Bring in the Clones…

I’m sure by now, most of you have heard the exciting news that we will soon be eating cloned cow, pig and goat. If not, you can catch up here. I for one, am very excited about this new and innovative development. Just think, not only can we have our own favorite milk cow, Bessie – but we can also enjoy her as a steak, rump roast or tenderloin – whilst she still moos in the barn out yonder. It’s a win-win situation, right?

Wrong! Call me crazy, but I have an icky meter that goes off the dial at the very thought of eating cloned food. The argument they make is that it’s just like any other food – other food (they say) is bred through artificial insemination, what’s the diff? Hmmm…maybe because we’re eating a science project. Also what about the inbreeding? You ever have a pedigree animal? They’re froot loops- because (like the royal family) they have been inbred so many times that that line from China Town hits a little too close to the home.

Besides that, it isn’t hard to make cows, or sheep or pigs or any of those edible varmits. We’ve been growing them for a long time and before we came along, they were growing themselves just fine. What is the actual need to clone animals? Based on what the article says they cost 20 times what it costs for a regular animal. So, where’s the motivation? Are they stuffing them with other super ingredients that will make us be more agreeable? That will make us learn to like and trust our politicians? Or something else equally insane?

Are they working out a super market chain for China? Really, why bother if the costs are so prohibitive and the general public is grossed out by the very notion? Inquiring minds want to know.

Personally, I don’t like people engineering my food. I am a good enough cook that I don’t need the extra help. As it is, they already stuff the real ones with hormones and God knows what – so what is going to be in a fake one? And what will we come to call this food? Instead of a cheeseburger we’ll have clone burgers, instead of meatloaf, it will be cloneloaf, prime-clone? t-bone imitation meat? The marketing challenges will be something to overcome to be sure.

Though, now that it’s been approved, with our luck the government won’t require the suppliers to tell us it’s cloned. And it probably won’t be until we all start walking into walls, waking up in the middle of the night with an irrational urge to moo and develop obsessions with grass that they start to rethink it. By then, too, they’ll be a whole litany of odd and strange diseases that people will sue the clone factories for giving them by secretly force-feeding them magic meat.

I have to hand it to them for pulling it off because I mean, how does one even think of such things, let alone do them? But honestly, why didn’t they decide to clone something useful, like gasoline, heating oil, or fifty dollar bills? Now that would be a science project I could get behind. WC

19 thoughts on “Bring in the Clones…

  1. Chiiiiica!!!!
    This is all up my ally since i am totally paranoid.
    So here’s my take-

    This is the preface to cloning for organs, human organs. By cloning for “food” we are being eased into the idea and acceptance of this practice of cloning then pretty soon, like in Atwood’s Oryx and Crake, human livers and kidneys will be grown in the guts of pigoons!

    This will progress to baby farming. :shudder:

    i read another book called Nature’s End in which the world was so polluted, and the ground so devoid of nutrients that garbage and scraps were shaped into foods and secretly sprinkled with a drug called “Satisfaction” and the eater would believe that it was delicious and they were eating was what it was claimed to be. ::shudder::

    i hope i’m dead before this happens. Seriously. It’s disturbing intellectually, spiritually and emotionally as well as grastronomically.

    This is Gattica in the embryonic stage. And how do we even know we’re not already partaking of cloned meats. Ew.

    i said i was paranoid! i was kidding not.

    You know, I’m with you on much of this, if not all of it. The whole creepy, eerie side of it makes my skin crawl. And yes, I’ve seen articles where they talk of growing human organs, etc. and the baby farms aren’t that far off, are they? A million years ago, I wrote a story about a boy who was cloned – wish I still had it. It could be quite topical these days. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I have a feeling the public uprising on this will be strong. Hopefully strong enough that manufacturers won’t want to do it.

    I’m reminded of that old sci-fi movie, Soylent Green. Do you know that one? Where the key line is, “Soylent Green is people.” Yikes!


  2. As you said there seems to be no reason to make a move to cloned meat or dairy when there really is no need and it is expensive. The article states that the cloned animals would be used for breeding and it would be their offspring that we would be eating/drinking. I still have issues with it though. I can’t put it into words but it is a feeling I can’t get my head around and it just doesn’t seem right. I’m liking vegetarianism more and more. I also don’t like the idea that they won’t be required to label the ones the meats/dairy that are from the clones. I’m sorry but as a consumer I believe it is our right to know where “food” comes from. Labels now tell us whether animals are vegetarian fed or grass fed and whether they’ve been administered antibiotics or not so why shouldn’t they also tell us if they came from a cloned ancestor.

    Good question, Teens – why shouldn’t they? Once again, I fall into a myriad of conspiracy theories when the question is posed.


  3. I have big issues with cloning. BIG. Not just the eating of cloned animals, but cloning in general. I think there is a boundary that is being crossed there, and the ramifications are going to be huge. I agree that they should have to put on the label if the meat is from a cloned animals. Seriously, I am sure the majority of people would want to know if they were about to eat something cloned!

    I agree Calam – there are big issues, ethical and moral and then of course, that whole icky thing. The thing that really gets me is why are they doing it? It’s costly and time consuming and people don’t seem to want it. Wait a minute, am I talking about the Congress or cloned food??????? ๐Ÿ˜†


  4. It’s an absolute horror. The food supply in general. Check out this site: She’s done a ton of research on how much shit gets added into our supply. It’s really a great up-and-coming resource on the truthful state of our food supply. OH and yea… the FDA is not to be trusted.

    Agreed, the FDA is a scary thing. And no, not to be trusted at all. Look at all the crazy drugs they approve – it boggles the mind.


  5. Hey C…that “satisfaction” spray is already alive and kicking. It’s called MSG and it’s added to most of our food, only it goes by different names. It’s atrocious. It has no nutritional value other than to make food taste good and addict us to crave more (the Chinese food syndrome, after you eat an entire meal, you’re still hungry).

    Good point.


  6. ditto me too …. this whole thing just freaks me out … sigh

    Yeah, I’m thinking it’s freaking all of us out a little. Maybe McDonald’s will be the only place that wants it. ๐Ÿ˜‰


  7. Yeah, I’m definitely with you on this one. Won’t do it – there’s no way I could consider that kosher. I seriously think that it’s just people doing it because they can not because there are any true benefits to anyone.

    Just… ew.

    Hey MS,
    Well, it might benefit someone but definitely not the general public. There has to be an upside for someone or they wouldn’t do it. Would be nice to know what that is though.


  8. Y’all are from the city and the ‘burbs, ain’t ya? ๐Ÿ™‚

    No, I’m NOT a fan of cloned breeding stock. But I CAN explain the reason they want to do it.

    Top quality, high-level award winning breeding animals are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. A bull or boar that good will be bred (artifically) thousands of time in his lifetime. This is how our meat has gotten better over time. If you are over 40, and honest with yourself about it, you might admit that during these past decades while people have gotten scared of meat and the media has fed us on stories of horrors, beef and pork have gotten better. It’s leaner now, and tenderer at the same time. That’s a neat trick, because higer fat mean is sometimes the leanest. Meat has gotten better through selective breeding.

    So what they want to do, is take the best of the best, and breed more of it. Even though a good bull is bred thousands of times, there are still thousands of such bulls, and they aren’t all “the best of the best.” If you could pick the best couple of hundred, and clone them, then there would be enough sperm available to breed all the cattle the market needs.

    This point is even more dramatic if you consider females, which can obviously can’t breed as fast. A top quality cow or sow can only produce one calf / litter at a time, but if you clone her, you could increase that.

    On the down side, (besides the ick factor) if you breed for good qualities, you can get lean meat or fast growing meat or whatever, but what if you also get a suseptibility to a disease that isn’t obvious until too late? Bad qualities pass down, too, and the “old fashioned way” of breeding increases the chance of breeding it out.

    Hi Wrybred,
    Wow, good postulated explanation. And I can see your point very well. But the thing they don’t think about is that, at least according to what I’ve read, the cloning (like inbreeding) degrades the dna and disease, odd physical abnormalities, etc. can result – and who knows what that would do to a human body. Like you said, in the old fashioned way the chances of breeding it out are much better. And too, there is no scarcity of food on this planet, despite what some may say. There is a scarcity of distribution in many areas, that’s true – but no lack of food. America has so much land and space still despite its very large population that there is also no scarcity of places to grow/raise food. Cripes we pay farmers to grow crops and throw them away. I’ve always thought that was insane. If they are growing the crops, then why not give that food to food banks and missions who feed the homeless. There is already so much waste that the need to find new ways to grow food that aren’t needed, is yet again another waste of money – the ick factor notwithstanding.


  9. Hi WC,

    You sure know how to pick debatable topics!

    First, cloning produces an exact genetic copy of the parent. Any change to the DNA is due to a mistake in the process, and we’ll get better at this with practice. You should note that, just in the last few years, cloning has improved enough from making Dolly (that first cloned sheep was named Dolly?) to provide an important service to farmers, as described by Wrybred. Farmers, I would point out, are a penny pinching lot, who are not going to shell out $20,000 for a bad product. Anyone in the agriculture business who makes that magnitude of mistake very often is not going to last long, so the cloned cattle being purchased are most likely very good copies.

    On the other hand, at that price, these cattle are almost certainly breeding stock so only a very few of them will find their way onto your table, and that will only be sold after they’re old and tough, so most of that meat won’t be sold directly to the consumer, but will go into meat byproducts, where you should really be more concerned about the low but acceptable, by Government standards, of mouse droppings and insect parts which, when I’m trying to loose weight, is what I think about before I go for that second helping.

    On the gripping hand, there is a shortage of food on a global basis. While you are correct that most areas with insufficient food supplies are that way because of distribution problems, at the moment, solving those problems would divert resources needed for farming. For instance, if we shipped excess grain production to where ever at a cheap price, this would lower the price of that grain or require a tax increase to cover the loss or require that we increase our Federal borrowing which would raise interest rates which would hit farmers hard. In any of these cases, grain growing would be cut back on less productive land where the profit margins are would be too thin to take the risk under those economic circumstances. It’s a vicious circle, but one we’re stuck with as long as the Government insists on artificially maintaining low food prices. And don’t forget that the world population is still growing at an insane rate, so this problem is going to get worse, not better, for the next few decades at least!

    On the other foot, while we have a lot of unused land in the US, almost all of it that is worth farming is in use. Although not all of those uses are agricultural, it would take great motivation to divert them to that use. The land on which Memphis and its suburbs are built, for instance, is marvelously rich and fertile farm land, but I doubt strongly that it will be returned to growing food anytime soon. For that matter, we’re loosing thousands of farmed acres a year as the city spreads. Beyond that, a good deal of potentially useful land is locked into wild life preserves, National and State Parks, and such, that the environmentalist movement will fight to the death to maintain. Also note that some of our most productive farm lands in California and Washington State are on the verge of going fallow as their irrigation water is being fought for by city dwellers and conservationists.

    Oh, and don’t forget the diversion of farming resources to the production of ethanol, which has already caused food shortages in Mexico. In other words, given how things stand now and the direction in which they seem to be headed, we need to take full advantage of every agricultural tool that is available.

    the Grit

    Well Grit, I just don’t know what to say. You bring a lot of information on this one and I don’t question that you know what you’re talking about – but I still don’t like it. I still think that whenever you mess with nature in ways like this you’re asking for a whole boatload of trouble. And still can’t get over the ick factor either. Sorry, my friend.


  10. You have it all wrong, WC. We won’t be eating the clones. That would be stupid. Cloners take an animal with the most desirable traits (say a cow that has naturally lean meat), and they clone them, and/or splice their genes to enhance them, if possible. Then that clone would be born (through the cloning process, which I’ll assume you’re familiar with), and would then grow up to mate with other animals of desirable traits.

    The aim of the game is to produce as many desirable children as possible, who will be the ones we eat. We won’t be eating clone meat, since the beef will be born naturally. What I’d be more concerned about is gene splicing- they are currently trying to put human breast milk genes into cows to make them produce more wholesome milk. I personally find that drinking breast milk is more disgusting than eating cloned cows, which will never happen.

    Oh my God, that could swear me off all dairy right there. Cripes this is a sci-fi world.


  11. i also take issue that nowadays meat is of good quality.
    no thanks…i’m not a vegan or vegetarian, but i refuse to believe that hormone injected meat is actually a good thing.
    also? Dolly the cloned sheep was put down at 6 years of age (much much earlier than her natural lifespan) due to some bizarre kidney disease, which they haven’t been able to explain.
    no thanks.

    Yes, I read about that too. It does beg the question that if this cloning thing is the best thing since sliced bread, why they haven’t solved that mystery – nor looked into whether or not that would have any effect on humans who had consumed from an animal with that mysterious problem.


  12. GROSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS GROSssssssssssssssssssssssssss GROSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!! that is all i can say lol!

    And so you did. ๐Ÿ˜‰


  13. The only word that really comes to mind is, “Eww”.

    “Though, now that itโ€™s been approved, with our luck the government wonโ€™t require the suppliers to tell us itโ€™s cloned. And it probably wonโ€™t be until we all start walking into walls, waking up in the middle of the night with an irrational urge to moo and develop obsessions with grass that they start to rethink it. By then, too, theyโ€™ll be a whole litany of odd and strange diseases that people will sue the clone factories for giving them by secretly force-feeding them magic meat.”

    Ok, Annie, that is some hilarious thinking on your part, ROFLMAO! Too good! Too GOOD!

    Hey Bella!
    Yeah…hmmm – we probably won’t be laughing when we’re all bleating like sheep and searching out our next fix of magic meatloaf though, huh? ๐Ÿ˜†


  14. Hi WC,

    No reason to be sorry, as everyone has a right to their opinion. Still, as to the ick factor, as you so well put it, I fail to see the problem. Really, if a cow gave birth to twins, would that put you off when they were eventually served up?

    On the other hand, if the genetic modification thing is what’s bothering you, then I’d like to know what you think about genetically modified crops which, by the way, you’ve probably already been dining on? That includes most processed foods, as they very often include some soy bean extract, and almost all soy bean production in the US now uses the latest technology, which is RoundUp Ready seeds.

    The above mentioned beans have been genetically modified to tolerate the chemicals in the common weed killer product, RoundUp, which means the crop can be planted early using no-till methods, which reduce soil erosion, and, once the inevitable weeds start to grow among the valued plants, can be sprayed with said herbicide without damaging the crop. This saves lots of money and effort while increasing the yield, and reduces the price of the finished product, which, if you read the fine print on the label of the processed food you buy, I suspect will surprise you with its pervasiveness. If that’s not bad enough, the same can be said for most products that include corn extracts.

    Truly, where the ick factor is concerned, I’m far more grossed out by the USDA allowed inclusion of %0.0002 mouse droppings in our food than any casual brush with cloning.

    the Grit

    Hey Grit,
    Yeah the mouse droppings don’t do anything for me – but then, I don’t eat food that has that allowance.

    As to the veggies, I grow my own – and I don’t eat soy products or anything with soy or processed food. So, I guess I’m covered. Still, regardless of your excellent argument it still icks me out.


  15. Hi WC,

    You don’t eat anything from a can or a box? I am most impressed! As to growing your own vegetables year round, that would be nice, but then more people would want to live here and I consider the area over crowded already. This is why I’m saving for a high fence and a greenhouse ๐Ÿ™‚

    the Grit

    Hi Grit,
    No, not really. And I live in California, so growing veggies year round isn’t all that difficult. We also abound in whole food and health food stores and I’m a pretty good cook, so I don’t need canned or boxed things to make dinner. I know, I’m amazing. ๐Ÿ˜†


  16. Hey did you hear about Monsanto? too long to go into here but I did a hattip from Cheeseslave
    on the subject. What they are doing to our food is dangerous not to mention unhealthy. Not that I am a health food nut or anything.. just give me my chips and pass the chocolate, milk chocolate.
    Great post Annie, attention needs to be called (imo) to this subject of food engineering, loading it with hormones etc:

    No, I didn’t hear about Monsanto – I thought they made cookware. What did they do?


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