Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Hannibal Lecture

I maintain that this blog is holistic - however, all roads lead to roam. So prompted by a recent comment about animal rights, this note is going to return to the theme started in the horrific accident.

Obviously I am not a cannibal. In fact, I share with the rest of humanity an instinctive, almost inexplicable, disgust at the very idea.

However, back to other animals, I said before that we should be perfectly happy to eat animal protein if it were harvested and eaten safely. This could basically be like farming animal cells instead of farming plant cells. But if we were growing cells that were unconnected to any nervous system, let alone to any seat of consciousness, then would there be any moral issue if the DNA in those cells had been derived from humans instead of from sheep?

I think that only religious fundamentalists and those who want a regression to a hunter-gatherer society should answer yes to that.

6 comments:

Ann said...

I think the hunter-gatherer society has much to commend it.

Anonymous said...

I think the religious fundamentalist society has much to commend it ... that would keep Ann in her god-given place :)

RNB said...

I hope you all realise that the serious politics and moral philosophy is just an excuse for a punny title :)

Bumhole said...

Re: 'would there be any moral issue if the DNA in those cells had been derived from humans instead of from sheep?'

Absolutely there's an issue. The two are completely different. It's like saying it doesn't matter whether the doctor that's treating you for a medical condition is a person or a sheep.

Sheep are rubbish compared to humans and I find that their skills in medicine are particularly weak. That's why so few sheep graduate from medical school.

RNB said...

I wouldn't mind at all if the doctor treating me had human DNA or sheep DNA or no DNA - so long as it could communicate well, operate well, and understand the principles of evidence based medicine...

bumhole said...

You must have private healthcare then!