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[YRP Students' Essays] The Result of Demanding a Better Life

It is possible to say that we can create anything, even if it has not previously existed on Earth. However, selective breeding is an unnecessary and terrifying technology. We are now able to get high quality vegetables and animals because of selective breeding. There are species that were made by human hands. In the future, we might even breed humans. Yet, is it truly a good way to get a better life by changing and breaking down the natural evolution of the species?

Did you know that most of the fruits and vegetables that you eat everyday are artificial? For example, bananas that we usually encounter are, of course, yellow and sweet. However, in the wild, bananas have completely different shapes and color, and in addition they have hard seeds in them. Strawberries and apples also have human-improved flavor and colors to make them look delicious. In Japan, rice hybridization is famous for reducing the amount of fertilizers needed and also to produce insect-resistant rice. Similarly, manmade strains of soybeans are resistant to viruses and insects, and also grain rot is discouraged by the use of food irradiation, which is the process of exposing food to radiation. People use these soybeans to produce other foods like miso, soy sauce, and alcohol. Although supermarkets sell foods with the word 'organic,' I feel there is no guarantee for the safety of these food products or their effect on our health.

Second, the species that we create are struggling with health problems. Dog breeding is a typical example. The bulldog was developed for bull-baiting, the entertainment of baiting bulls with dogs. The dachshund has a long chest and short legs. Some people say it is cute, however because of its body shape, the dachshund has a high risk of physical problems. Another dog, called a spitz, was known as a barking dog a long time ago. Again people changed its characteristics and improved it so it would not bark. Dog breeding causes the animal to suffer from skin problems, immune system problems, and sometimes can even lead to cancer. Some species of dogs were born simply for human enjoyment. I feel sorry that we ruined their happiness and changed their lives based on people's whims.

Third, in the near future it will become feasible to make humans by selective breeding. It means allowing the existence of the same type of humans at the same time. I strongly disagree with this idea because humans are the most powerful animal on the Earth. Taking such action could cause crime and war to occur more easily. If a dictator like Hitler used human breeding, the world would be ruined and nobody could stop him, ever. In addition, it would be strange if we could live our lives over again and again. The concept of human breeding frightens me because it can change the value of human life. We must not create more of the same person in order to keep various personalities in the world.

In conclusion, selective breeding is unnecessary for a healthy life, nor is it beneficial in protecting life for new species or keeping the world's peace. We are living lives of luxury because new technologies are constantly developing all around us. However, selective breeding only provides us a better life at the cost of the original ecosystem and evolution. It has the risk of changing the world in a bad way. We do not need new species anymore. The government should limit selective breeding. We must notice that we tend to continually pursue a higher quality of life, often to the detriment of the world around us and -- ironically -- the very lives we seek to improve.


Child Research Net would like to thank the Doshisha International Junior/Senior High School and Erika Ieda, student and author, for permitting reproduction of this article on the CRN web site.

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