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Would you have a problem eating food from cloned animals?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on December 29, 2006

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Photo of Karen Matheis

“I try to eat locally raised, grain-fed animals that are raised properly. I don’t have a problem with them being cloned as long as they are treated well.”

Photo of Matt Patterson

“I would definitely have some reservations about it. I’m not really sure if I would or wouldn’t eat it.”

Photo of Taylor Case

“If it was healthy and tasted good, then I probably would eat it. I’m not too picky.”

Photo of Chris Brown

“I would much rather eat locally grown organic food before I would try cloned food, because the FDA is financially swayed and not always morally or nutritionally concerned.”


Linda Aikins 11 years, 5 months ago

Depends on if they are good cooks or not. Any animal that can cook would be cool to have around.

H_Lecter 11 years, 5 months ago

Make mine a German dish of Klum clone please.

trinity 11 years, 5 months ago

ah thank you R_I, i did not know that.

sigmund your post made me laugh out loud! ;)

i_p, i think there is an organic spam farm somewhere around baldwin. :)

friday friday friDAY, friday friday friDAY!

acg 11 years, 5 months ago

I don't see why not. If there's nothing wrong with the meat, anyway. When I think about the booze, smokes, cokes, sugar, fat and grease I put into my body, I don't see how cloned meat can make it any worse or better, really.

trinity 11 years, 5 months ago

i'm all about that cheap sweet sweet lovin' there, werekoala! :)

friday friday friDAY, friday friday friDAY!

trinity 11 years, 5 months ago

the coney?? is that like the foot long chili dogs from the sonic, R_I? ;)

i'm with taylor, i'll eat just dang near anything that doesn't eat me first.

ooo that didn't come out quite right. heh.

friday friday friDAY, friday friday friDAY!!!! :)

beatrice 11 years, 5 months ago

Only if my other choice is soylent green.

sunflower_sue 11 years, 5 months ago


If today's poll (up top) is an accurate representation, then 50% of Lawrence tries only to eat organically grown, local food. I think not! I don't think that 50% of Lawrence strolls through the farmer's market or crowds up the Merc's parking lot. Just mao.

Me? Dunno. I have no problem in the plant gmo world but my animal cloning jury is still out.

RI, I think the Bible said specifically that we were not to eat cloves...especially in spaghetti sauce. (However, they are tastey in a pumpkin pie.)

werekoala 11 years, 5 months ago

I'm just trying to understand why anyone would go to the expense and hassle of cloning an animal for FOOD -- isn't it much cheaper to just get a male and female of the species together with some mood lighting and Barry White?

Only reason I can think of is along the lines of experimental tests - by having the experiment and control groups genetically identical, you can minimize the effect of genetic predispositions on the outcome. Well, that and selective breeding programs. And rich people could clone their pets.

But for general commercial use, I think sweet, sweet loving will always be cheaper.

cutny 11 years, 5 months ago

No way. Sounds disgusting. Seems like the Earth has done a good enough job of producing "meat" for the last oh...20 million years or so, so I'm not sure how or why it has come to this.

southerngirl 11 years, 5 months ago

Why is it that you could never get a fisherman to say that a fish from a hatchery is the same as a fish caught from a stream, but we are being told that a cloned animal is the same as an animal produced from good animal lovin. (Mr. Southern's question) Me? I'm betting that the masses will eat it and not care as long as our Big Mac supply is not threatened. .

bevy 11 years, 5 months ago

I'm in favor of the sweet lovin'. Cloning has GOT to be more expensive than the good ol' fashion way. Besides, shouldn't the poor beasties get a FEW Moments of joy before they go to that big Buffet Line in the Sky?

Speaking of more expensive - does anyone have an idea when bacon became a luxury food? I used to buy it cuz it was cheap and now it's about 3.50 a pound. Must be the cloned hogs...

craigers 11 years, 5 months ago

I_P... magic bucket!!!!

I probably would eat it. Chances are it won't be a separate menu item at restaraunts. We will all eat it and can't do anything about it.

badger 11 years, 5 months ago

Probably not.

Cloned animals strike me as a 'corporate farm' likelihood, but not so much something you'd see the local Farmer Joe doing.

I do try to eat locally or regionally raised organic hormone-free stuff, which is made easier here by the Whole Foods flagship store ten minutes from my house. I miss the Lawrence Farmers' Market (and the fact that it was two minutes' walk from Wheatfield's!), but I like more having a grocery-store sized selection of ethical meat choices.

I'm curious about ol' Karen's answer. Why prefer grain-fed over grass-fed? Grain-fed still allows for the animals to have spent their entire lives in a feedlot, crammed in like sardines. I tend to look for as many of the following words as possible: Grass-fed, natural, organic, free range, hormone-free, no megadoses of antibiotics. I suppose that if I found a package of organic, free range grass fed, hormone-free beef from a cloned cow that had had no megadoses of antibiotics (I'm not averse to animals being treated for actual diseases, just to them being given massive doses of antibiotics when they're not sick), I could eat it with a clear conscience, but the fact is that I don't really think I'll see that package of beef anytime soon.

Cloning will most likely be for the mass-produced meats, and other ethical choices usually get left by the wayside for mass-production that keep me from buying it.

Linda Aikins 11 years, 5 months ago

T's got the conga line going again! I'm there!

countrygirl 11 years, 5 months ago

Bevy, most of the animals that go to the big buffet line are either fixed or females that have never been bred. The quality of the meat goes down greatly after an animal gives birth. I still wonder how people think they could tell the difference unless someone told them they were eating cloned meat.

sgtwolverine 11 years, 5 months ago

Soylent Green is people!

I hate to break it to Chris Brown, but the FDA is not responsible for our good nutrition. It's supposed to make sure something won't kill us, not that it'll actually be good for us. It's not the same thing.

Anyway, if it's actually meat, then whatever. Like the bumper sticker says: "I love animals. They taste great!"

bangaranggerg 11 years, 5 months ago

Why stop at animals? I'd love fried terradyactal, or a Brontosaurus burger. Clone dinosaurs, think about it they wouldn't be extinct if they hadn't been delicious. It would have worked in Jurrassic Park, but they made the mistake of not paying Newman from Seinfield enough money. Also don't clone Raptors that didn't work out. Unless you mean Julian Wright, I'd take a whole team of that guy.

yourworstnightmare 11 years, 5 months ago

Karen Matheis has it right. A cloned animal simply has the genetic makeup of its genetic donor, nothing more.

Of much more concern to human health are things that are currently done in livestock production, such as rampant antibiotic use and steroid injections not to mention using corn to feed cattle.

The reaction to the word "clone" is interesting, and it shows the kinship of religious fundamentalists and PETA animal-rights activists. Both use "clone" as a scare word, and both are driven by untenable dogma and ideology.

werekoala 11 years, 5 months ago

Yeah, I could see it as an accellerated version of selective breeding.

Say you've got a male and female cow with the genes to produce 100 more pounds of meat than the norm. You could harvest them for sperm and eggs, and then implant those zygotes into normal cows. We do this sort of thing right now. Having clones of that original male and female would just accelerate the process, but I'm not sure how cheap that would be versus just spending a few more years breeding the lines back and forth. Plus you wouldn't have to worry about replication errors, etc.

Fact is, outside of person-specific medicine, or certain research, I really can't see much practical benefit to cloning. And I certainly don't understand the hysteria behind it.

I once worked with a very nice lady who was opposed to cloning. The funny thing was, she had an identical twin. She seemed offended when I pointed out that a twin is just a naturally occuring clone.

countrygirl 11 years, 5 months ago

I wondered the same thing. Have you proponents of grass fed beef ever seen a carcass of a critter that's been eating only grass? Instead of the fat being that nice pretty white, it's green. Not real appetizing. And for those of you who think you don't need fat in beef, that's what makes it tender. Thanks--I'll stick to my nice juicy grain fed beef.

Bone777 11 years, 5 months ago

Personally, I would not eat cloned animals,

but conversely, it's all my clone will eat!

trinity 11 years, 5 months ago

hah, bone that was funny! :p

friday friday friDAY! friday friday friDAY! c'mon gootsie this conga line is lookin' kind of sorry! :D

sublime 11 years, 5 months ago

LOL -Marion,I have to call BS on that one.

southerngirl 11 years, 5 months ago

My father in law owns a cattle ranch in Oklahoma. We have a cow slaughtered each year for our family's consumption. Our cattle are produced from good animal lovin and they are grass/grain fed so dont be trying to burst my bubble Py!!! (findhappyplacefindhappyplacefindhappyplacefindhappyplace.....)

southerngirl 11 years, 5 months ago

R.I. and Sue, er, I'm feeling like the loser kid that didn't get invited to the cool kid party, don't you know if you invite one person from the class, you have to invite everyone...our collective self esteems will be destroyed and we will have to sue the Lawrence Journal World for our lack of career progress and the rest of our miserable exsistance because it certainly couldn't be OUR faults now could it and ALL because we didn't get invited to the cool kid New Year's WHAT do you have to say for yourselves???

JayCat_67 11 years, 5 months ago

I_P & R_I you guys just reminded me of that old cartoon that used to come on with Tom and Jerry sometimes when I'd get home from school. I think it was called "the farm of tomorrow." They crossed a centipede with a chicken and go lot's of drumsticks. Whodathunkit?

southerngirl 11 years, 5 months ago

...and while I digress, may I say that if that Nutrisystem commercial with the gal with the incredibly annoying voice say "Look at me, I'm a size 2!" again and the "I'm a chocloholic" line, I will go craaaazy!

I also think the Dominos "fudgeum's" ads are gross and quite creepy...and any ad for medical products, why do I need to know what ALL of the side effects are right then? Shouldn't my doctor and pharmacist be handling that?

Okay, I feel better...(happyplacehappyplacehappyplacehappyplacehappyplace)

Linda Aikins 11 years, 5 months ago

"Say you've got a male and female cow with the genes to produce 100 more pounds of meat than the norm."

Does this look funny to anyone else? A male cow?

yourworstnightmare 11 years, 5 months ago

"What is wrong with feeding a cow corn?"

1) Corn is not a "natural" cow food. They have trouble digesting it. Their stomachs evolved to eat grasses, and corn gives them stomach pains and diarrhea, so they are given medicines to treat this.

2) Because they have trouble digesting corn, they are more prone to stomach infections when fed corn, so more antibiotics are required.

3) It is a terrible waste of energy, as cows process only a small percentage of the calories in the corn and evacuate the remainder. The cow's stomach has evolved to feed on grass, which has very few calories per weight. The richness of the corn is wasted, and it makes the cows ill.

4) Farmers now grow corn to feed cattle almost to the exclusion of other crops. I am no agricultural economist, but growing corn is not very profitable (but the demand is predictable and there are government subsidies, so farmers continue to do it).

Now, if we continue to feed corn to cattle for another 10,000 years or so, they might just evolve a digestive system that can efficiently extract energy from corn without making them sick.

werekoala 11 years, 5 months ago


Sorry, I figured "bull and heifer" might confuse folks. Maybe it was just a very butch cow.

yourworstnightmare 11 years, 5 months ago

reticent_irreverent said,

Oh, sorry, RETICENT_IRREVERENT said "Is this issue going to start "clone wars"?"

Yes. Christian fundamentalists will ally with animal rights activists to defeat the forces of evil (i.e. reason and progress).

It was, after all, Yoda and the Jedi who commissioned the clone army...

JayCat_67 11 years, 5 months ago

I_P: Yep that's the one! I used to love that one as a kid... Actually... I still kind of enjoy it along with "Home of Tomorrow" and "Car of Tomorrow". I wonder if they have those on DVD somewhere.
Oh, and just so I stay on the thread, I say... "Bon appetite" "Bon appetite".

ohjayhawk 11 years, 5 months ago

southerngirl - I'm glad I'm not the only one that thinks the Domino's "fudgeum" ad is a bit on the disgusting side.

sister 11 years, 5 months ago

Sue has already provided the drinks and NO she did not invite herself. However, you R_I, did.

wondering what is the best state to visit, 4 states away from Kansas

southerngirl 11 years, 5 months ago

Sue has already provided the drinks and NO she did not invite herself. However, you R_I, did.

Oh, so the lies catch up to you dont they R.I.? No, don't worry about me, I'll have fun here at home, I'll just have a drink and...go to bed as I have 4 kid appointments scheduled for the rare day, no, I'm not absolutely crushed, I'm fine, just fine...fine

southerngirl 11 years, 5 months ago

wondering what is the best state to visit, 4 states away from Kansas Lets see to get to Tennessee you go through Missouri, Kentucky, Little bit of Illinois and a little bit of Arkansas as you go South from St. Louis...unless you are an Elvis fan, stay away from Memphis, but Nashville and parts East are very pretty and fun... d

Grundoon Luna 11 years, 5 months ago

Hey! Where'd the conga line go!?! Can I get it back? Let's see . . . . Day-O, Da-a-a-a-ay-O, Daylight come and me wan go home . . . .

tear Don't be sad about the rebuke, SG. Join the conga line, dance and be happy! Don't worry, be happy whistling and do-wopping Yeah, yeah that goes with a conga line too.

I want me some cow made o'sweet lovin' but some jerk is likely to slide me some clone.

sunflower_sue 11 years, 5 months ago

southerngirl, I agree that RI is being very rude! He should invite all who wish to come...but be forwarned, it is by no means the "cool kid" party! And I'm not bringing tequila unless TOB invites me over to get it.

As per grain fed vs. grass fed: This is a non-issue as grass fed beef SUCKS! One year, our sweet neighbor/rancher fed his beef more hey because the price of corn was a bit high (if you can imagine that!). Anyway, every time I cooked that meat, the whole house would stink of hey and the meat had a funk about it. Corn fed all the way, baby! (Well, you can let them eat hey, but feed them plenty of the good yellow stuff.)

sunflower_sue 11 years, 5 months ago

Sister, California? Wanna come to the "cool kids" party? RI is inviting everybody!

sunflower_sue 11 years, 5 months ago

IP, I did a term paper on Tex Avery in high school! No kidding!

southerngirl 11 years, 5 months ago

THANKS Azure, at least SOMEBODY will include everyone... shaking my tushy

I'm off to Oklahoma for the weekend, so I was just kidding about no plans, I'll be partying with the 100% natural cows and chickens er and my in laws Have a wonderful and safe New Year's celebration (if that is what you celebrate, if it is not, I didn't mean in any way to offend or not include you so happy... whateveryoucelebrate)

Best wishes to all for a Happy and Prosperous 2007!!!

ohjayhawk 11 years, 5 months ago

"wondering what is the best state to visit, 4 states away from Kansas"

I'd be remiss if I didn't plug good, ol' Ohio. It actually has a lot of nice things... especially amusement parks. I have yet to find one better than Cedar Point. Lots of good roller coasters.

sweetiepie 11 years, 5 months ago

your worst nightmare: sounds like An Omnivore's Dilemma reader.

Want to know the difference between a "cool" "kids" party and any other party in Lawrence? The "cool" "kids" spend 75% of the time at the party telling each other how cool they are and the other 25% doing shots of tequila so that they really believe it.

southerngirl 11 years, 5 months ago

Want to know the difference between a "cool" "kids" party and any other party in Lawrence? The "cool" "kids" spend 75% of the time at the party telling each other how cool they are and the other 25% doing shots of tequila so that they really believe it. the uncool kids are just "doin it" while the cool kids are talking and drinking? SWEET!

southerngirl 11 years, 5 months ago

...I'm going to get removed for the comment aren't I? Sigh, that was NEXT years resolution. Guess I'll have to go back to the drawing board... Mr. Southern taking a long time getting ready to travel...I'm WAITING...

sweetiepie 11 years, 5 months ago

that's pretty much how it is--and a fine time is had by all!

badger 11 years, 5 months ago

Countrygirl -

Actually, I eat grass-fed beef almost exclusively, and only once have I ever encountered any sort of faint greenish tinge to the fat. I'm not sure where the grass-fed beef you're talking about is coming from, but it's not the norm.

You ask what's wrong with grain fed beef? While the digestive arguments posted above are interesting, my primary reason against it is because grain-fed cows are more likely to live in feed lots for some or all of their lives. I don't like feed lots because:

  1. Overcrowding of cattle into that space increases the likelihood of disease.

  2. That likelihood of disease due to overcrowding is one of the main reasons used to justify prophylactic doses of antibiotics being given to healthy cattle; overuse of antibiotics has a number of health and environmental consequences I consider unpleasant.

  3. Runoff from an acre of full-capacity feed lot is a heck of a lot uglier than runoff from an equal area of full-capacity grass pasture.

  4. Driving past a field of cows is a lot more pleasant than driving past a feed lot.

  5. Because the soil is ground to powder with hard-pack under it in drought-prone areas (like, say, Texas or Western Kansas), it decreases any sort of groundwater recharge (besides which, you wouldn't want groundwater to recharge through that degree of filth anyway), increases runoff and thus erosion on surrounding properties, and leaves a churned mudpit for the animals to stand in.

Basically, I'd eat grain-fed free range beef, though I'd prefer grass-fed for the digestive and environmental reasons (you forgot "The indigestibility of corn as a dietary substance increases flatulent emissions, a leading cause of greenhouse gases"). But I haven't yet been confronted, in the years I've been reading labels and interrogating the people selling me cow, with grain-fed free range beef, so I'll happily stick to my grass-fed. But just the concept of feed lot beef turns my stomach. I'll even go out of my way to look for beef that wasn't even kept in a feed lot waiting for slaughter, if I can (it exists, but it's harder to find and it helps if you know your butcher well enough to be on a first-name basis with him).

Linda Aikins 11 years, 5 months ago

werekoala - the only reason I caught that is because when I was in high school, I made a comment about a female bull. My boyfriend never let me forget it. I was a city girl, after all.

Damn, Badger!

Woodduck_5363 11 years, 5 months ago

doyou really think we would know it? If they are talking about it it has happen already

SpeedRacer 11 years, 5 months ago

Of course I would. A cloned animal is just a biological copy...why would it have any ill effects?

JayCat_67 11 years, 5 months ago

... Yes, I'd like to order a footlong cloney.

jonas 11 years, 5 months ago

. . . and a doppelganger with cheese.

Linda Aikins 11 years, 5 months ago

JayCat scores with this foot long cloney.

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