Playing God—Stem Cell Research vs. English Bulldog Breeding

Whenever I hear people react with outrage at the concept of stem cell research, I have to shake my head. “How dare we mistreat human embryos in such an outrageous fashion?” Never mind that it could result in cures for Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, heart disease and diabetes. “We have no right to play God!”

Sigh. Before you get all bioethical, behold the English Bulldog.


And here’s what the breed looked like 90 years ago.

historic bulldog

And here’s how their skulls have changed over time.

bulldog skull

What possible benefit could there be for a dental formation like that? And what do you think this does to their ability to breathe?

Through selective breeding, we have turned this once healthy creature into an abomination that can’t even breed naturally. No, English Bulldogs have to be artificially inseminated, because slot A no longer fits into fold B.

They also now have health issues that were not known a century ago. Over time, we have caused their shoulders and hips to spread, and their legs are now at odd angles. This causes elbow and hip dysplasia. The increased wrinkling of their skin which makes them look so cute has resulted in fold dermatitis. I have seen bulldogs with puss in their wrinkles. They’re also very sensitive to heat, and their nasal passages have been so deformed that they have trouble breathing. Due to their outrageous proportions, they are also completely unable to swim. They sink like a stone.

To what purpose have we warped and twisted the bodies of these poor creatures? We did it because we could. We did it because we wanted to. It’s sick.

In contrast, stem cell research has a very important purpose. It could save lives. It causes no one any pain, and would benefit the human race.

So before you start taking the moral high ground about playing God, before you decide to relegate generations of humans to the agony of preventable disease, kindly stop selectively breeding animals, and speak out when others do so. Maybe then I might take you seriously.

9 thoughts on “Playing God—Stem Cell Research vs. English Bulldog Breeding

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