[permaculture] (no subject)

neshura neshura at gmail.com
Fri Feb 2 11:00:41 EST 2007

If you don't mean "soul" in any religious sense, but instead as a
general statement about life spirit, what about cloned plants? Do they
or do they not have this amorphous quality of
something-hard-to-define? Is an asexually propagated cultivar
unnatural? Or is it just that we are used to it now?

Maybe it's just that I don't sympathize with the "meddling humans"
complaint. The altering of food and fiber plants over thousands of
years to the point that many of the original ancestors are long since
lost behind the curtain of history does not keep me up nights. Or
rather, the man-induced changes in their souls doesn't keep me up.

Cloning animals is weird and science-fictiony, and maybe will turn out
not to be worth the trouble, but if reverence-for-life and
propagation-meddling were universally exclusive, then work on
increasing the yields of perennial polycultures would certainly be
verboten too. You can be reverent and still carefully select for
certain genetic qualities in a plant. I had sunchokes, grapes, rainbow
chard, and garlic yesterday, and the things that I ate were their
souls after decades or centuries of a human relationship, not the
incalculable mystery of what they might have become if we hadn't
altered them. They were pretty good. A thousand years of "unnatural"
selection is probably at least as drastic in its cumulative effects as
a lab with a cow, a fish, three pots of Tagetes minuta, and a mad

I still haven't run across an interesting reason why cloning a given
individual in a species is wrong. It's easier to root a cutting of an
apple tree or half a flatworm than a chicken foot, but the quality of
complexity or difficulty is not sufficient for me to be convinced that
it is evil.

On 2/2/07, sanrico at highdesert.com <sanrico at highdesert.com> wrote:
> On 01 Feb 2007 16:01:07 -0600, kran0072 at umn.edu wrote:
> >
> > > Where are these animals souls? Their essence? Their...spirit?
> >
> > If they were without souls, it would be merely unattractive. But animal
> > cloning is somewhat more disturbing than that--because I imagine they do
> > have souls. And what condition is a clone's soul in?
> >
> > Or, could my reaction be a mistake? Why can't a clone, developed in a
> > living mother's womb and raised, become a healthy, "right" being? Anyone?
> I'm glad that you (seem to) understand that I don't mean 'soul' in any religious
> sense. It might be as simple as...ranking right up there with the normal fear of
> the unknown is my...fear of the unnatural.
> >
> > I am much more certain that being raised in a factory or otherwise desolate
> > environment is wrong. That, and the legalization of gene or lingeage
> > ownership.
> I couldn't agree more. Unnatural is bad enough - and then there's just plain
> Sandy
> >

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