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17K, 300 x 500. 1980s, ink, 3x5" card, by Chris Wayan.

If artists do this with ink, what makes you think genetic engineers will do any better with real life? By the huge proportion of science fiction and furry dreams I have, it's obvious I hope we soon do give other species the benefits of brains, electric light, language, the Net, contraception, democracy, opposable thumbs...

But we gotta be realistic. Even those wary of genetic engineering are mostly focusing on the danger to us and to the ecosystem, not on the rights of the creatures being altered. Seems to me we owe them reparations for having trashed their habitats. Whether human or not, creatures shouldn't be changed to make them more productive, more exploitable... But what of genetic engineering that helps the individual being altered? I think that's the only moral standard we can use.

Only... I keep looking at all the botched pictures and lame sketches we artists put on the Net and think, well, humans ARE idiots, do we want to botch living creatures too? Because even WITH a moral standard we haven't yet achieved... we'll STILL get it wrong.
We always, always, always do.

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