The tempo of the activities slowed a bit last two weeks, but I made some major decisions. I always forget that one of the responsibilities of a CEO is not to do everything, but to know enough to make the best decision possible. So that’s what this progress report is all about.
Decisions I made
I have been learning a lot and have gone down the Dunning-Kruger curve quite quickly. After my initial super-high confidence that I am tech-savvy enough to understand the science behind cultivated meat in just a few weeks on the side, I quickly realized how hard that is. #hehe #smartypants
Although I will continue learning and educating myself, I made the decision to have my fiancee Anja Eloise do the heavy lifting for me. She has a master’s in biology, or immunology to be precise, and is a major animal rights activist. She was involved in Anjy Meat from the start (hence the name) but wasn’t in a position to spend as much time in October 2021. After talking to her a lot, we decided to have her invest more time into this, gain a proper co-founder spot and be in charge of setting up our lab and figuring out how should be approach making our lab.
Decision #1: smart girlfriend with a biology background is a better person to lead the science stuff than me
By trying to estimate the lab we need to make the prototype, I decided that the best way is to try and do it locally (Zagreb, Croatia). There are many laboratories, all necessary equipment is either available in Zagreb or can be quickly acquired from the EU. My first assumption was that we need to go directly to the US, UK, or Singapore.
Although we can move easily, it would be a wasteful and stressful thing to do, especially now with covid travel restrictions still in place. We will incorporate ANJY MEAT inc. a C-corp in the US, but we can easily start our lab here locally. There’s a zoo in Zagreb with a lion and there are many labs for hire. There is a group of motivated students from various colleges that are interested in the alternative animal protein initiatives and would love to participate in some way. And lastly, most of the investors from the FFF category are here as well. It just makes sense to start here.
Decision #2: let’s do our first steps in Zagreb (Croatia), we have everything we need here
One of my fellow Cube of Truth outreacher and vegan Tin Rudnički has been helping me from the start with great resources on cultivated meat. We found our shared passion for cultivated meat after one of our outreach sessions and he has been detrimental in me thinking more deeply about starting this journey with ANJY MEAT. Although still a student, Tin will participate in ANJY MEAT’s activities and I’m glad to have him on board.
He has recently shared an interesting Clean Meat and Future Food podcast with John Sanbonmatsu of CleanMeat-Hoax.com where John, a vegan philosopher, lays down some hard anti-cultivated meat arguments. Essentially saying that people who want to make the world vegan through cultivated meat technology are doing a disservice to animals.
I am a super-passionate vegan animal rights advocate and abolitionist. I want to be 100% sure that by starting ANJY MEAT, I and my team will accelerate most efficiently the advent of animal liberation.
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I will briefly say that I do not agree with dr. Sanbonmatsu’s arguments and will make another blog post countering his arguments.
Along with articles like the one from Joe Fassler, I have been reading a lot of the opposing arguments to the cultivated meat industry and technology. All of that has led me to the conclusion and decision that moving forward with ANJY MEAT is in line with my personal vegan morals and mission if we instill a specific ethical code in our business:
- We won’t ever intentionally harm an animal; if we have to, then we will discontinue or postpone our cultivated meat product pursuit
- We won’t partner, nor take controlling investments from the traditional animal agriculture industries
I suppose some otherwise great investors will oppose this, but it’s a non-negotiable. We are in it to create a better world and we can’t trust companies whose sole business is to slaughter billions of land animals and trillions of marine animals to do the right thing.
Lastly, I have been thinking of the step after we launch our lab and hopefully make a good lion meat prototype. And right now, I think the best move would be to join a mission-aligned startup incubator like ProVeg incubator.
But that decision is not important right now.
This is starting to look more like a business – less fun, more tedious work. But I am even more inspired by the whole thing. I am super excited to start building our lab and getting our feet wet with the actual tech. It’s going to be super interesting.
To everyone’s success, take care until next time!
PS: Last time I showed you my (our) dog Queeny, now I will show you my beautiful and smart fiancee, and now co-founder, Anja Eloise: