Monday, May 9, 2011

Blast from the Past - The Other Organ Donor

Times continue to be busy around here at CDS Enterprises (A wholly-owned division of NFG Worldwide, Ltd.) and despite recent posts, I still feel compelled to share past musings and crotchety posts from the ether.

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 below HERE and HERE and the possible implications for the last few weeks, since it ran on our local news (actually, we just looked it up on the station's website, since I can't sit through 58 minutes of human interest drivel just to get to the one potentially significant news story of the evening…). I've had diabetic family members, as has Lori. Our friend was just diagnosed at age 35. One of my clients is active in the state's chapter of the ADA, and we've ridden in the 'Ride for the Cure' pledge drive. However, it doesn't mean I knew anything about the disease, and especially that 20 million people in the US alone are afflicted with it. I can't even imagine 20 Milwaukee-sized cities full of people (or, as it turns out, 20 Cleveland-sized cities). In a world of 6.7 billion people, and even in a nation of over 300 million, the number suddenly seems insignificant. (Actually, the US Census Bureau projects that the US gains one person every 11 seconds, between births, deaths, and immigration, and our planet gains approximately 60 million people each year.)


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.

1 comment:

Daisy said...

Well, now I'm hungry too. We just happen to have some ham left over in the refrigerator, so, lucky me! ha!

I never thought about the religious implications for Muslim and Semitic people if they were to be given porcine donor cells. Interesting twist. I'd think if they think it is an unclean animal to eat, that they wouldn't want or allow their cells to be transplanted in them either, but who knows? It's something to think about. :-)

Be nice and share!

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