by Gregor Wolbring
March 15, 2007
Enhancement of the physical and cognitive performance of humans is an increasingly topical field. With that reality we can assume that the enhancement of animals will also increase. One can only hope that the discourse around the subject of enhancement of animals will dramatically increase. This should be visible even sooner than the human debate, since:
- many procedures that might lead to performance enhancement in humans are tried and tested first on animals (for example, the brain machine interface and the artificial hippocampus);
- with cognitive modification, or human-animal hybrids (the subject of a future column), one can envision an increase in the debate around speciesism and the boundary between humans and animals (non-human animals and human animals);
- one can envision the emergence of a market for ‘value-added animals’ with many ‘enhancements appearing in animals long before they are widespread in humans or are used in humans at all;
- the market for animal care products increases in value year after year making animal enhancement a lucrative market with less ethical and regulatory hindrance than the human counterpart.