Have you ever wondered whether someday your pussy will glow in the dark? No, not that pussy. I mean the pussy in your lap. Er...that didn't work either. Let me start over again...
By all accounts, genetic engineering is upon us. And while -- so far as I've heard -- it's commercial use is currently limited mostly to the agricultural and medical fields, it seems probable that it will expand into other fields. Thus it might be only a matter of time before companies are selling genetically engineered farm animals. For instance, cattle that are immune to the worse diseases and that grow faster on less food than today's breeds.
Yet, if you can genetically engineer a cow, you can genetically engineer a cat. Or a dog. Or any other pet. So I'm wondering today whether the future might hold for us "designer pets". Perhaps even bizarre designer pets.
For instance: You might -- might -- be able to engineer a cat whose skin or fur glows in the dark. After all, there are bio-luminescent organisms from which you could presumably take the genes for bio-luminescence and then insert those genes into a cat's genetic code. The result might give a whole new meaning to pets named, "Sparkles" and "Wildfire".
Of course, a crucial issue here is whether there would be much of a market for designer pets. Would people line up to buy cats that glowed in dark? Or if not precisely cats that glowed in the dark, other bizarre creations. Such as dogs that lived as long as their masters? Rabbits with pink fur? Talking chimpanzees?
I have no idea whether designer pets would ever take off. I assume if they became available, they would appeal to at least some people, if only for the sake of novelty. But would they appeal to enough people to fuel an industry?
Genetic engineering raises many questions and most of those questions are more important than the ones I've raised here. If the world ever creates cats that glow in the dark, the cats will surely be controversial, but in the grand scheme of things, they are unlikely to be all that important. However, given how crazy our species is, I would not entirely dismiss the possibility we will someday create such bizarre animals.
So what do you think? Will the future hold for us genetically engineered pets? And if so, what will those pets be like?
(Hat Tip for the idea to The Wise Fool who blogs here and here.)