Genetically Modified Animals

Posted: September 17, 2011 in Uncategorized
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I was born an omnivore, and shall die an omnivore, like the pig and the seagull.  Omnivorism is genetic and hardwired into us.  No amount of aversion therapy can convert a person to either vegetarianism or carnivorism, those unnatural extreme positions.  I too have heard claims by individuals that they lived a large part of their lives happily mixing with other omnivores, when suddenly they became a carnivore or a herbivore, but we know that not to be true, they were always like that, and hid it to keep themselves and others happy.  That is a matter for them.  I hide all sorts of things to keep others happy, such as my hobby of amateur surgery – “outing” oneself on matters such as these is of questionable utility, but I leave it to others.

This is not to say that a thoughtful person such as my writer does not have concerns from time to time.  I like little lambs in various ways – they are wooly and cute; they have their own worth as a living creature; and I very much enjoy eating chops and legs.  (I do not like to eat their brains, after all I am not a zombie sheep, however that is the result of childhood trauma, and I shall comment upon that another time, you will be very glad to hear.)  They are useful subjects for nursery rhymes.  I chuckled at Bear Grylls and his “sheeping bag”, but of course no ethical issues arose there, it was not a cute little lamb that he gutted and inverted, it was a dead old sheep that was not cute at all and not alive at all.

If I could find a way to eat a lamb, and it could remain alive, would I choose it?  Of course I would, under certain conditions.  In Glossolalia, where I presently survive, lamb is expensive, so I would not want the price to increase.  Ethics only go so far.  But I think the cost of genetically modifying a lamb would be outweighed by the increased availability of meat.  For example, if a lamb was to be genetically modified: let us stop there – “genetically modified” is a harsh phrase, loaded with emotion and laden with baggage of controversy and debate.  Lets use a more neutral term.  I shall pick one at random – “cuddled”.  If a lamb is cuddled by using the genes of an insect, it should grow six legs instead of four.  If it is further cuddled with the genes of a reptile, if it loses a leg, it should grow back.  Through those two cuddlings, we have a cute little lamb with an excess of legs that can be regrown and so are crying out to be harvested – it would be an outrage, so very very wrong, to leave the lamb with those two mutant legs growing out of its shoulders, especially when they can be cut off time and time again.  Grass can be converted easily into lamb shoulder legs, and the starving can be fed in a way that was once preserved only for the rich, and that only on a Sunday lunchtime.

I would still have reservations.  I would not want to be spitting out insect carapace when I ate my Sunday roast.  And I would hope that the addition of reptile genes would not add, say, a flavour of chicken.  Lamb is something I do not want to taste like chicken.  I want it to taste like lamb and mint and rosemary and potato and carrot and pumpkin and garlic and salt and pepper and oil.

There would still be problems.  If the lambs were not slaughtered, soon there would be an excess of lambs turning into an excess of sheep, which though amusing, are not cute.  The lambs would have to be further cuddled so that they did not live beyond a few years.  Those lives would be rich, enjoyable ones, without the fear of the slaughterhouse.  All we have to do is find another creature to cuddle them with, one that lives but a few years, then without warning, painlessly explodes in a rush of glitter and streamers and confetti, with a satisfying bang.  How much better would our world be!?

  1. […] weak, or is there a more sinister explanation?  Has the ability been deliberately removed, through genetic manipulation, or other means?  DO NOT TRY TO BREATH UNDERWATER, YOU WILL DIE.  Not everyone can be as strong […]

  2. It’s a human desire to exert control over ourselves so that we can pretend that we have control over our lives. Diets, religions, and philosophies of deprivation are a peculiar human invention. There is a tremendous amount of effort invested. And for what? Why do we run away from ourselves? Why do run away from a rack of lamb slathered in mustard, rolled in bread crumbs and roasted to crisp pink perfection? I know not.

Scientists, I am ready for your peer review:

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