Personally, I feel this is simply a way to justify and continue animal abuse, neglect, and torture. It creeps me out, feels eerie, and feels viscerally immoral and ethically wrong. It may *seem* well-intentioned, but I think it’s a guise to continue using animals to meet human needs in whatever way suits them, no matter the consequences to the being, and to keep money flowing!!! Animal rights awareness is the factory farmer’s worst nightmare- this is such a crock of sh**! What do you want to make a bet that the meat and dairy industries are backing this research? I imagine altering perception and experience of pain and suffering in human slaves just so heinous practices and inhumane treatment could be continued. Why would anyone think this is okay to do to animals?
An editorial about this in this same magazine issue sums up my view pretty perfectly:
Yes, logically speaking, pain-free animals make sense. But only in a world that has already devalued animal lives to the point where factory farming is acceptable. Our visceral reaction to pain-free animals is actually a displaced reaction against the system that makes them necessary.
Too many of us are too attached to the pleasures of affordable meat to consider the plight of factory-farmed animals. If the proposal to create pain-free animals achieves anything, it is to force us to confront the pain and suffering that our diets inflict. End factory farming, and the "problem" of pain-free animals goes away, too.
And more fodder for discussion: Cloning Animals for Meat & Milk