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Revenge of the Clones

1/21/2008

I don't want to eat cloned food. I don't give a damn that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it's safe to eat food derived from cloned animals earlier this week.

My gut tells me not to do it. It ain't right. It ain't natural.

My biological training tells me any time you make something a monoculture — eliminate diversity — you're asking for big trouble. That trouble may not come for a while but when it does, it's a disaster.

Just what is the benefit of food produced from cloned animals? A great flavored and tender steak every time?

Compared to what?

To have "great," you have to have "bad" or "really sucks" to compare it to. Something that is the same all of the time, like say, professional tennis, eventually turns into boring. Then what?

My Econ 51 class taught me the more I consume something I really like, the less joy I'll get out of it as time goes on. Kind of like the feeling I have after eating a whole box of Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls while watching "Legends of the Fall" for the fiftieth time.

"It was a good death."

No, I don't think so.

So if the FDA doesn't mind setting loose unmarked cloned food products on me, I guess it's time to go wild-only. I've always wanted to do it.

When I was a columnist for Sports Afield my editor told me my fellow columnist, the gifted nature essayist Ted Kerasote, had eaten only wild game for more than 20 years.

"Wow," I thought. "That's really cool. I'm going to do that, too."

Unfortunately, it quickly became impractical.

For every elk or moose Kerasote killed, I'd have to break the law by killing 10 scrawny whitetails or 1,000 fox squirrels to get the same amount of meat. Either that, or cut way back on my meat consumption.

Now, I'm older, and that's probably not a bad idea. A little less meat, a little more fiber.

But I'm still pissed that the FDA waited until this week — three weeks after the last day of modern gun deer season — to announce its "blessing" of consuming food products from cloned animals.

I only have two deer in the freezer. Guess I'll have to supplement my diminishing hunter skills by increasing my gatherer skills — more beans, nuts and berries.

My greatest fear is I'll show up at the Safari Club convention in Reno next week or the SHOT Show in Las Vegas next month and there will be a paddock out on the strip with cloned trophy moose, elk, deer, lions or whatever walking around. A P.T. Barnum hawker will be shouting, "Kill a 190-class buck every time you hunt."

Then, my wild-only food edict will be obsolete, and I'll have to become a vegetarian — or resort to poaching songbirds.

It's a brave new world, and I don't like it.