Why Do People Clone?
Why do people clone living things? To clone something is to make a new life from the cells of a particular organism that will have the exact genetic qualities from the original. Plants can do this without any help. They are able to make an organism like itself with all the inherent qualities. They do this as a form of reproduction. People also clone plants. They do this because they want to reproduce plants that have the same desirable characteristics as the original plant.
This process is usually done by horticulturists since techniques such as tissue culture need to be done in a controlled and sterile environment and they usually clone plants that are used in industrial farms. These farms produce cloned seedlings so that the plants would be pest or disease resistant, and will ensure that the crop will produce according to standards. It is a type of food manufacturing. The farm is the food factory and the seedlings are the raw materials that will produce the right product.
It is understandable if the owners of industrial farms want their produce to have the same quality. Since products of these farms are often exported or are delivered to a very particular market, they need the produce to be acceptable. As it happens, not only do plants get to be reproduced this way but animals can be too. Pigs, poultry and cattle are reportedly already being cloned and sold as regular meat products without consumers noting any difference.
Why do people clone livestock? The animals that are produced at industrial farms are selected according to the breed that suits the market demand. The market has a high requirement for meat, milk and eggs. To keep up with the demand, industrial farms need to produce enough and in good quality to satisfy their contracts with the merchants that they supply. Sometimes there is not enough time to cultivate a good breed. Cloning is part of their solution.
In a way, you can understand the need to clone plants or animals for food production or to meet market and world pressures. Flower farms clone certain flower varieties because they have a market for them. Pet owners sometimes wish that their precious feline or canine companion could be exactly duplicated to ease their sadness when the pet dies. The most famous cloned animal is Dolly the sheep. She was cloned by taking a tissue from the mammary gland of the donor. Although cloning does not have a very high success rate, scientists hope that in the future, scientific research and advancements in technology will be able to improve the odds for cloning. They believe that cloning can be very helpful, not only in farming but also in medication. While they pursue this, the ethical argument for cloning continues as they ask “why do people clone?”