[Madrigal] - Cows Are a Man’s Best Friend (+Strange Culture)


I am apologetic to any vegetarians and vegans, but I enjoy eating meat, specifically steak. I do not get to eat steak that often, but when I do, I try and savor the experience as much as I can. In high school, I remember my English class read an excerpt from “The Jungle” by Upton Sinclair, which described the process of how meat was packaged. After reading it, I was sick to my stomach the entire day, not being able to eat a thing the entire day, let alone meat. However, the next day I was perfectly fine, back to my meat eating ways.

When it came to write this blog, it reminded me of the way carnivores such as myself view meat. Before reading the excerpt my relationship toward a cow was strictly food based. I knew it through slices of steak and ground beef cheeseburger, not a face. This is probably due to not seeing cows on an everyday bases and connecting the meat I eat to a face. After I had read the excerpt, I became disgusted, mostly of the in depth description Sinclair used to how cows were being treated and eventually packaged. My view that day changed from apathy to empathy toward the cow as if it were my own dog.

The relationship I have with a dog is completely different than my relationship with a cow. I view dogs as companions and have emotional feelings toward. With a cow however, I have little emotional connection and view as a food source. In some cultures it is acceptable to eat dogs and in others it is unacceptable to eat cows. The view we have for animals is not universal and no definitive line can be drawn on how to treat a certain species of animal. In my case, I think it is fine to prepare cows as food, but to treat dogs more sympathetically.

This translates to transgenic animals, specifically cows, where I have little/no problems with using these animals for genetic engineering. Some benefits have come from research such as transgenic cows having the ability to produce human antibodies at the expense of the cows antibodies. More recent studies have shown scientist to develop cows that have the ability to produce human milk and others show the ability to produce therapeutic proteins from cow milk. 

Scientists have created genetically modified cattle that produce human milk in a bid to make cows' milk more nutritious.

The movie Strange Culture was fascinating because what we would consider as art science was seen by the government as bioterrorism. It seemed that the people prosecuting Kurtz are unaware of the ability for an artist to express his project using biotechnology. They found it suspicious for an artist to possess such technology and the only logical reason they could come up with is for Kurtz to have ulterior motives and use it as bioterrorism. It’s remarkable how the times have changed from Da Vinci where art and science can be found in the same room and hopefully this can change back to the merging of art and science