Eating cloned animals

There is protection in diversity. If we eat food that comes from many different sources we will run the risk that one of those sources may be contaminated. If we eat food that only comes from one source then we run the risk that all of us will be contaminated from that source should something go wrong.

China is starting to clone pigs. Presumably there is some economic benefit in doing so; perhaps farmers across the world will end up wishing to clone their best animals so that ultimately we will eat the same animal again and again and again. However there are risks in doing this because for all our science and all our knowledge and all our understanding it may be that the animal that we decide is the clone-father or mother is not as perfect as we thought it might have some potential danger for us when we.

Diseases that attack animals and render them unfit for consumption might find it harder to adapt to attack a cloned animal because of the engineering choices that are made to select the best animal to be cloned, but once the diseases have found a way through, they will manage to find it easy to attack all the cloned animals.

If we become too dependent upon any particular food source to the extent that we only grow or farm a particular species then something will ultimately attack that species, in the way that potato blight attacked potatoes. When you depend on a single food source you are at risk and at greater risk than if you depend on diverse food sources. There would have been better protection with diverse crops for food and similarly there must be better protection for diverse animals eating.

Eating animals is not a matter, the great religions teach us, that we should do lightly or casually. Many of the religions require the display of a respect for the animal by the means of slaughter; some require specific prayers to be offered when animal flesh is eaten; some prohibit the eating of certain animals ostensibly because they are unclean which has the effect of protecting such animals from being eaten on the grounds that they are in some way unworthy. The unclean becomes a protected species.

Eating animals that are cloned or genetically modified is the ultimate in a casual approach to eating flesh. I cannot think of any good will come of it.

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