Selective breeding is a process where plants and animals are bred in order to gain certain traits or characteristics. Show and farm animals are the two things that are most commonly bred using this method. Cattle is done in order to obtain traits such as bigger size or milk production and show animals is to make unique and exotic pets. The practice of selective breeding, or artificial selection, hasn’t been around too terribly long, and it is gaining more and more heat as it is becoming more and more common. Let’s take an in depth look at all of the good and bad that comes from breeding animals and plants through selective breeding methods.
The Advantages of Selective Breeding
1. Higher Yielding Crops
Crops like corn and wheat are commonly selectively bred in order to obtain the highest yielding plants. This is beneficial because it allows the prices of these crops to be lowered due to the increase in harvest.
2. Eliminate Unwanted Traits
Selective breeding can, and has, effectively breed out undesirable traits in some animals and plants. Things like illness and disease have been greatly lowered in animals that have been bred to reduce them.
3. Improved Quality of Food Sources
By breeding animals with higher protein and lower fat percentages, as well as plants that have higher nutritional values, you are creating food sources with a higher quality of nutrition. This is good for the entire world, particularly to ensure that the quality of our food doesn’t decrease due to the ever growing population.
4. Condition For Climate Changes
Animals are designed to thrive in certain climates. It is no secret that the climate has been changing for many years, which is impacting the health and abundance of many types of animals. With selective breeding you could breed new traits into these animals to ensure their survival.
5. Higher Profit Margins
With an increase in meat, milk, eggs, and crop yield, the profits for each harvest are increased greatly. This is beneficial for the farmers, breeders, and the economy as a whole.
The Disadvantages of Selective Breeding
1. Inbreeding Concerns
Inbreeding is the act of breeding two animals that share the same genetic and DNA material. This is necessary with selective breeding because you are trying to breed specific traits carried by one animals into many others. This holds many consequences to the over all health of the animals. Inbreeding causes mental and physical health problems.
2. Altering The Natural Evolution
There are natural changes is species that happen over time, animals adapt to an every changing environment. Selective breeding interferes with this natural process and hinders things that should happen from happening.
3. New Health Problems
The effects of selective breeding, not just on the animals or plants but on humans as well, have not been sufficiently researched and tested. This is especially true when it comes to the products that humans consume from animals that have been artificially selected.
4. Limit Variation
Whether you are speaking of humans, animals, or plants, if selective breeding becomes a mainstream practice (more so than it is now), than the concept of diversity will die out. All of the animals and people will begin to look the same and have the same characteristics as one another.