With so many animals out there, cloning is cruel

Tuesday, January 4, 2005 at 1:00am

It may seem like innocuous news that a woman in Texas had her deceased cat cloned using a tissue sample from the pet.

But it's a bad idea.

The woman's original cat died at age 17, a ripe old age for any pet. She spent $50,000 with a company called Genetic Savings and Clone to create an exact duplicate of the pet.

While no one can tell another how to spend his or her money, $50,000 is a pretty steep sum.

But the bigger issue is paying for designer pets when there are so many animals that are sitting in pounds unwanted and unloved.

Too many pet owners want the "perfect" pet in their lives, and when a dog or cat doesn't exhibit the proper behavior, the pound is often the next stop.

The Humane Society of the United States estimates three to four million cats and dogs are euthanized every year because no one will adopt them.

The Humane Society came out against the cloning, pointing out that not only was it a needless expense (the organization noted that 1,428 cats could be spayed or neutered for the same cost), but that cloning is still far from a perfect science.

While we don't think that cloning pets will become widespread - the cost alone is prohibitive - we don't think the idea of pet cloning should become institutionalized in this country.

Book smarts

The Currey Ingram Academy is doing something more schools should consider: It's teaching a new ethics curriculum to help students make wise choices when posed with ethical dilemmas.

The course is based on the book How Good People Make Tough Choices: Resolving the Dilemmas of Ethical Living by Rushworth Kidder.

The school is quick to point out that it's not teaching students how to think a particular way. It's helping them develop an independent way of thinking.

In this day and time, when students are faced with so many difficult choices, learning how to exhibit ethical behavior is more important than ever.

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