In light of my repeated musings on the subject of pork and pork products, I thought I'd share this little gem with you from May '07.
I've been thinking about the news stories reported
The medical community has been breeding immunosuppressant swine for years now, to develop xenotransplantation-safe organs since we're wearing ours out faster than we can donate them. For my further thoughts on organ donation, click here.
I may be a selfish bastard, but if we keep curing diseases and cleaning up pollution and driving smaller cars and buying organic vegetables, how long will it be before we've outgrown the planet? Surely a topic for another blog entry would be the exponential loss of farmland in our nation to housing developments, and at the same time the fact that we produce more food on fewer acres thanks again to the scientific community. But that is, in fact, a topic for another blog so that's all I'll say here.
Yes, this is a disjointed commentary, because I have so many unanswered questions. Anyone who knows me understands that this is how my brain works. So, without further ado or segue, what do they do with the pigs once they've donated their bodies to science? If the islet cells are taken from the pigs, do the pigs become diabetic, or can their bodies manufacture more? If the pigs give their lives for this process, does the research lab at least have a nice pig roast the following weekend? I can't imagine such a waste of resources if the resultant meat (as long as it remains immunosuppressantly delicious) were just thrown away, instead of being consumed. Unless, of course, once you've received porcine cells, that eating a pork chop would be tantamount to cannibalism. And what about the Muslim and Semitic populations of the world? Religious dogma for these groups dictates the consumption of pork is taboo, what does it say about having the swine's cellular makeup inserted into the very makeup of our genetic profile?
Like I said, I have so many unanswered questions. And now I'm hungry, too.