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Re: Future Vegetarians/genetic engineering

Jun 12, 1998 12:57 PM
by Eldon B Tucker


>Is it ethical to clone humans, but maintaining only the lower
>brain function for the preservation of the body, for body parts?

This may not be necessary if it's possible at some point to
discover and turn on some gene that allows the repair or
regrowth of damaged organs or limbs.

I've read how they've been able to turn off the gene that
allows for brain grow in a rat, bringing to birth a baby
rat with a brain stem but no brain. The idea was that at
some point humans could be grown without brains, to serve
as body parts for living people. I'm uneasy with the idea.
It reminds me of the time in SD history when the human's
interbred with the animals and created monster races of
quasihuman beings. I'd think that the decision to use such
a body part would be troubling, with a lot of soul searching,
much as the decision to have or not have an abortion would
be to a woman facing that choice.

>Do you only cherish a life's present existence, or do you
>also cherish its potential?  I suppose that's why some
>people eliminate eating eggs along with eating anything
>crawling and alive.

The ovo-lacto vegetarian rationale is that if the egg is
not fertilized, it's a natural byproduct of the chicken's
existence, and eating it does not involved the taking of
a life. If the egg were fertilized, though, it should not
be eaten, to qualify as vegetarian food. The same is true
of dairy products like milk and cheese, where the cow is
not killed in their production.

The same argument can be applied to plants, in a more
strict definition of vegetarianism, and say that plant
food that involves the killing of the plant is bad, like
the eating of a potato, but food not involving the killing
of the plant is ok, like eating an apple not hurting the
apple tree.

-- Eldon

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