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The story is told from the perspective of one of a handful of explorers who encountered the aliens. The explorer is sharing a terrible secret with a colleague: When the explorers encountered the aliens, the aliens politely offered to pay a small royalty fee to clone headless humans for their meat markets. The aliens had already taken DNA samples from each of the explorers and threatened to simply clone bootleg humans if the explorers did not agree to accept the offered royalty fees.

It may have been an Isaac Asimov or Ray Bradbury story, but I am not certain. Thanks!

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Larry Niven's "Assimilating Our Culture, That's What They're Doing!" (ISFDB) from his The Draco Tavern stories as seen on the TV Tropes To Serve Man page.

A minor character tells the (protagonist) bartender his tale of being in the first diplomatic mission to the Glig, where they're given standard DNA testing among other things. And then cloned as a meat source. To make matters worse, if humans don't allow this practice, and accept royalties for it, the Glig will just eat bootlegged clone meat.

Found with a search for science fiction aliens cloned meat -"made out of meat"

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  • 6
    So now 1978 is the Golden Age?!
    – user14111
    Commented Sep 18, 2023 at 19:03
  • 2
    @user14111 oh the humanity Commented Sep 19, 2023 at 3:35
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    @Clockwork: More or less exactly what it sounds like. They're going to make copies (well, without the head/brain, because they aren't cruel) without paying royalties.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Sep 19, 2023 at 14:51
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    :-D I think it's just a general "that's not old! I grew up with that!" plaint. The story wasn't from the "Golden Age", but it is almost 50 years old...
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Sep 19, 2023 at 15:26
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    “The Golden Age of Science Fiction is twelve" quoteinvestigator.com/2020/10/14/golden-age
    – armb
    Commented Sep 19, 2023 at 15:39

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