Last month I wrote a report on tofurigans being used by the CANS-O corporation in one of their most popular processed meat products. This report caused such an uproar from my readers that I felt it needed a followup article. After doing some digging I discovered a bit more information about tofurigans and their origins.
Since prior to the CANS-O company tour I had never heard about tofurigans, I doubted their legitimacy and thought perhaps the spill was some sort of publicity stunt or hoax, perpetrated by the CANS-O corporation to get me to write a shocking article and have it used unwittingly as a viral campaign. I decided to check on the legitimacy of this animal believing that perhaps my eyes had indeed betrayed me. The more I looked into the origins of the tofurigan, the more unbelievable the story became.
From what I was able to uncover, the history of the tofurigan starts some time in the 1970’s. During that time vast amounts of animal habitat was being destroyed at an alarmingly increasing rate. The scientific community was divided about what should or should not be done in order to avoid, control, or recover from many of the biological disasters of the previous decade. During the late 70’s major advancements in the biological sciences were made, particularly in the fields of molecular biology, bacteriology, virology, and genetics. With the pressure from increasingly hostile animal rights campaigners and the popular opinion swinging towards the media’s condemnation of the advanced biological sciences, a small team of genetic engineers (Genetic Engineering and Manipulation: GEM) set out to replete the earth’s animal and plant populations through genetic manipulation. Though the work of the GEM group was originally categorized as confidential by the US government, the papers and test logs were later released under the freedom of information act. It is a tedious search but the information is technically available to the public.
The GEM group was focused on the possibility of revitalizing several extinct animal species through cloning using incubatory wombs of similar still-living animals. The cloning techniques were primitive at the time. It seems that well new methods were developed in the field of genetic manipulation no actual quantifiable progress was made. The US government disbanded the project in 1978 after an animal activism group got wind of the “animal testing” going on and chained themselves to the facility to protest the activities. The GEM members are recorded as having worked on other projects in similar fields not long after that, but all records of GEM trail off in the fall of 1978.
The tofurigan story picks up in January of 1979 with the transfer of Stewart Smith, one of the lead scientists from GEM, to a remote outpost on Bouvetøya island. The lab, purported to be an unmanned weather outpost, was actually used by Smith to continue his genetic manipulation projects from the previous year. No specifics are yet available as to the overarching purpose of these experiments, but there is some speculation as to whether the final product was developed for use by the military as an easily renewable, highly-concentrated protein source processed into variously labeled MRE’s. It seems the tofurigans are a genetically manipulated variant of the common lemming.
Their incubation takes place in an easily planted vine-like organism (the “Mother Vine”) that produces melon shaped shells from which the tofurigans hatch in near adult stages after an incubation period of less than a week. The first official shipment is recorded as having departed the island on September 22, 1979. The ship never made it to port.
Until the re-emergence of the name “Tofurigan” in CANS-O products, it was a widely held belief that tofu was made from soy, which it turns out, was just a giant PR campaign by the government to profit off of the growing vegetarianism movement at that time. Since a wide variety of genetically manipulated produce is subsidized by the government, it really didn’t surprise me to find out that like Velveeta is to cheese, so too is tofu to beef. The CANS-O company grows their own tofurigans in special vertical farms. The tofurigans were never designed to have a life outside of the food chain process for which they were made. All tofurigans are born, dumped onto conveyor belts and fed into the processor. Their fur is removed, their organs ground to a pulp for fertilizing the mother vines, and their flesh is blended with water to create the spongy mass known to the public as tofu. The tofurigan fur is used for high end handbags designed in New York City (her lawyers requested I remove the designer’s name from this article to avoid further legal pursuance). Tofurigans are fully renewable, so if the idea that tofu is meat bothers you, don’t worry. Meat is defined as the flesh of animals (including fishes, birds and snails) used as food. Tofurigans are actually plants as defined by their incubation. So, while they interact with their environment like animals, and have even been known to interact with each other and their handlers with a reasonably high level of intelligence, they know their role. They are your food.
If you think there is some injustice in the eating of tofu, as I do, please help support the investigation into the tofurigans plight by buying one of the “save the tofurigans” t-shirts below. If you see anyone eating tofu who is unaware of the slaughter of these innocent plants, inform them. No great change comes from keeping silent. Let’s change the world together and make a safe place for tofurigans to live long and peaceful, uneaten lives.