Cloning Intensifies Animal Suffering
Recent articles revealing that cloned meat has entered the UK food supply have sparked a debate concerning the potential health risks of eating flesh from cloned animals; however, one thing about which there can be no debate is that cloning will cause animals extreme suffering.
Grown inside artificially inseminated surrogate mothers, cloned animals are genetic replicas of other animals. The process of insemination is known to be so stressful that UK law requires that a general or epidural anaesthetic be administered prior to the transfer of cattle embryos.
These unnatural pregnancies cause mothers to continue to suffer long after the insemination process is complete. Cloned calves are usually heavier than naturally conceived calves, which means the mothers often endure a painful birthing process and often require Caesarean sections. Mortality rates amongst young cloned animals are extremely high, both during pregnancy and infancy. The animals are also likely to have defective immune systems and to suffer from heart failure, respiratory difficulties and muscle and joint problems.
Selective breeding of animals for food pushes these sensitive creatures to their absolute physical limit as farmers seek to produce animals with rapid growth rates and high yield production. As more animals are cloned, any health problems are simply exacerbated and immunity against diseases is weakened. Cows who are bred to produce excessively high levels of milk often suffer from lameness as a result of the unnatural size and weight of their udders.
In a positive step for the animals, the European Parliament recently voted to ban the sale of meat and milk taken from clones and their offspring. There is nothing natural or acceptable about cloning. It leads to increased suffering for animals, many of whom already suffer greatly on today’s factory farms. Animals are not ours to use as machines. We should be looking to reverse this immoral trend in farming in which the rights and needs of animals are traded for higher profit margins. Please help by removing meat, eggs and dairy products from your diet. To order your free vegetarian/vegan starter kit, which is full of great recipes and tips on making the switch to an animal-friendly diet, click here.