Sunday, 20 May 2007


'It is considered sacriligeous to breed men in the way we breed cattle,' Olaf Stapledon observed in The Splendid Rose (1908). 'But why is it sacriligeous to use direct means for the improvement of human beings?'

We might add: would it be more sacriligeous to breed cattle in the way we breed men? To insist that cattle love one another and their offspring monogamously, to have calves born into cattle families, attend cattle schools, and only end up on our plate as the result of war or criminal execution? To breed cattle purposelessly, and condemn any person who suggested we breed them to some patricular end?

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