Cloning Causing Body Image Issues for Young Calves
Everywhere you turn, there’s another cloned cow. With the products of cloned cows legal in the United States, the number of clones continues to increase.
Sure, there are good sides to cloning, like raising your friends and family from the dead, but one rarely-remarked down-side to cloning is one that parents of young heifers may be all-too-aware of: the difficulty of “measuring up” to the genetically-identical cows in the magazines.
You may think that it’s perfectly normal for farmers to prefer Bessy, or Bessy II, or Bessy XVIII, or Bessy CLXV, what with their prodigious udders, capable of producing large quantities of milk. Humans pick out cows for their physical attributes, you may say.
Well, you try telling that to Clover as she tries to starve herself to live up to the impossible ideal of thousands of identical cattle. Try as she might, she can never look like Bessy. Never mind that Clover is docile and kind, and far easier for a farmer to work with; no, Clover spirals into depression as she tries to attain a body standard that is simply not physically possible without the manipulation of science.
We all know that our calves are our future. Sure, human scientists may continue to work on cloning, but we all know that once global warming gets bad, those humans are going to go extinct. If we sit around chewing the cud, ignoring these wounds that strike at the hearts of young heifers — well, it turns my stomachs.
We have to tell our calves that they are perfect just the way they are. You don’t have to be an artificially cloned Holstein to be a wonderful dairy cow. Whether you’re a Ayrshire or a Brown Swiss, whether you’re a skinny Jersey girl or a beefy Milking Shorthorn, you’re beautiful just the way you are. And while there’s nothing wrong with Bossy MCMLXXIV — she’s a lovely cow — you don’t have to look like her to be worthwhile.
What’s with all the cow content? One wily Care2 member, Bessie the Holstein, decided cows were underrepresented and started a petition. She officially staged a successful takeover of our offices, and has redubbed us “CareMoo.”
Image Credit: Jeff Fecke