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Selective Breeding. Good Idea?

post #1 of 91
Thread Starter 
Meet the Super Cow I know selective breeding had been practiced in agriculture, notably with the apple, however, this is the first I've seen it practiced with livestock. There always seem to be ramifications when you intervene with nature, so it is hard to say how potentially dangerous this practice is. Thoughts?
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post #2 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by mm84321 View Post
Meet the Super Cow



I know selective breeding had been practiced in agriculture, notably with the apple, however, this is the first I've seen it practiced with livestock. There always seem to be ramifications when you intervene with nature, so it is hard to say how potentially dangerous this practice is.

Thoughts?
The original horse had a spine that would've snapped in two if someone had tried to ride it. This is just accelerating a process that has been going on for millenia. I'm not a big fan of it, but I don't like change in general.
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post #3 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by mm84321 View Post
this is the first I've seen it practiced with livestock

post #4 of 91
Intervene with nature? Seems to me that anything that evolves is doing what nature would of done eventually. I'll admit it cross breeding humans and let's say snakes might be a bit too much.
post #5 of 91
Is this thread a joke? Do you guys think the bulldog, or any species of animal we domesticated, has always been like that?
post #6 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bhowie View Post
Is this thread a joke? Do you guys think the bulldog, or any species of animal we domesticated, has always been like that?

Yeah. I can't watch the video at work so maybe I'm missing something here, but selective breeding is a pretty new process if you think of 5,000 years as "new".
post #7 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark from Plano View Post
Yeah. I can't watch the video at work so maybe I'm missing something here, but selective breeding is a pretty new process if you think of 5,000 years as "new".



Here is a pic of the animal in question.



I guess this one is cause for alarm because it doesn't have large eyes and a pug nose.
post #8 of 91
I am against having to look at that cow, but who besides Jared Diamond and the bison lady at my farmer's market is against animal husbandry?
post #9 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by mharwitt View Post
I am against having to look at that cow, but who besides Jared Diamond and the bison lady at my farmer's market is against animal husbandry?

http://www.styleforum.net/member.php?u=60037











































You saw it coming from a mile away.
post #10 of 91
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hombre Secreto View Post
Intervene with nature? Seems to me that anything that evolves is doing what nature would of done eventually.
Right. But there are consequences to expediting nature's processes. For instance, in the case of the apple, which has been selectively bred for desirable traits of size, taste, sweetness, etc., we have seen those consequences. In order to produce uniformity for the marketplace, the practice of cloning apple trees has been utilized for hundreds of years. Naturally, in the wild, a plant and its pests are continually coevolving, in a sort of dance of resistance and conquest that can have no ultimate victor. The problem is that when you start cloning apple trees, they no longer reproduce sexually, as they do when they are grown from seed, and sex is nature’s way of creating fresh genetic combinations. At the same time the viruses, bacteria, fungi, and insects keep at it, reproducing sexually and continuing to evolve until eventually they hit on the precise genetic combination that calls them to overcome whatever resistance the apples may have once possessed…so now people have to come to the apple tree’s rescue in the form of pesticides. This is just an example. I don't claim to know if this process with cows will yield similar consequences, which is why I asked.
post #11 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by mm84321 View Post
Meet the Super Cow



I know selective breeding had been practiced in agriculture, notably with the apple, however, this is the first I've seen it practiced with livestock.There always seem to be ramifications when you intervene with nature, so it is hard to say how potentially dangerous this practice is.

Thoughts?
Dood, seriously. Let's just keep this to cows to keep it simple.

Scottish highland cows, a very ancient breed:



Your typical dairy cow:



You think this happened by accident?
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post #12 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by mm84321 View Post
Right. But there are consequences to expediting nature's processes. For instance, in the case of the apple, which has been selectively bred for desirable traits of size, taste, sweetness, etc., we have seen those consequences. In order to produce uniformity for the marketplace, the practice of cloning apple trees has been utilized for hundreds of years.

Naturally, in the wild, a plant and its pests are continually coevolving, in a sort of dance of resistance and conquest that can have no ultimate victor.

The problem is that when you start cloning apple trees, they no longer reproduce sexually, as they do when they are grown from seed, and sex is nature's way of creating fresh genetic combinations. At the same time the viruses, bacteria, fungi, and insects keep at it, reproducing sexually and continuing to evolve until eventually they hit on the precise genetic combination that calls them to overcome whatever resistance the apples may have once possessed...so now people have to come to the apple tree's rescue in the form of pesticides.

This is just an example. I don't claim to know if this process with cows will yield similar consequences, which is why I asked.

post #13 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by mm84321 View Post
Right. But there are consequences to expediting nature's processes. For instance, in the case of the apple, which has been selectively bred for desirable traits of size, taste, sweetness, etc., we have seen those consequences. In order to produce uniformity for the marketplace, the practice of cloning apple trees has been utilized for hundreds of years.

Naturally, in the wild, a plant and its pests are continually coevolving, in a sort of dance of resistance and conquest that can have no ultimate victor.

The problem is that when you start cloning apple trees, they no longer reproduce sexually, as they do when they are grown from seed, and sex is nature's way of creating fresh genetic combinations. At the same time the viruses, bacteria, fungi, and insects keep at it, reproducing sexually and continuing to evolve until eventually they hit on the precise genetic combination that calls them to overcome whatever resistance the apples may have once possessed...so now people have to come to the apple tree's rescue in the form of pesticides.

This is just an example. I don't claim to know if this process with cows will yield similar consequences, which is why I asked.

This is all, like, real technical and impressive and stuff...but since cloning =! breeding...well, this is all just dicta now, isn't it?
post #14 of 91
There's always the chance that a misfolded protein created by that now-activated muscle gene can lead to mad cow disease in humans
post #15 of 91
Thread Starter 
The point I was trying to make was concerning the consequences of intervening with nature. Either in the form of selective breeding or cloning. I realize the modern day Holstein was artificially bred, which can be credited for the appearance of its signature black and white splotches, but who's to say that this didn't have potential biological and environmental ramifications? I don't know. If anyone does, I'd love to learn more.
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