Friday, June 8, 2007

PETA and Leather (but not really)

I've never quite understood what good it does for their cause when PETA folks throw red paint on people wearing fur and leather. First off, the animal is already dead: in the case of leather, probably long ago served at some Outback. You aren't getting it back. Secondly, now this person is just going to have to go out and replace the coat. Even if you think the use of animals for such thing is repugnant, isn't it better to wear the leather after you someone has eaten the steak? Seems wasteful otherwise.

AAAAAND, that's sort of how I feel about embryonic stem cell research. Yesterday the House passed a bill easing restrictions on federally funded stem cell research. The bill eagerly awaits swift veto. Now I don't much like abortion. Hate it actually. Nonetheless, once the human being (or blob of protoplasm if you prefer) is sucked out of the mother's womb, are we just going to throw it in the garbage disposal? So long as we've got the material, why not try to cure Parkinson's? Since abortion is here to stay, it seems like we ought to bring some hope out of a terrible situation. Sort of like using executed criminals for medical research.

Of course, meanwhile, there have some other promising developments. Seems several scientists have been able to "re-program' mouse cells to act like embryonic stem cells. Now isn't that clever?

THAT SAID, I'm not a huge fan of federally-funded anything ('cept national defense). If stem cell research is so promising, why hasn't the private sector stepped in? Seems like a good idea to approach some research lab and say "here's $500,000 for stem cell research, in exchange for the money I get an exclusive license to any and all finding for 7 years" or something. Now, if there are legal barriers to private funding of such research, they must go; I hate legal barriers to private investment even more than I hate federally funded crap art. Anyway, President Pink Elephant would probably veto the bill too, but from a fiscal standpoint rather than a moral one.

And this is why there will never be a President Pink Elephant.

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