes Raheem laugh like no one else can.

I am looking forward to Raheem getting to know his father more and more over time! May they enjoy long summer bike rides and cozy winter nights in the future.

This Father’s Day, I am grateful also for my father and father-in-law, both of whom are devoted grandfathers. Raheem is a fortunate little boy to have a loving father and doting grandfathers!

World Class Performer

I am excited to have been interviewed by World Class Performer. You can find parts of the interview below! The full interview is located here.

What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?

I wish I would have realized that it is possible to multi-task effectively. I am continuing to work on that.

Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it?

In writing my first book Project Animal Farm, I visited animal farms in several countries to investigate the treatment of animals. I found that most farm animals are housed in long dark sheds called factory farms. Their conditions troubled me. I could have decided to stop visiting farms and go back to my regular life or to do something about what I was witnessing. I decided to do something—to write a book about and bring attention to farm animal conditions. As such, I came out of the dark period of visiting factory farms by creating action in the form of a book.

What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?

I work hard and try my best! I also have a wonderful support network in the form of my husband, parents, siblings, and friends.

Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?

First things first, by Stephen Covey in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
Until thought is allied with purpose there can be no intelligent accomplishment, James Allen, in his essay As a Man Thinketh

Mother’s Day

The world has changed since the corona virus pandemic began in 2020. My world has also changed—not just because of the pandemic but also because I have had a baby.

My son was born in September 2020. With his birth, my home grew by two feet and lots and lots of personality!

I love everything about my son. His long lashes, his snub nose, his smooth cheeks. I love to cradle his face in my hands.

I love his voice. Like the chirp of birds, it is music to my ears.

I adore when he cackles and giggles, and I adore his every cuddle and yawn.

Today marks my first Mother’s Day. Until I became a mother myself, I didn’t appreciate all that my mother has done for me and continues to do for me. All the meals she has cooked, all the homework she has helped with, all the stories she has read aloud, all the encouragement and advice she has provided, all the conversations we have enjoyed.

I have been relishing the role of mother and feel deeply grateful for my son, my husband, my parents, and my siblings.

I endeavor to be a mother to my son like my own has been to me.

December 2019 Update: Happy Holidays!

I find December to be a wonderful month for so many reasons. People are full of light and happiness, hope and love, and that spirit carries us forward into the New Year. It is a season of traditions and generosity, and it is one of the reasons that I believe it to be one of the best seasons of the year. For me, the holidays always bring me back to The Oyster Thief, because the idea for my novel came to me on New Year’s Day.

I am so grateful that I was able to flesh out the idea of an oceanic wonderland, and turn my imagination into a book in people’s hands.

(Photo Credits to Elizabeth @bookishconnoisseur; Irene @my_magicalbookish.corner; Tina @tbretc)

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October 2019 Update: The Paperback Edition of The Oyster Thief will be Released Soon!

The time has come at last! I’m so pleased to announce that on October 8, the paperback edition of The Oyster Thief will be available for purchase wherever books are sold! It has been an incredible year for me as an author.

From the book launch last year, to talking to bloggers and fans, and now the release of the paperback, I thought it would be great to look over some Oyster Thief highlights!

HIGHLIGHT REEL

The Oyster Thief’s highlight reel

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September 2019 Update: The Oyster Thief paperback will be released on October 8

It’s that time of year again when students go back to school to learn. I’ve been thinking a lot about the lessons I’ve learned recently, and I’d like to share one with you. I recently rescued my dog, Rozetta, and this process taught me a lot about the world of dog adoption.

There are two ways to get a dog: buying and adopting. The key difference between them is that when you buy a dog, you normally do so from a backyard breeder or puppy mill; when you adopt a dog, you usually get the dog from a shelter.

Rozetta doing one of the things she loves to do – sleep

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August 2019 Update: Reflections on the Year

It’s hard for me to believe that August is wrapping up already – another year has come and gone again, bringing with it so many exciting opportunities! Since last October, I’ve launched my ocean novel The Oyster Thief, joined in dozens of great conversations with reporters, podcast hosts, and bloggers, and adopted my darling dog, Rozetta.

This August also brought my birthday, which gave me lots to be thankful for. In addition to my family, friends, and sweet Rozetta, I’m grateful for my readers and supporters. I have lots of news to share with you this month, including some inspiring environmental news, upcoming events, and a special surprise!

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July 2019 Update: World Friendship Day

Did you know that July 30th is the International Day of Friendship? Celebrated by the United Nations, this day reminds us of all the special people who have helped us learn and grow throughout our lives.

BEFRIENDING NATURE

The International Day of Friendship is important not only for humans, but also for our relationships with our wild cousins! By treating flora and fauna with respect, I find that we can celebrate nature in a way that both protects it and allows us to understand it better.

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June 2019 Update: Let’s go to the beach!

It is officially summer, and with it comes warm breezes, glittering sunlight, and the sound and smell of the ocean as it hits the surf.

SUMMER READING

It is hard for me to believe that nine months have passed since The Oyster Thief was released back in October 2018! As summer arrives and the beach calls, I find myself starting to create a summer reading list. It is so much fun to get lost in a new story, whether it be fact or fiction, fantasy or true crime. I believe we should all take the time to experience the stories of others.

(Photo credits: Pegasus Books @pegasus_books; Sonia Faruqi @sonia_faruqi; Amy @tale.at.a.time)

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