Ending animal suffering with genetic engineering

The way you cut your meat reflects the way you live.
~Confucius

I found this by way of the Huffington Post.

Basically, the author of the op-ed argues that we could stop some of the suffering of factory farm animals by genetically engineering them to not feel the unpleasant part of pain.

So instead of, you know, solving the problem, we can just bandage it.
Instead of pushing for better care of the animals we eat, we just gloss it over.
Instead of taking responsibility for the lives in our care, we just bury our heads in the sand.

Granted, the author is arguing from the point that factory farms (and the pain and suffering they produce) aren’t going to go away, and that this would be the lesser of two evils.

But that doesn’t stop the completely dumbfounded reaction I get whenever I contemplate something like this. Living creatures, modified so we can keep treating them the way we do. In fact, I could see conditions at factory farms and slaughterhouses getting worse because of this. “They can’t feel pain, so why should we bother?” The same reasoning that got us into this mess, just taken to the next level.

The food we eat, be it animal or plant, is the responsibility of everyone in the chain. The people who breed it, the people who raise it, the people who kill it, the people who package it, the people who sell it, the people who eat it. Accountability at all levels.

The fact that there is a good reason to contemplate something like this says how far we have fallen. How much we have removed ourselves from one of the most basic and intimate relationships we have with the world.

And how much we will allow so long as we keep it at a safe distance.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s