Date of Award

Spring 5-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Director

Drew Lopenzina

Committee Member

Daniel Richards

Committee Member

Virginia Tucker

Committee Member

Kristi Costello


Today’s food movement places organic, holistic, and natural foods as priority. The idea aims for better human health, a farm-to-table community, and environmental sustainability. Soon a new meat alternative will become part of the ongoing food movement. What is it? Cell-based protein. It is a protein alternative to livestock protein. It is real protein from a real breathing animal. Cell-based beef for example is grown in a lab with cells from a living cow that does not have to die or be slaughtered. It is destined to become the new protein architecture on the horizon. Parts of this paper are science heavy. Therefore, I chose to use metaphors as a platform to negotiate the science discourse for laypeople who are unfamiliar with the science discipline. My research is based around R&D methods which leave livestock animals unharmed. With cellbased protein there is no need to kill and butcher them. In an effort to create dialogue around cell-based foods, scientists and marketing executives are using metaphors to facilitate and move the discussion of cell-based foods into mainstream media. An examination of rhetorical and metaphorical marketing strategies will aid in illustrating future advertising campaigns for cellbased foods. To aid my research I deployed a survey to gauge if consumer acceptance and public perception is skewed by what they are conditioned to think of as ‘real’ protein. Ultimately the research seeks a common ground using metaphors and rhetoric to thread communication gaps between scientists and the public.


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