August 5, 2015

100 Words -- Necessary Evils?

Warning: Graphic Content

Back in the day, I visited a slaughterhouse in Des Moines. The most disturbing thing I witnessed was a calf fetus -- taken from a slaughtered cow -- suspended in mid-air, being violently shaken. I asked what was happening and was told they were draining the calf’s blood through a large needle inserted into its heart. They explained that fetal calf serum is worth big bucks as a growth medium for tissue and cell cultures and some vaccines. Unpleasant and repulsive? Extremely.  A necessary evil? Apparently. Medical research often requires moral trade-offs we rarely hear about. Something to think about.

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