AI and Society 20 (1):82-102 (2006)

Research at the intersections of feminism, biology and philosophy provides dynamic starting grounds for this discussion of genetic technologies and animals. With a focus on animal bodies, I will examine moral implications of the genetic engineering of “domesticated” animals—primarily pigs and chickens—for the purposes of human consumption. Concepts of natural and artificial, contamination and purity, integrity and fragmentation and mind and body will feature in the discussion. In this respect, Margaret Atwood’s novel, Oryx and Crake, serves as a cogent medium for exploring these highly contentious practices and ideas as it provides hypothetical narratives of possibility. Moreover, it is used to highlight contemporary hegemonic assumptions and values in ways that make them visible. Particular attention is paid to issues of growing human organs in pigs for xenotransplantation (resulting, for Atwood, in “pigoons”) and the ultimate end of the intensive factory farming of chickens through the genetic engineering of ‘mindless’ chicken tumours (or, as Atwood calls them, “ChickieNobs”). Integral to these philosophical considerations is the provocative question of the genetic modification of animal bodies as a means to end the suffering of domestic food animals. The ultimate implications of this question include an ongoing sensory and moral deprivation of human experience, potentially resulting in a future mechanomophosis, the extreme manifestation of an existing mechanomorphism
Keywords Animal ethics  Genetic engineering  Mechanomorphosis  Oryx and Crake  Speculative/science fiction  Transgenic organisms
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DOI 10.1007/s00146-005-0009-2
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References found in this work BETA

Phenomenology of Perception.Maurice Merleau-Ponty - 1962 - Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey: The Humanities Press.
Phenomenology of Perception.Aron Gurwitsch, M. Merleau-Ponty & Colin Smith - 1964 - Philosophical Review 73 (3):417.

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