Animal Breeding Ethics Essay

2367 words - 9 pages

Horse racing has become increasingly popular as demonstrated by the growing amount of money bet on events each year. The Kentucky Derby, horse racing’s most well known event, is an applicable example. While lasting just over two minutes, the main race generated $112.7 million in wagering, up 7.8% from the year prior. (Brisnet.com) Some critics, however, feel that the sport as a whole has become artificially supported through genetic enhancement used to achieve the high level of precision and strength necessary to excel. An anonymous opinion piece in the New York Times brings attention to the relationship between an industry that has grown exponentially in revenue and the pressure placed on those in position to capitalize on that growth. In light of this opportunity to make a substantial amount of money trends have been established that undermine the safety of both the jockey and the horse. Although through the horses inability to voice an opinion in its own partnership a unique situation is created. Unlike the horse, a jockey may refuse the trainer or mangers urging to partake in jeopardizing or otherwise illicit activities. The risk thus unwillingly imposed on the horse raises large ethical and moral concerns, especially when the motives behind the behavior are made clear. In specific circumstances the use of genetic enhancement may be extremely beneficial although within horse racing the implementation of such procedures are by and large not utilized for the benefit of the horse but for the increased profit derived through alteration. Genetic alteration of horses is ethically and morally unjust within the context of horse racing because the long term risks the horses are unwillingly exposed to garner more importance than the increase in profitability reached through genetic alteration.
Horse racing, along with all sports, is not inherently driven to endanger those participating, especially for the sake of profits. Although as the sport developed and became a medium for earning money a shift was made. By transitioning into a sport largely aimed at not just entertaining but generating profit beyond a spectator sport, pressure was felt in the industry. This pressure developed a situation where the desire to win became directly affected by the desire to profit. And as is the unique case with animal based ventures, the breeding practices are easily influenced by humans and this ease is more often than not seen to be utilized at the advantage of the humans. The mentality of utilizing horses as “vehicles” for making money and not as equal counterparts is then perpetuated and carried on to other areas; it is not just a mentality though. The ideology established determining horses to be lesser contributors and the ease in which their genetic makeups can be altered facilitates them being subjugated to processes known to be detrimental.
Genetic alteration, modification, and enhancement (to be used synonymously) have long been implemented in scenarios...

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