With the onset of animal cloning as early as 1996, global citizens have remained fascinated with the scientific and moral implications. Now in 2019, China is taking the first step towards feasible genetic cloning-for roughly 35,000 to 50,000 dollars, according to the New York Times.
That’s a little out of my price range, but the money is not the central issue. Morality is the tenet on trial, and Mother Nature isn’t happy with the verdict. By recreating genetic tissue of long gone animals, scientists are manhandling the laws of nature and dabbling in morally grey territory.
Sinogene, a Bejing-based pet cloning company, created China’s first cloned cat from samples of a British shorthair named Garlic in early July. It was a step towards the commercialization of cloning for capital, and subsequent moral degeneration.
The process consists of using other cats solely as hosts for the borrowed tissue – it is unclear what becomes of these mothers once their time in the lab is finished. Not only is the general process inefficient (it takes about seven months, as per a cat’s gestation period), costly, and inhumane, the principles behind the process lie on shaky ground.
The trading of lives-one cat for another, as though they are the same innate being-delegitimizes the concept of self worth. Schrodinger would certainly like to put neo-Garlic in a box, confine his character to the spirit of the predecessor. But dead or alive, this cat was created for the purpose of fulfilling previous Garlic’s shoes. One being cannot equate another, and suggesting so leads down a path of philosophy that omits individualism.
These copycats are just that: copycats. They are not the exact same animal, resurrected from the dead, but an entirely separate version with minute details and differences. It is a disservice to those who love and care for each individual animal to pretend differently.
Many believe cloning is a lucrative business that reunites beloved pets with their owners, but look closer. The devil is in the details: there is no way to predict or create exact replicas with current technology. Garlic’s copycat isn’t an exact match, according to the New York Times. The two cats have differences in eye color, and there is no way to measure temperament against each other.
The idea omits individualistic values by equating one animal to the other, and the process is neither cost-effective nor humane. The sole motivations behind the cloning industry are money, hubris, and inane curiosity. The moral and physical implications are simply not worth the profit.
Testing the extent of nature is a risky game to play at best, especially with an already precarious ecosystem barely balancing on the scales of humanity. This is just an experiment made on the wrong side of the gene pool.