Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Crayfish Girl Power

"This Mutant Crayfish Clones Itself, and It's Taking Over Europe" reads the New York Times headline about a rapidly evolving arthropod.

Talk about burying the lede. It's not until several paragraphs later that we learn that the prolific marbled crayfish - also known as the Texas Crayfish - are all females whose enormous batches of eggs contain only immaculately conceived females, or replicas of both Mom and each other. Take that, everybody who is so worried about the alleged #Backlash against the #MeToo movement. I am woman, hear me roar. Or more accurately, I am woman cloned crayfish, so hear me emit a high-pitched chirp out of my scaphognathite.

Not only is it high time we rid the lexicon of the sexist term "crawdaddy," it also might be a good idea to ban men from all future crayfish mating call competitions, especially since the new variety no longer has any need for a mating call.

From the Times article:
For nearly two decades, marbled crayfish have been multiplying like Tribbles on the legendary “Star Trek” episode. “People would start out with a single animal, and a year later they would have a couple hundred,” said Dr. Lyko.
Many owners apparently drove to nearby lakes and dumped their marmorkrebs. And it turned out that the marbled crayfish didn’t need to be pampered to thrive. Marmorkrebs established growing populations in the wild, sometimes walking hundreds of yards to reach new lakes and streams. Feral populations started turning up in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Croatia and Ukraine in Europe, and later in Japan and Madagascar.
It could always be worse. At least it's not the invasive pet pythons dumped in the Everglades which have developed the ability to clone themselves. Yet. 

Plus, crayfish are both edible and easy to catch with one's bare hands. Go to a pond and they will literally swarm around your feet just waiting to be picked up. True, they might pinch your fingers. But what's a little pain compared to the torture of having to constantly pinch pennies at the overpriced supermarket?

Food snobbery may well become a thing of the past once everybody, men and women alike, no matter their income level, can prepare and consume Crayfish Thermidor or Crayfish Newburg.

Still, gather your crayfish while ye may. It's inevitable that, smelling one more good thing to exploit, venture capitalists and private equity vultures will quickly swoop in to create factory farms out of all the ponds where the crayfish clones have gone forth and multiplied. The thought of an unlimited and free source of self-serve food for the world's hungry people is probably too much for finance capitalists to bear. And since the unlimited future of Marmorkrebs seems pretty much guaranteed, betting on crayfish futures the way a certain former first lady bet and won on cattle futures is already dead in the water.

Capitalism itself never dies. It simply mutates into newer forms, money begetting money out of nothing except itself, and then has the nerve to call itself the Mother of Innovation. 

So to paraphrase Star Trek's Mr. Spock, may the new crayfish species live long and nurture and prosper and remain impervious to the predatory Klingons of Wall Street.

1 comment:

paintedjaguar said...

I thought Crawfish Girl must be the latest iteration of feminist superhero. Her superpower? Grabbin' em by the... you know.