We’re getting there soon

Listen to the words of J. Bottum, on the occasion twelve years ago of the creation of human-pig embryos, as he warns us of the abyss into which we are falling:

“It used to be that even the imagination of this sort of thing existed only to underscore a moral in a story. . . . But we live at a moment in which British newspapers can report on nineteen families who have created test–tube babies solely for the purpose of serving as tissue donors for their relatives—some brought to birth, some merely harvested as embryos and fetuses. A moment in which Harper’s Bazaar can advise women to keep their faces unwrinkled by having themselves injected with fat culled from human cadavers. . . . In the midst of all this, the creation of a human–pig arrives like a thing expected. We have reached the logical end, at last. We have become the people that, once upon a time, our ancestors used fairy tales to warn their children against—and we will reap exactly the consequences those tales foretold. Like the coming true of an old story—the discovery of the philosopher’s stone, the rubbing of a magic lantern—biotechnology is delivering the most astonishing medical advances anyone has ever imagined. But our sons and daughters will mate with the pig–men, if the pig–men will have them. And our swine–snouted grandchildren—the fruit not of our loins, but of our arrogance and our bright test tubes—will use the story of our generation to teach a moral to their frightened litters.”