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Ethics behind selective breeding of animals

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Introduction

Ethics behind selective breeding of animals Selective breeding, also known as artificial selection involves identifying individuals with the desired characteristics and using them to parent the next generation. Ethical concerns and benefits of selective breeding Alongside the potential benefits, selective breeding of animals raises a variety of ethical concerns. There are two main concerns. These are: Fundamental moral objections against doing something "unnatural" or, specifically to their artificial selection, for example concerns about the consequences of reduced genetic diversity. As stated above some believe that selective breeding interferes with nature. Selective breeding has produced livestock that gives greater yields. This has given rise to a reliable cheap food source throughout the year. ...read more.

Middle

Many people however would take the attitude that human wellbeing is more important than an animal's welfare and selective breeding should be allowed in all circumstances as long as it can be proved that it may be beneficial to humans. Selective breeding in pets is not as justified as selecting high yielding food animals. Most people would argue it is not acceptable to select pets for certain features that may be desirable or fashionable. Animal rights groups will point out that while trying to improve the standard of living for humans, animal welfare is often forgotten or cast aside. For example when carrying out artificial insemination on cows and selectively breeding them to give a high supply of milk there are many cases of mastitis. ...read more.

Conclusion

However this solution is hardly practical in today's economic climate and would not at all be fair to poorer countries whose people are the ones who would mostly benefit from selective breeding in the first instance. Another issue is deciding who should choose whether selective breeding should be permissible and if so to what extent. Scientists are the people who carry out the research and explain the process to the public so perhaps they should be given the responsibility. They will after all be more informed on the whole process than anyone else. Politicians will argue they should be given the power to decide and although scientists can tell us how it is done they cannot tell us what ought to be done. Others believe the power should lie with the general public, and with society as a whole. ...read more.

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Response to the question

Overall the candidate has explored the various arguments for and against selective breeding well, although some points could be developed further and cohesion could be improved by organising these arguments more logically. They have given examples for some points and ...

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Response to the question

Overall the candidate has explored the various arguments for and against selective breeding well, although some points could be developed further and cohesion could be improved by organising these arguments more logically. They have given examples for some points and it would be beneficial to replicate this throughout the essay. In addition, the conclusion could be made clearer by reiterating and supporting a previously mentioned point rather than introducing new questions.

Level of analysis

The writer has analysed certain points well, giving examples and writing to argue both sides of the argument throughout the essay, for example by giving the specific evidence of ‘mastitis’ when mentioning the possible arguments animal rights campaigners may use to shun selective breeding in cattle. However a few points could do with further explanation, or not being mentioned at all, particularly the newly introduced ideas in the final paragraph relating to who should decide whether artificial selection should take place. Little is offered by the writer to explain why people may believe that politicians should make the decisions and it may have been more judicious to include these points earlier on in the essay.

Quality of writing

The essay contains a high quality of written communication with correct spelling and grammar and many subject-specific terms which show a good level of understanding. The essay could flow better if certain points were grouped together and an appropriate concluding paragraph was included, recapitulating the argument which the writer feels more strongly about.


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Reviewed by tomcat1993 01/03/2012

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