well, leaving the ethical issues aside for now — cloning won’t necessarily solve the problem of food shortage, because if you clone an animal, you still have to have a surrogate mother and then raise it from birth — so the inputs are still there (it requires a tremendous amount of food and energy to raise an animal from birth)… you could try to clone the largest, most meat-producing animals, but you are still going to have to feed them to get them to grow to their full size. That means food has to be diverted to feeding the animal.
Perhaps cloning plants would be a better way to go, as we can get only 10 percent of the energy from a plant (and the same is true for an animal — so if we first feed them plants [mostly grains and oats] and then eat their meat — they loose 90 percent of the energy from the plant, and then we loose 90 percent of the energy from their meat)… it would be a lot more efficient and there are really no major ethical concerns.
Some say that genetic modification (hybridization to maximize production in plants) is too much like playing God, and therefore it is unethical to do it… but you have to wonder: If it is a way to produce more food and save people from hunger, then wouldn’t God want us to utilize our brainpower and science to do so? Perhaps God wills us to use this tool (genetic manipulation) to solve the problems that are plaguing humankind.
I don’t even know if the ethics have to be argued because it is obviously a horrbile idea in terms of animal husbandry. Cloned animales live a very short time in comparison to their naturally developed kin. Cloning also destroys genetic diversity which is something that allows for resistance to disease outbreaks. Also, there is no way to maintain a healthy breeding population of cloned animals because of in-breeding risks. Finally, there is the argument that it is just way to expensive and uneccesary. The risks and costs far outweigh the rewards. Ethically, there is the risk of creating completely non-viable animals that are only used for our consumption.
This is the negative extreme of the process of domestication.
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