Joe E. Dees (
Sun, 26 Jul 1998 00:22:36 -0500

Date sent:      	Sun, 26 Jul 1998 13:26:42 -0700
From:           	Damien Broderick <>
Subject:        	Re: FAQ: SOCIETY AND POLITICS
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> At 05:15 PM 7/25/98 +0000, Nick wrote:
> > husbandry. If we could design cattle without brains or with just the
> > brain stem, we would have a way of producing meat without maltreating
> > animals (the brainless bodies wouldn't count as animals). The human
> > yuck-feeling (probably temporary) would have to be weighed against
> > the permanent reduction in animal suffering.
> This component of the FAQ needs *excruciating* sensitivity. Almost
> everyone has a gag reflex at this suggestion. I wonder (dunno if it makes
> bio-botanical sense) if the suggestion might be better expressed as: if we
> could design plants and vegetables that include certain animal genes, we
> might be able to `grow steaks' in the same way we now grow tomatos or
> lettuces. [If that *doesn't* make sense for energetic reasons, we need to
> rephrase the brainless cows scenario more delicately.]

What about an animal version of hydroponics; simply growing the muscle tissue in a nutrient culture. Surely a more easily grown version could be genetically engineered. Besides, brainless cattle couldn't graze, anyway. It would be inefficient to grow all the other cow constituents (hide, organs, skeleton, etc.) just to obtain a steak.

> > intergalactic space. Whoever was in charge of this project could
> > probably have done with a little bit more accountability!
> Careful! Whimsical homour is not read as such by believers - and there are
> always nitwits who would quote such a line as proof that >H believe in
> deity but pit themselves against Him/Her/It!
> > persons created per year. This does not mean that population could
> > not grow; only that the growth would have to be polynomial rather
> > than exponential.
> Many readers are non-mathematical. You need to explain this a bit, even if
> only by providding examples of the two progressions.
> Damien Broderick