One of the world's most vocal animal welfare organizations—People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)—is on board with the idea of cultured meat. But its leader, Ingrid Newkirk, says she won't be trying it herself anytime soon. And most vegetarians and vegans seem to feel the same way.
"I don't need to," Newkirk told NBC News. "Any flesh food is totally repulsive to me. But I am so glad that people who don't have the same repulsion as I do will get meat from a more humane source. This gets rid of the yuck factor."
Post has said he spent $325,000 developing the burger, made using engineered muscle stem cells grown in a broth made from a calf blood product.
That's enough to repel Liz O'Neill, a spokeswoman for the Vegetarian Society. "It is not an animal-free food yet," says O'Neill, who adds her group wasn't invited to Monday's tasting.
(Read more: Recipe for disaster: The most dangerous dish?)
Like Newkirk, O'Neill says it may be good to have the option. "The Vegetarian Society is keeping an open mind," she said. "Some people are excited by it. Some people miss the taste of meat."
Charles Stahler isn't one of them. Stahler, a spokesman for the Baltimore-based Vegetarian Resource Group (VRG), says there are too many tasty meat alternatives on the market now, from Tofurky to vegetarian chicken nuggets.
"I grew up eating meat," said Stahler, who's been a vegetarian since 1975. "In my family, instead of eating cookies we ate salami." But, he says, he doesn't miss eating meat.
The VRG commissioned a Harris Poll in 2011 that asked people what types of food they would eat. It included a question about buying "a meat alternative grown from animal cell DNA obtained 10 years ago, which does not currently involve the raising of animals".
Read more from NBC News:
Naked truth: Aging nudists seek new skin in the game as ranks dwindle
FDA names Taylor Farms as source in parasite outbreak
Acne in elementary school? Pimples are starting younger, dermatologists say
Just 11 percent of those polled said they'd buy it and just 2 percent of vegans said they would. Four percent of people identifying as either vegans or vegetarians said they'd buy such a product.
"Four to five percent of the country is vegetarian or vegan," Stahler said, citing a VRG-commissioned Harris poll on that question. So some people may try it: "It'll eventually come down to taste and economics," he said.
(Read more: Hail to the beef: Americana on the rise in London)
In 20 years, he might even try it himself, he says.
While the meat might be acceptable to some vegetarians, it's not kosher in the true sense. Lab-grown beef would be considered kosher, according to Rabbi Joshua Strulowitz of the West Side Institutional Synagogue in New York, but only if it was made using tissue from a ritually slaughtered kosher animal. Post used a biopsy from a live cow, as living stem cells are needed for the process.
"The animal would need to be slaughtered according to Jewish law before harvesting the cells because meat from a live animal is not kosher," says Strulowitz.
What about wannabe vegetarians who feel guilty about eating meat but just can't give it up?
"I'd buy it," said Marta Nelson of Morrison, Colo. "I'd pay extra money for meat I could eat without feeling guilty about it."