Monday, September 16, 2002

skimble forwards a Washington Post article on the imminent introduction of cloned livestock into the food supply. Which is why it is relevant that 1 in 25 cloned genes are fucked up. Not to mention the microbial playground of genetically identical herds jammed into shit-soaked cages for the ever-shorter moments before their slaughter. The clones are going to primarily affect dairy cows, but other species will follow:
Jon Fisher, owner of Prairie State Semen Inc. of Champaign, Ill., paid a then-record $43,000 in 1997 for a beautiful Hampshire boar at an auction in Texas. "I thought he was the best animal I had ever laid my eyes on," Fisher said.

It was a smart call: Fisher's business is selling semen from champion boars to breeders who produce the long, svelte pigs that dominate 4-H and Future Farmers of America livestock competitions. The new animal, much in demand, greatly elevated Fisher's reputation in the world of pig breeders. He named the boar 401-K, after the retirement account.

A year ago Fisher was getting ready to have 401-K cloned when the animal died suddenly of an intestinal blockage. The boar had been dead several hours by the time Fisher managed to salvage ear cells and ship them off to Infigen Inc. of DeForest, Wis., one of a handful of American companies offering cloning services to breeders. "It was like a bad Woody Allen movie, the way we were running around here," Fisher said.

But it worked: Fisher now has six clones of 401-K and one of The Man, another champion boar. "They look like a pig. They smell like a pig. They feel like a pig," Fisher said. "It's a pig."

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