Let's look at the situation of cows, pigs, etc from the selfish-gene point
of view, which seems to me is the most appropriate. In ants, bees and
termites only the queens pass on their genes, but that is not a problem, as
all ants in a colony share the same genome and are indirectly spreading it
by working for the success of the colony. Farm animals are in a similar
situation, the only difference being that the "queens" are handpicked by
humans. These species have lost control over their evolution (they would not
look like they do today without human intervention), but they achieved
otherwise impossible success in terms of numbers and geographical spread -
let's face it: they have hitched the ride of their evolutionary life on the
back of a more successfull species! The fact that they are slaughtered for
meat makes no difference, as it also happens in the wild (and in a nastier
way, too - typically by being eaten alive by a pack of dog-like creatures).
The problem with this, of course, it's that it's not as easy a message as
that of PETA to communicate... that's the problem with science!
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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 09:56:40 MDT