A breed of cattle has sparked a debate on the already divisive topic of the ethics of genetic engineering and crossbreeding (video below).
The topic of genetic engineering has long been debated. In fruits and vegetables, many praise the process for extending the seasonal periods, increasing the size, and decreasing the ripening time, while also increasing accessibility and lowering costs. When the discussion turns to living animals, however, the topic becomes a bit more divisive.
Genetic breeding in animals has come to the public’s attention in recent years, as many have questioned the ethics of the process. One breed in particular, the Belgian blue cattle, has become a popular topic of debate. Footage of the extremely muscular breed of cattle has revealed just what many say is wrong with genetic breeding.
According to Newsiosity, the high level of muscle in the Belgian blue cattle has made the breed popular among beef corporations. The animals have been selectively bred in order to increase muscular hypertrophy, which speeds up the process of muscle growth and allows the muscles to grow larger than normal.
In the European and Australian meat industry, heightened muscle hypertrophy has become highly sought after. The Australian Journal of Agricultural Research says that heightened muscle hypertrophy leads to a “higher meat yield, a higher proportion of expensive cuts of meat, and lean and very tender meat,” as well as less fat.
Many regard the Belgian blue cattle as an example of animal cruelty and unethical scientific behavior. The high levels of muscle can cause the animals to suffer from a number of debilitating health problems. Activists point out that the Belgian blue cattle calves are prone to dying at a young age, due to difficulties in nursing that results from the crossbreeding process.
Readers shared their thoughts on the Belgian blue cattle and genetic breeding on the Newisosity Facebook page.
“That is animal abuse, pure and simple! He could never cover a cow with all that bulk, so he will be electrically stimulated to produce sperm for AI,” one user commented. “What a poor, sad life! INHUMANE!! Don’t get me wrong, I love a good steak, but this is wrong on so many levels!”
“Sick is correct, the poor thing cannot walk right,” another user wrote. “Just think of the humans ingesting what ever the used to change the DNA, let alone the steroids. How far will science go? Next let’s tamper with humans.”
See footage of the Belgian blue cattle walking below:
Sources: Newsiosity, Newsiosity/Facebook / Photo Credit: Your Nation News