Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine

November 2005
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From Here and There

The Featherless Chicken
By Khushthar Jamal

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])

Seek Out Greatness
By Rahul Kapur

You must make the effort to learn from the great people all around you.

Many people become great-great businessmen, great teachers, great musicians. “Great” is not a very difficult thing to achieve, but very few of us are ready to take the first step. Then there are also those who gathered courage to take the first step and progressed to a point where they have got stuck and gave up.

How often we hear people ask these questions-How can I become great? How is it possible to soar to heights of success? Who will help me become great? The answer to these questions is: you must make the effort to learn from the great people all around you.

There is a general belief that successful people are inaccessible. The truth is that they are not. In fact, it is the more successful people who are humble and ready to help. Since they are sincerely interested in their work and success, they are eager to see that their work lives on and somebody capable succeeds them. They want to pass on the baton to those who are receptive.

Take for example the story of Indian cricketer Irfan Pathan, who was a part of the team, which travelled to Australia, a couple of seasons ago. Barely in his teens, he troubled the Australian batsman time and again. His consistently brilliant performan-ces sealed his place in the team as its strike bowler. But he attributed his success to one of the greatest fast bowlers in the world-Wasim Akram.

Irfan has always considered Akram as his role model and when the occasion arrived, he approached Akram for tips on improving his performance. Wasim readily agreed to help and spent time with him at the nets. This did the trick for the youngster and his performance improved with every match that he played. Wasim gave the best he had to make Irfan an instant hero in the world of cricket.

This act of Wasim earned him a lot of criticism in Pakistan. He had people pointing fingers at him for guiding a player from India. But Wasim brushed aside all the negative feedback and gracefully responded saying that cricket does not see which country the talent is coming from. He said, “I found potential in the teenager and as a veteran I gave him what he deserved.” Champions always are willing to help others become champions as well.

I have noticed that if you are the kind who displays curiosity and exhibits a real desire to learn, then great people will be ready to guide you On the other hand, people normally do not spend time offering advice to those who are not sincere in seeking it.

Great people will share, which is what makes them great. They will teach you their secrets. Look for them, call them on phone or buy their books. Go where they are, get around them, talk to them.

Make it a rule to seek advice from people who know.

(Source: Education Times)