Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi on Friday said meat grown in a laboratory from animal cells, or “clean meat”, may help solve the problem of lynching, assault and intimidation by cow protection groups, which is creating “a pervasive air of violence”.

“It is the most important thing to create alternative sources of meat,” Gandhi said, according to The New Indian Express. “We must have clean meat...People are being lynched for taking cows for slaughter. Why this terror?” The minister was speaking at a seminar on ‘Future of Protein Summit’ at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad. The summit discussed the expansion and feasibility of “clean meat” in the country.

Gandhi said a private survey found that 66% consumers are ready to accept lab-grown “ahimsa” meat taken from animal cells and that top IT giants were investing in the clean meat technology, reported The Times of India. Maneka said the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology should make the technology available so that clean meat can be sold in the markets in the next five years.

She also said people should opt for lab-grown meat since methane released by animals is the biggest contributor to global warming. “This [global warming] is leading to extreme disasters like the floods in Kerala, tsunami in Tamil Nadu and the melting of glaciers,” she said. “If we get rid of animals meant for meat production, methane will come down.”

The Union minister said animals must not be bred for consumption alone. She claimed that the clean meat technology would also boost rural economy.