What if combining human and animal DNA wasn’t illegal, nor did it violate moral or ethical codes of conduct? What if technology allowed us to create hybrids between babies and pets that were still biologically bound to their parents but didn’t require a permanent responsibility and commitment? These are the questions Chinese artist Lingxizhu Meng tackles in her latest project, Baby-Pet.
Raising a child involves much more time and responsibility than owning a pet, which is why an increasing number of people are opting for the latter. Parents usually have to put their active lives on the back-burner in order to take care of a baby, but what if they didn’t have to? “The objective of this society’s endeavor is to create a new species that meets various needs. The result being something that is not your child but that is also not your pet. It serves as a combination of the purity that exists in both, the essence of affection one has when caring for a baby and the affection one receives when having a dog,” Lingxizhu describes her unique idea. “The animal human baby pet is a combination of baby and pet. Raising a child incurs significant financial costs, while pets in comparison are far more economical. Such as saving the cost of education, for example. The dogbaby life cycle is very short, similar to that of a dog, often only 11-15 years of life. This is a circumstance that can enable elderly people to rise a dogba-by in the golden years of their lives. Some couples are not ready to ising a child. The dogbaby provides a link in their partnership without necessitating a permanent responsibility and commitment. Some singles who are occupied by an active social and work life but who have the desire to have a child find the benefit of a dogbaby’s growth process and need of attention levels much simpler to those of a child.”
Lingxizhu Meng uses illustrations and sculptures of her Baby-Pet in various social scenarios in order to push people to rethink the possibility of genetically combining human and animal DNA and help them imagine such a world. Judging by the images alone, this is one screwed up world I for one would not want to live in, but I agree the simple idea is thought-provoking. Meng is actually not the only artist to imagine a world where combining human and animal DNA were possible. Not too long ago, Japanese designer Ai Hasegawa thought up a bizarre solution to humanity’s food shortage – the possibility of women giving birth to sharks and eating them.