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Cloned animals for human consumption : what's the point ? Answered

This evening, at the TV News, they announced that cloned animals are going to be authorized for human consumption in USA, and that the EU may also authorize that since they did not find any difference with meat from non cloned animals ...

Here is an article on New York Times :

Well, if it's safe, why not ... But what's the point about cloning them anyway ???
We breed them, there is not problem, they make baby, we eat them all ... everything works perfectly since the beginning of times ... So, what's the point ?!

Any idea ?


Well the galactic republic had no problems with breeding people for a mass army, this led to the eventual conquering of the galaxy. very beneficial to the sith.

so unless these animals are pre-programed with an order 66 then i couldn't care less

Whats the difference bewteen raising animals for consumtion or cloning them for consumtion. Some people on this site think it's immoral to clone for consumtion and I'm wondering what the real difference is because I dont see much of one. Either way there being slaughtered by the millions anyway. Cloned or natural were eating them lol! So you have to ask yourself the true question,is eating anothing living creature immoral? I'm just saying breading animals for eventual slaughter is almost more immoral then cloning in the sence that they live a life before they are slaughtered and eaten. Cloned animals would seem to me like a mass production senario to me where animals wouldn't have as much sence that they served a purpose. I don't really know how animals would react to this but if I were to go by simple logic and common sence I would be apt to say cloned animals wouldnt know anything other then the enviroment they where placed into so it might potentialy be less stressfull then the natural methods.
Feel free to disagree but I think cloning is the more humane and down the road most efficient approach to mass consumption on a global scale.

Why would a cloned animal be any less aware of it's situation than a none-cloned animal?

No matter the origin of their genome, all animals should be treated equally humanely before consumption.

Fact is I don't know if a cloned animal would have different charactoristics or not then a farm bread animal. My suspicion though is that they might not be as aware as the cows on the farm. If they can clone just the limbs of the animals or parts that we consume with out having to create living animals well then it's a whole new situation fact is I don't pretend to know anything this is just my raw speculation.

Growing flesh is a whole different thing to cloning animals.

Honestly, I don't really care about cloning. I am so sick of people going, "OMG! Cloned meat? That is so disgusting! I'm not buying cloned meat!" And knowing the ignorance of the average U.S. citizen, I'm sure they probably think cloning involves injecting an animal with lead from China and joints laced with formaldehyde to force the animal to give birth to a mutant baby. :| I think it would be wise to instead revise our current beef/poultry system. Cloning probably will not solve any of our current problems. I'm fine with people using it to have another prize horse or something like that, but as a primary source of food production, I just don't see the point at this time. :)

I think many people would have ethical issues with creating an animal solely for the purpose of consumption. Then there's the people saying that it's blasphemous, and that cloners are playing god, and it's more proof that scientist's are evil, souless people who are trying to bring down religion... I do have issues with consuming cloned meat. Mostly for the same reasons my family eats locally grown food. Besides that, It's very inefficient. I think there's only a 6% success rate for the animal to even be born, let alone reach maturity and provide enough vittles for the whole thing to be worth it. I think the only place we'll have to worry about cloned animal products is Mcdonalds and KFC.

I understand those reasons, and they're quite logical, but for some reason I'm afraid the average consumer is not thinking it out quite as much as you are. The majority of people I've spoken to about it or overheard talking about it are very much in the "OMG, GROSS!" category. Very confusing. :P But much like you, I really don't think this will be a widespread thing. It's expensive and risky, like you said, and I don't think the profits will be very good. I'm betting it's going to be limited to people who have prize animals and want a copy after the animal has passed.

Cloning in plants is used to preserve superior traits. I could see the same being used in animals.

So, if one animal tasted excellent, then it's clone should taste just so?

Exactly, or if one bulked faster, had higher tolerance to disease, etc,etc.

The major downside, as I initially see... Is that we breed a whole bunch of identical to nearly identical animals resistant to disease X.... and they're all wiped out by disease Y due to a lack of variation.... It doesn't help that we raise very large populations of "meat" in very close quarters :/ I'm on the fence on this one - I'll have to do more homework :p

My feeling is that meat is a luxury crop, even if we don't treat it as such, if a plague wiped them out, that would just free up more grain to feed people. or they could start cloning deer, or people. And little factoid I'll slip in here, tissue culture of plants for commercial purposes is only about 40 years old, so far as I can find out.

My feeling is that meat is a luxury crop, even if we don't treat it as such

I totally agree.... I did some research on poultry versus tofu energy/resource life cycle....

Some quick facts for 1lb of Chicken versus 2lb of tofu (equivalent calories)
Chicken: 660 gallons (I've seen this number as low as 450 and as high as 820)
Tofu: 500 gallons
Beef (1lb): 2,500 gallons!!! <-for comparison

Chicken: 6kg of grain/soy
Tofu: 1kg of grain/soy

Energy - electric over life cycle
Chicken: 14.3MJ
Tofu: 39.2 MJ -- due to the processing (lots of heating water and such)

What's important to remember is - the feed for chicken doesn't equate to equivalent human food. We feed them the parts we discard (grain hulls, etc.) - ironic how we remove the nutritional part and feed them to chickens, then go ahead and fortify flour and such because we need the very nutrition we removed :p Also, this assumes non organic chicken - chicken is one of a small group of products that requires more energy to produce organically compared to "traditionally"

Nice comparison! Didn't know tofu was so energy-intensive. Do you have the feed and energy info for beef as well? IIRC, beef is far worse than chicken in those respects as well...

So looking around - I'm having trouble getting a straight answer. Vegetarian sites have huge numbers compared to other sources. Seriously, 12,500 gallons of water per pound isn't even reasonable while many other sources cite 2,500 (I'm finding 5,000 on many vegan websites that seemed to have all plagiarized from each other).

14.3 gigajoules (14,348 MJ) <-- this includes energy in food, fuel (transportation), slaughtering etc. This is not a direct comparison to the above number which is purely electric. This is from birth to slaughter (not to table). Source

2 pounds of grain/protein per pound of beef**

** I found and awesome source on this that details grain that would otherwise be suitable for human consumption. Most of the diet consists of forage and by-product (pasture grass, alfalfa, corn stalks, distillery grain, pulp, peelings). Other sources say as much as 16-21 pounds of grain per pound of beef (but given that I have personally seen cows feed distillery crap - the first source sounds closer to accurate - I for one don't want to eat old mash).

2 pounds of grain/protein per pound of beef

That doesn't sound right. The source you quoted indicated that a feedlot cow will consume a bushel of corn (56 lb) every 1.5 to 2.5 days, for 255 days. That comes to 5,712 - 9,520 lb of corn, for a 1,000-lb feedlot steer.

Let's see... according to the USDA, the feeding period is "about 140 days ... from 90 to as long as 300 days", "average gain is 2.5-4 pounds per day on about 6 pounds of dry-weight feed per pound of gain", and "feedlot rations are generally 70 to 90 percent grain and protein concentrates".

Let's take 3.25 lb per day gain, times 140 days, times 6 pounds of feed per pound of gain, times 80% grain and protein concentrates...

2,184 lb of grain/protein for a 1000 lb steer? Anyone know how much of that translates into "beef"?

It gets "complicated." After all, a fair number of cattle eat weeds that grow off water that falls out of the sky, on land that would otherwise be difficult to farm.

Not on feedlots though...

I can't help it:

Cloned Beef: It's whats for dinner.

In an article by Popular Science there were these facts:
If you like the tenderness and juiciness of a steak, you can send a sample in and they will clone the cow, which will have the same tenderness as the original. That way, you can always guarantee an excellent steak.
Aaaaaand some more facts I can't remember.

Cloning plants is easy, and relatively cheap - mush up a carrot, plant clusters of cells in growth medium, a few days or weeks later you have a whole crop of identical carrots. It also allows agri-corps to breed strains of crops that have valuable modifications, yet are sterile -meaning farmers cannot save seed from one crop to grow the next, and must buy it from the agri-corp every season.

Cloning animals is much more complex. The success of Dolly the sheep was preceded by nearly five hundred failed procedures. It is much more expensive.

I'm aware of that kiteman, I think this is a preemptive attempt to limit liability in the future. Just because it's expensive now, doesn't mean it will be in 20 years.

It will always be more expensive than the usual way.

There are very real risks to using cloned organisms, animals or plants, mainly because of reduced diversity - in a normal population, different individuals show different resistances to diseases. If one organism succumbs quickly to an infection, others will not. Natural selection will increase the species' resistance to that infection.

If a cloned population encounters an infection that one member is vulnerable to, then they are all vulnerable to it. Farmers could easily find themselves with an entire flock dying within a few hours of each other, before the vets have time to even identify the infection, never mind treat it. If the infection is spread as easily as bluetongue or F&M, and takes a few days to show visible symptoms, then entire counties or states could become charnel houses in days, with no backup variability to allow resistant animals to restock the flock or herd.

Current example: Modern bananas (the "Cavendish") are nearly genetically identical. There's a startlingly high chance that a single disease could virtually wipe out the world's banana population. Same problem with some purebred dogs, due to inbreeding.

always is a long time. So is the presumption that they would replace their entire herds with cloned animals. A quick google shows there are sire bulls bringing in more than $3,000,000 a year per bull through semen sales, If I had one of those I'd certainly think about cloning it.

Well, after taking an Ag class. This is what I can tell you. There are certain traits in cows/beef/bulls that they like, and don't like. Superior animals get lucky. Non-superior animals get the rubber band. Cloning is a great way to preserve great traits for animals. And never watch how pigs mate.


10 years ago

Maybe only chicken breasts and legs can be cloned
without all the feathers, livers and guts.

Freak out! See ERASERHEAD. (David Lynch, 1978)
Artificial chicken... Just like regular chicken.

What do you have against chicken livers? No better bait for catfish.

think about it, if there are only 2 female cows left int he world, you cant breed them. but you can clone them. then we will have limitless milk and beef

As far as I can see the only point to cloning animals is either to:

a) create a strain of identical animals for experimental purposes (if you find one mouse with a particular rare genetic condition that you are studying, you clone it so that you have a lot to study / compare treatments.

b) you are attempting to save / resurrect a whole species (like the occasionally-mooted plans to clone mastadons from frozen tissue and implant the embryos in elephants)

c) as practice to cloning humans for growing rejection-proof transplant organs.

For food, though, "normal" breeding (if you can call intimacy with a turkey-baster "normal") must be far more cost-effective, and reduces the risk of losing whole national flocks to diseases.


10 years ago

Now that you bring it up, I guess it does make sense. Maybe they are trying to prevent hereditary mutations? I don't think they inbreed, but they might.