Animal Rights: What of Animal Cloning?
Animal cloning is a subject that has attracted substantial controversy, especially after scientists revealed that it is also possible to clone humans. People around the world are thus divided on the issues with large factions against animal cloning, and the rest opposed to the idea. A bill has recently been passed by the United States Senate outlawing any activity related to human cloning or even research related to the topic.
Despite the unpopularity of cloning, animal cloning (and human cloning) has several benefits as discussed below. One of the main advantages of cloning is the fact that cloning offers an opportunity to ensure an endless supply of products from animals. This is especially important in cases where some animals are threatened by extinction.
Thus with cloning, it is impossible for humans to ever run out of products from such animals. This argument is based on the fact that animal cloning has been made easy by several inventions, the first being the efforts made to create the first animal clone, Dolly the lamb (Wright, 2004). Another advantage of cloning is that an animal clone is the same as the animal from which it is cloned.
This implies that people will be as comfortable with animal clones as they are with other animals which are not clones. Cloning also opens avenues for further research which could help to solve a lot of our problems. Among the greatest benefits of cloning is the fact that cloning has been used, and it is still being used in the development of vaccines and drugs.
Animals are genetically modified to show human characteristics, and then research is carried on the human diseases that do not affect the animals. This can be considered as a worthy cause that is important enough to make people disregard the moral and ethical issues associated with animal cloning (Chaucer, 2003).
The fact that a cloned animal has a shorter lifespan, almost half of its parent, has been viewed by many people as a sensitive issue. Going ahead to clone an animal knowing that it will live a shorter lifespan than it is supposed to live is, arguably, unethical. Many people also argue that God did not intend for man to help him in creation, and thus animal cloning amounts to going against the will of God.
It can thus be argued that animal cloning is an immoral act. However, the cloning of animals has been used for a greater good as compared to the ethical issued that are raised against it (Chaucer, 2003). For instance, the invention of medicine and vaccines has been made possible by cloning animals whose bodies mimic the body of people.
It is common knowledge that the main motivation for cloning is not the preservation of resources but research. It is, arguably, unethical to deprive an animal of an embryo and leaving it as a useless animal for purposes of research. If this kind of research happens to be commercialized, a great number of animals that are considered useless will suffer because they will be used as sources of embryos for cloning.
This can also be viewed as an unethical act. However, the benefit above of using genetically modified models of more animals for research purposes can be defended. For instance, the development of a rabbit clone that responds to HIV like humans has been very instrumental in the research for vaccines and treatment of HIV and AIDS, although less progress has been made.
From the discussion above, although animal cloning is morally and ethically wrong, there are circumstances in which it can be justified. Its benefit to the human race is so great that it should not be ignored. It is thus of essence that human beings clone animals only in situations where the benefit of cloning the animals is greater than the moral and ethical issues associated with animal cloning.
Chaucer, G. (2003). ?
Wright, M. (2004). Chronology of Cloning. New York. Nova Science Publishers. Inc.
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