New Fable: The ? and the Hare

It's sad to say, but it looks like tortoises and turtles are getting the cut from the race all over the world. Why? To feed the hungry in southeast Asia (such as the Chinese). At the same time, the hare is getting a leg up as the Chinese clone the first rabbit from fibroblast cells (the French cloned their rabbits from adult cells in 2002).

Here are the articles I'm talking about in this post in case you want to be informed (and to spare me the efforts of explaining them fully):

Basically, the first article is about trappers in Texas overharvesting the local turtle varieties. The big main points are that turtles are disappearing from former habitats, they're ending up on a plane to Asia, and the justification is that people think they are a nuisance.

The second article is about two Indian men trying to smuggle 870 endangered star tortoises onto a plane also headed for southeast Asia.

The third article is about the Chinese finally trying something of their own in a lab instead of just reproducing results from other laboratories. Randomly, they chose a rabbit for this.

So here's my thoughts on this. Turtles, while they may occasionally be grumpy, smelly, and slow crossing the road, deserve a better fate than extinction in a soup bowl. Why Americans in Texas are contributing to this (besides the obvious $) is beyond me. Do not assist the Chinese by making the same mistakes they have. If they had worried more about preserving their resources in the past, they would have their own turtles and would not need to import them. Why were the two Indian men shipping tortoises to Malayasia? Because of the profits they can bring the in black market in China. For years, China has been a hot bed of illegal trading of body parts from endangered species. While they joined CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) in 1980, they just passed their own endangered species laws last September. That's right! It took them 26 YEARS to get with the program. Don't get me wrong, China just saved 270 crocodiles, which deserves recognition and commendation, but personally it feels like they're really late getting on the boat here.

[Appologies, for this is a tangent rant] For the first time ever, a country (China) is admitting that they are struggling to come up with their own scientific discoveries. As I have always surmised, they primarily sit back and watch other countries labor through the discovery process and then reap the benefits by skipping the mistakes along the way which allows them (along with low-wage labor) to undercut the original developers of the product or technology. Japan did this until they became so efficient (and of course they have a work ethic like no other) that they are now years ahead in the technology industry. Their close neighbors (like China) having been reaping the benfits of that for quite some time. [end tangent]

Anyway, today China's cloning rabbits. Hey China, here's a thought: why not clone some damn turtles for your precious soups?


“If you don’t turn your life into a story, you just become a part of someone else’s story.” – The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents


Anonymous said...

Hey! That picture is in Boston! Go Boston!!!!