One less cruelty in the world

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A biotech start-up went out of business this fall, and it's good news:

The company was launched by billionaire and University of Phoenix founder John Sperling, who had hoped to have his hunting dog, Missy, cloned — a feat that was never accomplished.

I don't mean to be unsympathetic to a fellow missing his dear old dog, but trying to manufacture life really sounds too much like the mission of a comic-book villain. There's already a stereotype that self-made billionaires are arrogant (cf. Turner, Soros; Gates sometimes); don't these people have any self-awareness?

It's not villainy in itself to clone cats and dogs, but the animal welfare people know that the effort is a cruel process:

"we're very pleased that Genetics Savings & Clone's attempt to run a cloning pet store was a spectacular flop," said Wayne Pacelle, head of the Humane Society of the United States. "It's not just a bad business venture, but also an operation grounded on the misuse of animals."

Pacelle and other groups argue that cloning is still primitive and fails more often than it succeeds.

"For every successful clone, dozens fail and die prematurely, have physical abnormalities, and face chronic pain and suffering," Pacelle said. "Cloning is at odds with basic animal welfare considerations."

Treacherously, commercial success at cloning mammals would have given a boost to the fringe types who fantasize of cloning babies. Thank Heavens the message is getting across: even if it ended up working, the cruelty of the experiments to get there would be unimaginable.

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On life and living in communion with the Catholic Church.

John Schultz

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This page contains a single entry by Richard Chonak published on October 12, 2006 12:40 AM.

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