The only reason why scientists at the Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species (ACRES) are engaged in failed attempts at cloning small wild cat species (at the expense of the cats who are kept in cages etc.), is because people in general are basically killing off the wild cat species in the wild in one way or another and neither can they reproduce in zoos. It is simply about an unstoppable expansion of human activity that destroys everything else. Cloning isn’t the answer. Stopping the abuse and use of natural resources in an unsustainable way is. But we just can’t stop it. No one is even trying to stop it.
The specific reason why it is immoral to try and clone wild cat species is because even if this unnatural process is successful in years to come, where will the scientists put all the identical cats they have proudly created in the laboratory test tube? Back into the wild? There will be none left. Even if there were some habitat left, what would be the point? They’ll only be shot for their fur or trapped and killed for their body parts or they’ll starve to death because their prey has been shot or something like that.
The way humankind is headed at present, the only place to put cloned wild cats would be in zoo cages and what is the point of that? It is an admission of failure.
The scientists who are messing around with cloning, a process that is still very unrefined, are doing it for themselves. It is a job. There is obviously lots of money out there for it. Scientists cannot work in isolation like this. To make the research meaningful there has to be a coordinated program of research and effective conservation. That essentially means conservation of wild cat habitat. Loss of habitat is the single biggest killer of wild cats and it normally relates to trees. The forests are disappearing to make that nice furniture in the shops or even the bloody photocopying paper. To convert virgin forest to photocopying paper is sheer madness.
There is another reason why cloning wild cats or any animal is immoral. It is this. It is against the laws of common sense and nature to replicate an individual animal any number of times. It is ungodly and it won’t work. It is indecent. It is a last desperate act to try and preserve that which we are destroying. Cloning is another admission of failure. Former president Clinton dislikes it too, for what it is worth. He’s smart. The Vatican think cloning is a mortal sin by the way.
There is also a faint recognition by the scientists that with our current knowledge we will be unable to successfully clone animals for many years because they proudly state that they have created a frozen zoo. This is the deep frozen DNA of many animals stored in liquid nitrogen. It can remain stored for hundreds of years and brought out when every wild cat in the wild has perished. Then they can successfully clone the cats and stick them in glass cages for people to gawp at. At that time in the future, the wild cats would be freaks because they would have been extinct for donkey’s years.
And then they’ll have to top up the cages with freshly cloned cats because they are too stressed to mate and reproduce in cages. It is not a particularly edifying future for the wild cats is it?
Picture of Rusty-spotted cat by Joachim S. Müller