Sunday 25 May 2008

Animal Clones

animal cloning
Photo copyright imranchaudhry published under a creative commons license fully complied with. This is an image of an image it seems to me and the original might not be the copyright of imranchaudhry - please advise.

NEWS AND OPINION: Animal Clones and particularly pet cloning is in the news again. We do like to play around with science don't we and fool ourselves into believing that it is for the good of humankind? I think we need to spend more time and expend more energy on some basic issues like human and animal rights the world over before we play God with pets. We need to get back to some basic and sound thinking on real and pressing matters. Animal clones are being used for medical research but it has now been proposed that animal clones are produced as a replacement for a pet that has died. This post deals with this aspect of the process.

We know that animal cloning is about money, profit. As I have said elsewhere it is hard enough to reconcile cat and dog breeding with ethical and moral behavior, never mind cat and dog cloning. And I am not some rampant animal rights activist. I just like to think of the welfare of animals as opposed to making money out of them.

Why the production of animal clones as a process of pet replacement is wrong in my opinion:
  1. It prevents the naturally hard wired and natural cycle of birth death and grieving after death.
  2. Animal cloning of pets might prey on vulnerable (and I guess wealthy) people who cannot accept the death of a beloved cat or dog. We shouldn't feed this vulnerability but make ourselves stronger.
  3. Animal cloning is simply about commerce and profit at the expense of animals.
  4. It is a classic and perfect example of how we are going in the wrong direction as a world. The world is dysfunctional. It is driven by self-interest (as is cloning), with little committed, common purpose.
  5. It produces another pet when there a many hundreds of thousands perhaps millions of cats (and dogs) that need re-homing
  6. The process of cloning is experimental and causes a lot of animal cruelty
  7. Cloned pets will not on my assessment be the same as your previous pet. She may look the same but will she have the same character? How can you replicate the character? This is surely impossible.
  8. Animal and pet cloning is a reflection of our obsession with appearance and fear of death. We would be happy to have a look-a-like replacement for our dead pet but she won't be the same pet.
  9. One major player in the pet cloning business is the disgraced South Korean scientist and cloning expert Hwang Woo-Suk. He is seeking foreign investment for a new business. As an aside, South Korea is a country with a lack of respect for cats. In some parts of S. Korea they eat them. Not a good place to conduct animal experiments.
  10. Animal cloning shows the worst of us. It treats our fellow creatures as products no different hardly than a washing machine. When it breaks you replace it. When your pet dies you replace it.
  11. Animal cloning is dressed up as scientific research for the betterment of humankind. It is a fraud.
  12. We need to get closer to nature to be in balance with life and animal cloning draws us further away from the natural order of the world. This is not an old-fashioned concept. It is possible to be scientifically advanced and progressive while still respecting nature.
  13. It runs counter to nature. When you do things that are unnatural there may be apparent gain but there will always be a natural downside that cancels the perceived upside out.
  14. Animal cloning sits somewhere between the manufacture of a Japanese animal robot and cat breeding of the poorest kind.
  15. People who truly love their pets will not take up the offer of a cloned pet. It is only those who have too much money, not enough sense and who are highly consumer orientated that might - the wrong type of person to be involved in the pet keeping world in the first place.
  16. How many cats and dogs die in the production of one successful clone and in any case how successful are cloned cats and dogs. Apparently, 99% fail. We don't hear about what happened later. How long do they live? How healthy are they? It is probably too early to tell.
  17. It is another example of humans' arrogance and inflated sense of worth resulting in a profound lack of respect for our fellow creatures. Can we please start to respect other animals? It will make life better on this planet.
Fortunately, it seems, that 80% of people don't agree with pet cloning (src: HSUS). Recently a past Archbishop of Canterbury called the world "broken". The production of animal clones as replacement pets is, I submit, one symptom of a broken world.

  • HSUS
  • San Francisco Chronicle

Animal Clones to cat pain

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