Scientific discovery seems to be making huge advances all over the world right now and it’s very exciting. With some of these advances, we have a responsibility to dabble with questions of human ethics, though. I remember the scene in one of the Jurassic Park movies where Jeff Goldblum’s character posed the question “Just because we can, does it mean that we should?” and anyone who has seen the movie(s) can answer that with a fair amount of certainty.
This question can also be directed at the current debates about the Monsanto corporation and their seemingly unethical business practices with their GMO products. While I don’t necessarily have a problem with testing and a possible introduction of GMO foods into the marketplace, I’m not so sure we should be doing it in such a high volume just yet. It seems to me that many items approved by the FDA are done so a bit prematurely and the general public is exposed to some of these items as a kind of large-scale product test. Even if that isn’t the true intention and everyone involved truly believes these products to be safe.
We cannot continue this cycle of allowing the FDA to approve an item for market, flooding the industry and several years later invoking a recall with a payoff to the ‘victims’ as a virtual “Oops, my bad”. That’s just socially irresponsible to not only us, but to all life on this planet. We have to stop acting as if we are the only species that these things effect.
Colony collapse is a very real thing happening in the world right now and we won’t survive as a species if we don’t figure out how this is happening. Many people believe it’s caused by the introduction of GMO agriculture. I’m not quite sure I’m thoroughly convinced that’s completely accurate, but until we know for sure, there should be a suspension of Monsanto-style business practices until a large-scale, closed-environment test can be conducted. This would be expensive, no doubt, but don’t we piss away millions of dollars on military funding every day? Let’s redirect these funds to something productive for once, shall we?
The newest in these questions is the possible introduction of Schmeat into the possibly-near-future-marketplace. Schmeat has so many different questions right now and I’m actually excited for positive and negative reasons around the idea of it. My list of thoughts on this include:
- Has this meat been genetically modified in any way or has it been simply grown from a natural style of cell-division? And if it had been genetically modified, has there been testing on how these modifications can affect human cells when consumed? I mean, I’m not really a fan of the idea of being forced to eat Soylent Green.
- I like the idea of saving animals from the abusive lifestyle of the slaughterhouse, but have to question if, in time, there would be a watering-down of the nutritional value of Schmeat through years and years of reproduction. Can it withstand the test of time from being re-grown from a certain base of cells or will it lose the natural potency of nutrition after years of not having ‘eaten’ from natural means?
- This would be a highly expensive process to implement into the marketplace anyway, so shouldn’t we continue to test the effects of this on the human body while at the same time trying to introduce practices of vertical farming in order to sustain the amount of food that we need to keep feeding the people and animals of the world? I understand that so much agricultural space is lost to growing food just for slaughterhouse animals, so why not grow vertically rather than horizontally?
- Should we even be concerned with the idea of what a meat industry corporation thinks of these practices? If it turns out to be the best option for us environmentally and ethically, should we even bother with considering their economic point of view? Yes, I do understand that this could put many slaughterhouses out of business and therefore leave many people unemployed, but that’s a problem of capitalism and we really need to consider what is right before what is determined by is in our wallets.
Little green pieces of paper determine the end result of too many questions of ethics in our global society and we really need to stop looking at decisions through the eyes of economics and start looking at them through the eyes of ethics. This is the change that will determine whether we have done the proper amount of research on a particular subject before introducing it to the general public and to our ecosystem.