I've been discussing the use of curse words with a few people on some other blogs lately, and even though my "cuss-o-meter" is high, I think that my language has been pretty clean lately. With that in mind, there is no way I can write about this and not let an f-bomb or two fly. You were warned.
I just read in the paper that an American has paid a Korean company $50,000 to have her dog cloned (five times, I believe it was). To her, I have this to say: Fuck you, you fucking selfish asshole fuck. (Okay, they're all out of my system now.)
Oh, I'm sorry, am I being insensitive? I don't think so, and here's the reason why:
Just last year, my cat, Tyson, died. She was eighteen years old. When I first got her, I was in high school. She was just a little thing - not quite a kitten, but not quite full grown either. She never did get really big though. She was polydactyl, and she had two extra toes on each foot, giving her a somewhat funky appearance.
When Kirsti and I bought our first house, we took Tyson in with us. So, she was solely my cat for several years before she had to be put down. I loved this cat. She was a big part of my life for nearly half of it. She was my pal, and she was a better friend to me than most people could ever be. She also had her own distinct personality, and she was genuinely sweet. You couldn't upset her enough to get her to claw or bite at you with any sort of force. She also liked to talk - a lot.
I went through some pretty serious depression after she died. While that wasn't the only thing that was getting me down, it was the "straw that broke the camel's back" for me, and I wound up seeing a therapist to deal with all of these feelings. (I'm much better now, thank you!) In all honesty, I still miss her. Even writing about her right now is practically choking me up a little.
And with all that, even at the height of my feeling of loss, there is no way that I would have cloned her. Even for free. Even if I had a guarantee that her personality would be exactly the same and that she would live as long as the original one. No way, no chance would I do that.
Right now, I have another cat, Oliver. I've written about him before and the struggle with getting him to get along with the dog. (They actually snuggle up to one another in a blasphemous display of same-sex, interspecies, neutered affection.) He is absolutely nothing like Tyson, but I love this guy just as much. If I had cloned her, then I would have never had the opportunity to know this guy, and who knows what would have happened to him? He was listed as being five years old - how many people are looking for adult cats at the shelter? (I don't know, maybe there are a lot, but I'd imagine that the kittens get scooped up much faster.) When Oliver's time comes, I won't want to clone him either.
You know, if there was a shortage of animals out there, then I guess I could see why you'd want to clone your pets. The fact is that thousands have to be put down because the population far exceeds the demand. (And yeah, if you don't fix your pets and you let them roam the neighborhood - you're an asshole. Whoops! Let another curse slip out!)
While it may very well be true that it's your right to clone your pets, that doesn't make you not selfish for doing so. I understand how much it hurts to lose a beloved pet. Tyson wasn't the first, and she certainly won't be the last for me. They become like family. But you know what? There are a lot of other cats, dogs, rabbits, etc. who need a family too. And you'll love them just as much.