January 18, 2014

"You can't forget that pigs are smart, social animals that experience a wide range of emotions."

"In such austere isolated conditions, they'll be suffering for much of their lives. For sure, it would get a lot of attention from animal rights groups."

Yes, but do you want your inside-a-pig-grown organs-for-humans or not?

This post needs a final line based on the old Groucho Marx joke: "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."

Outside of a pig, medical technology is man's best friend. Inside of a pig it's too dark to read about ethics.

33 comments:

Rusty said...

It's a fucking pig! Who gives a rats ass what your bacon thinks.

Edmund said...

My daughter works at a large animal lab doing medical research. They are well aware of the companionship needs of pigs and (especially) sheep and experimental animals are given companions to keep them sane.

Ann Althouse said...

"Who gives a rats ass what your bacon thinks…"

Killing an animal for meat isn't the same as making a living animal suffer.

(This is similar to the discussion of the death penalty and cruel methods of execution. The fact that we accept killing the person doesn't mean we accept torture.)

SGT Ted said...

Pigs are tasty too. Especially slow smoked.

SGT Ted said...

@ Edmund,

Quit confusing the issue with facts; that derails the emotionalist appeal that relies on ignoring such facts in favor of a greater "truth" of bullshit Disney depictions of animals and nature.

Squeamish city people and mindless, over-emotional animal huggers are not very qualified to judge what is cruelty to research animals or farm animals in my experience anyway.

The Godfather said...

It doesn't sound like torture. It sounds as though it would be unpleasant for the pigs, and yet could save (according to the article) 18 human lives a day. That sounds like a good trade-off to me.

Humperdink said...

After to reading the article, my first thought was the old saw: "Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig."

Humor aside, this is not for me. If no human pancreas (or whatever) is available for me, it time for me to go home.

Cloning animals or people? IMHO, we are messing with God's handiwork.

gadfly said...

Animal rights groups don't like it when we send the great majority of pigs alive today to the slaughter house where an employee with a snub-nosed pistol and a job title of "killer," sends them to the land of bacon and sausage.

While alive, however, these little piggies live in the lap of luxury - with special diets and temperature-controlled environment and veterinary care to assure good health. As for social interactions, they get none, because of the danger of nasty disease transmissions such as swine flu and hog cholera.

rhhardin said...

First pig: Alphonse, don't go in there. It's a poke

Second pig: But Maurice, there's garbage in there.

Punch cartoon in book titled something like Laughter in a Damp Climate.

rhhardin said...

Vicki Hearne's observation is that a dog left alone tied in the backyard is in fact less of a dog, stupider, than the companion animal.

The dog gets an idea of himself which varies with environment.

I'd be bored to tears out back but probably not if I were always tied out there and knew nothing else.

rhhardin said...

A pig is born only with the intellectual capacity of a leftist.

Companionship makes him smarter and he becomes a conservative.

rhhardin said...

Imus reports that Jack the buffalo was much happier when they added a horse to his space.

A llama on the other hand is happy with a hill to stand on.

rhhardin said...

lllama is the dual of llama.

Michael K said...

"They might undergo constant pumping of immune suppression drugs to prevent, for "instance, a kidney from being rejected and be forced to live in confined spaces to minimize the risk of injury."

I don't understand this part. This method has the potential to be a major advance in medicine. I see no reason why immune suppression would be necessary since the stem cells would be there from the beginning and the fetus is tolerant of foreign cells it is exposed to before birth. You can do skin transplants between newborns, mice for example can have a black fur transplant on a white mouse. That works until a few days after birth. It's been know since the 1920s.

I think the "ethicist" is deficient in understanding what is going on. Not all of these "medical ethicists" know much biology.

Of course we could use lawyers instead of pigs except you can't predict which fetuses will be so damaged as to go to law school later.

Howard said...

Every experienced hunter knows that pigs are very intelligent animals. I shot a feral pig in the head and he took about 10-seconds to die. In that time, he screamed like a human being. Absolutely haunting. Sgt Ted is right. Best effing ham ever.

tim maguire said...

I can't make my peace with organ selling because I can't accept that the poor should be organ farms for the rich, which is the practical result of the libertarian idea that you own your kidneys and should be able to make money off them if you want.

Pigs we can make comfortable. And if they have a bit of ennui along the way, well, that's a shame.

William said...

I don't see where feral or sty raised pigs have such a fabulous life that it's cruel to deprive them of it. If the pig involved is a chimera, ie part human, aren't we flirting with cannibalism by eating the bacon. I would not eat bacon with chimerical additives.

Chef Mojo said...

I have no problem at all with this. Better to custom grow organs inside pigs than "harvest" them from condemned Chinese prisoners to sell to the highest bidder.

Face it. People want to live, and desperately so. Ethical squeamishness takes a far back seat to the reality of death staring you in the eyes. "Ethicists" can sit there and circle jerk this till they're blue in the face, but the comfort of an animal does not trump my struggle to live.

n.n said...

Can they be used as incubators for human life? That would resolve the defining human rights issue of our age: elective abortion.

The problem with most animal right's groups is that their advocacy is dependent on a strategy which establishes a human-animal equivalence. Some (e.g. PETA) will even go so far as to degrade women's dignity for their cause. Not surprisingly, there is no response from the so-called civil and human right's groups which have the same underlying motives.

Original Mike said...

"Yes, but do you want your inside-a-pig-grown organs-for-humans or not?"

Faster please.

Tom Gallagher said...

Compared to what? When unborn children are killed routinely for sex selection or simply their inconvenience, how can you defend the sanctity of life for pigs (or other PETA protected creatures) and at the same time insist that abortion is a moral right?

John Lynch said...

No reason to make animals suffer simply because it is convenient.

If we are going to eat animals, we should do it with the least possible suffering.

I've hunted and raised animals (cows). It's convinced me that they aren't that much different than we are. I'm fine with eating them, but I'm not fine with putting them in a box for their whole lives.

iowan2 said...

keeping a pig alive and comfortable while it grows an organ, is a long way from animal mistreatment.
The alternative is a human in a lot of discomfort, pain, mental anguish, while their organs shut down, with no medical remedy in site. That sounds like mistreatment...of humans.

My values?

God gave man dominion over animals.

Under what concept is it wrong to gave pigs grow human organs?

Saint Croix said...

Inside of a pig it's too dark to read about ethics.

Speaking of inside animals (and ethics!) here are 12 amazing photographs of unborn animals.

Life is amazing.

Curious George said...

"Ann Althouse said...

Killing an animal for meat isn't the same as making a living animal suffer."

It is if the person doing it thinks it is. Right? RIGHT?

Bruce Hayden said...

lllama is the dual of llama.

Thanks. I would have expected llamae.

Alex said...

The first time a doctor perform surgery he was messing with God's handiwork. The barn door as already closed, the horse is halfway to China. No point in stopping now. Full speed ahead Althousians!

Alex said...

All life is sacred. We have no right to judge the validity of any life but our own. To me a bacteria is no better or worse than a human baby.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

I love pigs. They have a lot of personality and pretty high intelligence. Still, I eat them regularly. I wouldn't buy meat from a producer who was intentionally cruel to his pigs, but I doubt there is much of that in the pig-raising industry-- unhappy animals don't thrive.

I am type 1 diabetic and I have end-stage renal disease. Would I accept a kidney and islet cells raised in a pig? In a heartbeat. Hell, I eat them. It sure seems like organ donation is an altogether higher purpose.

What it boils down to is that the little pigs are presumably not aware of their impending demise. Death happens to us all eventually but the greater part of suffering is the awareness that it is coming.

Gary Rosen said...

"Pigs are smart, social animals that experience a wide range of emotions"

OK, I take it back. Cedarford is not a pig.

n.n said...

The human-animal equivalence is an article of faith. It's a doctrine that forms the foundation of evolutionary philosophy, which is justified by emergent patterns. It's ironic that people who claim a standing by protesting "faith" are more likely to succumb to this philosophical ambiguity.

I would imagine there is a good correlation between animal rights activists and abortion/choice advocates. The first step is to anthropomorphize animals. The second step is to devalue human life by degrading men and women's dignity a la PETA and similar. I suppose that moral treatment was not conducive to their other agendas, including normalizing dysfunctional behaviors such as abortion.

Rusty said...

"Pigs are smart, social animals that experience a wide range of emotions"

Get back me when one writes a book.

EDH said...

Didn't Obama vote for essentially the same actual practice, except for the swallowing?