Should Baxter Live Forever?

[ By on April 27, 2016 ]

Recently I had the pleasure and immense responsibility of getting my first puppy, Baxter. Like most dog owners, I selfishly think that he is the cutest thing and better that other dogs, but I really mean it, he is adorable. Regardless, I haven’t been able to stop myself from thinking about what will happen when he dies. I am so happy by his presence in our family and I already see myself being devastated when he is gone. This year in Bioethics, we watched a quick clip about a couple that had their dog genetically cloned and given birth to by a surrogate mother, a dog of course. Genetically the dog looks the exact same as the one that died, but does it have the same personality and act the same way? I find it fascinating how this is such an interesting question that reveals to some extent how much is actually gene related and how much is conditioned and affected by our environment. If I were to clone Baxter, would he be the exact same in every way? Probably not, but for the couple in the video we watched, it didn’t seem like it mattered that much, they just missed the presence of their friend. Although emotionally I completely understand and agree with the couple, but part of me thinks that it is a very selfish act. Essentially we would be cheating death and losing and understanding of how death should be final. This kind of event is meant to signal the end of one period of life and the start of another, it should lead to personal and emotional growth as we struggle to find new life without a loved one. Although this doesn’t sound so pleasant, I believe that it is most ethical to let nature takes its course and not interfere or try to reverse it. Although this is my opinion, I think that the science used is very cool and could have some very cool applications even if it doesn’t include a real life Jurassic Park. I selfishly hope that the idea of having a second pet that is the same doesn’t catch on because although cloning can be instrumental in scientific research and discovery, I don’t want it to interfere with things like death that shouldn’t be gamed, its there for a reason, we can’t all live forever.

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5 Comments on “Should Baxter Live Forever?”

  1. eingersoll

    Makes you think about nature vs nurture, right? Recently my dog Izzy passed away. She was a rescue mutt from the shelter and had some issues due to a lack of socialization as a puppy. As difficult as those issues could be (she hated skateboards, policemen, firemen, old ladies in hats, etc.) they also contributed to her personality. How much of her time living alone on the street contributed to her stubborn but very loyal nature. Would she have developed into such a curious and smart dog if she’d been babied by me from the get-go? Cloning Izzy would bring back her shell, but not her spirit. I think I would put my research time and money towards time travel so I could go back and hang out with the real Izzy some more!

  2. eingersoll

    Kelley Nicholson-Flynn

    [ May 03, 2016 at 9:15 pm ]

    Ethan, you have so many rich ideas in this post. Scientifically, the question of whether a given trait is more influenced by genes or the environment is quite ripe for investigation. I’m also interested in your point about understanding that death is final. It does seem important to learn that…but why? Finally, does money factor in here? Or the number of animals that we put to sleep each year?

  3. eingersoll

    I strongly agree with your viewpoint on trying to cheat death for personal desire in this situation because people need to understand that it is a natural part to life. Especially since the cloned animals may be genetically the same, but mentally and emotionally different due to the difference in each cloned animals environment and experiences. Which connects in on Laura’s point on nature verses nurture in a living creature and its affects. I recently read an article on cloning by The University of Utah ( and in one of their sub-sections of the article, the writers wrote about using cloning to revive endangered species. It would be interesting to get your opinion on cloning in this aspect since there are many reasons why people are pro or con on this kind of cloning. Especially since you had a clear and thoughtful opinion on cloning for a persons personal desire.

  4. eingersoll

    I agree with your point here. Cloning a pet would not bring back the same exact pet that you knew and loved before. Another point to bring up here is the casual use of this scientific method. I believe that this tool could be used for helping the animal populations of the world and helping to liven up the earth once again. This is something that should not be available to every-day citizens for useless means. This is an important technology that should be preserved for things such as reviving extinct species and for furthering scientific research, not for bringing back a pet that the owner knew from the beginning had a certain life span. Death comes whether we like it or not and I believe that by using this to defy that is a reckless way to use the technology.

  5. eingersoll

    Vitalii Tikhonov

    [ May 06, 2016 at 2:11 pm ]

    Thats a very interesting topic in genetics. This way of reviving the your beloved puppy is a very expensive and hard process. Sometimes a lot of people don’t like what they get in the end because it’s not gonna be their same puppy. Scientists can make the puppy look absolutely the same but they can’t put the memory back in them. A lot of people gets really upset because of that. Also there is a lot of social and ethical problems about that because it’s alsmost reviving from the dead which is not really socially accepted. This article could be helpful to you.

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