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We never learned from PRO whether this debate was meant to include or exclude humans as a viable subject of cloning (humans being a member of the animal kingdom). CON is assuming that human cloning was not under discussion since that science's capacity for such an achievement is only just become realistic now.
Although CON does not oppose some limited and well regulated cloning of animal species as part of our investigation into potential therapeutic and species salvation projects, CON opposes commercial, mass cloning projects for food production, improved sport, or even medical purposes until the state of the science is more stable and less likely to cause massive amounts of suffering for most of the subject animals relative to minimal successful clones.
"Perhaps the most compelling argument against animal cloning is the very real suffering endured by animals involved in this science. There are four areas ofconcern with regard to the pain and suffering animals experience due to animal cloning:
- the suffering animals undergo during cloning procedures;
- the obstetrical complications that occur in the surrogate animal;
- the health of cloned animals; and
- the suffering animals will be forced to endure if cloned to exhibit, for research purposes, or for certain diseases and pathologies.Recent data on the success rates of cloning procedures and the health and survival statistics of animal clones present a fairly grim picture. There is a large bodyof literature citing high rates of
- early death,
- genetic abnormalities, and
- chronic diseases among cloned animals.These problems occur against a backdrop of what in cloning science has been called “efficiency,” theterm used to talk about the percentage of live offspring from the number of transferred embryos.The efficiency of animal cloning has typically been about 1 to 2%, so for every 100 embryos that are implanted in surrogate animals, about 98 of the embryos fail to produce a live animal offspring. Even when efficiency rates are at their best, the overwhelming majority of attempts fail. One study explicitly touting a “highly efficient” method for cloning pigs claims efficiency rates of only 5 to 12%. This is still a failure rate of between 88 and 95%.These numbers have serious consequences for both the donor and surrogate being impregnated: surgery must be used to remove the donor animal’s eggs and then another surgical technique used to implant the embryos into the surrogate. In the least “efficient” processes, for every one or two live cloned offspring, 100 eggs must be harvested and 100 embryos implanted. For unknown reasons, cloned fetuses often exhibit a high birthweight, frequently necessitating a C-section delivery, again causing pain and suffering to the surrogate animal.Of the live clones born, many experience compromised health status or early death. In one study of cloned pigs, researchers reported a 50% mortality rate forthe live offspring, with five out of 10 dying between three and 130 days of age from ailments including chronic diarrhea, congestive heart failure, and decreased growth rate. In some studies, cloned mice experienced early death due to liver failure and lung problems. In others, they had a high tendency to develop morbid obesity."
This is not meant to serve as full-fledged retort to any potential argument from PRO. Rather, this argument should be seen as a minimal effort expressed to demonstrate superior effort in light of PRO's forfeitures.
Let's see if there is any reply in R4.
Extend all arguments to R5. While we wait, here is one of my favorite poems on the subject of sheep reproduction.
The Sheep Child
Farm boys wild to couple
With anything with soft-wooded trees
With mounds of earth mounds
Of pinestraw will keep themselves off
Animals by legends of their own:
In the hay-tunnel dark
And dung of barns, they will
Say I have heard tell
That in a museum in Atlanta
Way back in a corner somewhere
There’s this thing that’s only half
Sheep like a woolly baby
Pickled in alcohol because
Those things can’t live. his eyes
Are open but you can’t stand to look
I heard from somebody who ...
But this is now almost all
Gone. The boys have taken
Their own true wives in the city,
The sheep are safe in the west hill
Pasture but we who were born there
Still are not sure. Are we,
Because we remember, remembered
In the terrible dust of museums?
Merely with his eyes, the sheep-child may
Be saying saying
I am here, in my father’s house.
I who am half of your world, came deeply
To my mother in the long grass
Of the west pasture, where she stood like moonlight
Listening for foxes. It was something like love
From another world that seized her
From behind, and she gave, not lifting her head
Out of dew, without ever looking, her best
Self to that great need. Turned loose, she dipped her face
Farther into the chill of the earth, and in a sound
Of sobbing of something stumbling
Away, began, as she must do,
To carry me. I woke, dying,
In the summer sun of the hillside, with my eyes
Far more than human. I saw for a blazing moment
The great grassy world from both sides,
Man and beast in the round of their need,
And the hill wind stirred in my wool,
My hoof and my hand clasped each other,
I ate my one meal
Of milk, and died
Staring. From dark grass I came straight
To my father’s house, whose dust
Whirls up in the halls for no reason
When no one comes piling deep in a hellish mild corner,
And, through my immortal waters,
I meet the sun’s grains eye
To eye, and they fail at my closet of glass.
Dead, I am most surely living
In the minds of farm boys: I am he who drives
Them like wolves from the hound bitch and calf
And from the chaste ewe in the wind.
They go into woods into bean fields they go
Deep into their known right hands. Dreaming of me,
They groan they wait they suffer
Themselves, they marry, they raise their kind.
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