Wednesday 4 August 2010

Send in the clones?

There seems to be a whole ballyhoo, at the moment, about the safety of eating meat from cloned animals. I'm willing to bet that there's loads of scientific data supporting the (mainly American) case and a similar (mainly European) amount refuting it. Just how wide does the Atlantic have to become before we stop automatically adopting their "good" ideas? I'm not saying that folk in the US don't have good ideas, just that fawning acceptance of every one is probably doing more harm than good and a bit of healthy questioning wouldn't go amiss.

Presumably, to a vast number of consumers, and possibly to a number of vast customers, it doesn't matter a jot where the next cowburger comes from, as long as it's cheap and sufficiently tasty. 

"Hello, dear hearts!"

But that may be a very short term view. As we're at last starting to realise, in the natural world diversity is very important in maintaining a healthy biota. Healthy populations are comprised of a wide variety of genetic traits. Strength and resilience through diversity, rather than breeding for a few specific criteria. Put simply, not putting all our eggs in one basket, if that fact isn't too much of a chicken nugget.

We've already seen habitats, across the world, destroyed in the creation of huge arable mono-cultures, be they for cereals or palm oil. And you wouldn't want to find yourself relying on one variety of potato, would you? Once was a tragedy, to do it again would prove how incredibly stupid we really are and how incapable of learning from history. Let's not have a whole industry based on one specific version of the bovine genome, eh?

Yeah, I can hear you, what's a bloke from Milton Keynes know about cows? All his are concrete. Hmm, but not so the arguments put forward by the vested financial interests of global agri-business. I, for one, will need to hear a much more convincing case of the necessity of this science, before reserving a space for it on my plate next to a Yorkshire pudding.

"I hope that the nice vet has got warm hands!"
So why the headlong rush to invent more cows anyway? Aren't there sufficient already? Doesn't the old-fashioned, tried and tested method work anymore? What's wrong with well hung Daddy Bull and several Mummy Happy Heifers shagging 'til the cows come... home? OK, so much for the romance, I guess most inseminations are probably artificial these days. There's probably plenty of vets needing to keep their hands in, after all. But if there's a worry that we won't be able to adequately feed future generations, then perhaps we're answering the question the wrong way. Stabilise the human population and leave poor Ermintrude alone.

1 comment:

laligalover said...

Political sounding off now are we, What was in the air in Northern Outer Scotia? Where do dflies come in this direction change of blogging? Keep up the good work bro', I'm working on your new agent as I write.