That Creepy Feeling
Thinking about chimeras, especially those involving humans, frankly creeps me out, as I’m sure it does for many of you as well. Animal-animal hybrids are more acceptable to me, but human-animal hybrids make me cringe. Here’s a great, even if fake, example of why human-animal hybrids are creepy:
This is supposedly a manticore, a combination of a lion’s body and a human’s head. It looks fake to me, but there is that slight feeling that maybe it is real. I don’t know about you, but I can’t watch that video without showing my disgust and horror on my face, especially when it turns its head and sticks its tongue out. This thing is one of the creepiest things I have ever seen, real or fake. What if we created hybrids like this freely? Would we have strange and creepy human-animal things running around everywhere out of control? How many of these strange creatures would die painful deaths due to the danger of crossing species? Society would not accept such creations and would not want them to exist, due to the lack of knowledge about their behavior and the general uneasiness felt when seeing them. In most religions, crossing human genes with an animal is morally wrong, so that would have a huge negative impact on society’s approval of human-animal chimeras. I definitely think that moral beliefs and society’s feelings should be part of the decision to ban or permit human-animal chimeras. I believe that we can accomplish all that we need to accomplish without crossing species, especially humans and animals. Animal-human hybrids should not be permitted anywhere, especially if they look like the one in the video above.
In the UK, it seems that human-animal hybrid embryos are already being used in medical research for diseases like Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s.
The scientists in this video who are working on a human-cow hybrid embryo admit that this hybrid is unsettling and weird. They support their work because of the potential for cures for diseases. I am not 100% sure why they are using cow cells for this, because the video doesn’t clearly explain it. To me, it seems they could just use human cells for the work they are doing. They reflect upon the ethics of the hybrids and how most people, especially those with strong religious faith, would be opposed to these chimeras; however, they seem to be doing the work anyway.
In the U.S. in response to this research work in the U.K., the Human-Animal Prohibition Act of 2009 was hastily passed in order to prevent this type of work. I think that in the future, especially if the experiments in the U.K. are successful, the Prohibition Act may be reconsidered.