The Featherless Chicken
Altered animals can be seen with the human eyes.
“And surely, I will lead them astray, and surely, I will arouse desires in them, and surely, I will command them and they will cut the cattle’s ears, and surely, I will command them and they will change Allah’s creation”. (4:119 The Holy Qur’an).
For the skeptics, cynics, disbelievers, and the doubters, the changes of animals are promised by the scientists at the genetic level and are not perceptible to the human eye. However, recent research has dispelled this fact. Altered animals can be seen with the human eyes.
This was made possible by scientists working at the genetics faculty at the Rehovot agronomy institute near Tel Aviv, Israel. They have created a featherless chicken by cross breeding a broiler with a species that has a featherless neck. The idea behind developing it was to create a more ‘convenient’ and energy efficient chicken, which can live in warm countries where feathered chickens do not do well and cooling systems are too expensive to be commonly affordable by the poultry farmers.
The Israeli Professor Avigdor Cahaner defended his project saying that it was not a genetically altered chicken. It was a cross-breed, where the traits of the chickens with the featherless neck have been transferred into the fast growing broiler chickens. It was a normal chicken except for the fact it has no feathers. He believes the new breed will grow faster because it will not need to use energy to grow feathers and that will cause the chicken itself to grow larger. Other ‘benefits,” which inspired the breeding of the chicken is energy conservation. Without feathers to pluck, energy would be saved on the processing plants and there would be no feathers to dispose of.
Opponents of the chicken say that the changes do not benefit the animals, and are in fact likely to make their lives worse. Males have been unable to mate because they cannot flap their wings for balance and this affects the females. Since, they are featherless; chickens of both sexes are more susceptible to parasites, skin diseases, mosquito attacks, temperature variations, and sunburn. Those against this tinkering say that scientists should not decide by human ‘logic’ what a chicken needs and does not need; they are born with their bodies, feathers and all, for reasons.
Others say that the chicken looks disgusting. Joyce D’Silva from the “Compassion in World Farming” says, “It’s a prime example of sick science. To create an animal solely for the convenience of an industry is sick. Chickens would never have ‘evolved’ to be like this without human interference, nor would one survive if it had been born like the featherless chicken in the natural way. So, how is this not “engineering?”
(The writer can be reached at [email protected])