Allergy Free Cats, Fake Food, and Misplaced Priorities
Another tragic failure in the effort to find a practical use for cats.
There is world shaking cat news. Scientists may have given up on attempts to make cats useful around the home, but at least now every home can have one. Yes, allergies can no longer protect us, the world’s first hypoallergenic cats go on sale today! In one fell swoop millions of people will now be able to own cats without suffering. I mean, does western science have it’s priorities screwed up or what? $4000 sniffle-free kittens strike me as an expensive solution to a non problem. Most of the world’s population make less than that per year. Such is freedom and capitalism. Where’s there’s a need to be filled, however frivolous, someone will fill the need.
I like cats, but this makes me uncomfortable. Whenever I hear of a product that would be hard to explain to a poor person in the third world I get a little queasy feeling. I’m pretty sure that using science to make expensive pets for wealthy westerners while people are dying of starvation and deprivation around the globe is not a good thing. I don’t know what the solution is, but acknowledging that there might be a problem is the first step to solving in.
Another item in this category that has always bugged me is fake food. And I’m not talking about wax fruit or rubber chickens. No, I’m talking about food that is designed to be eaten, without imparting any calories. Olestra is the culprit here, a fat whose molecules are so large they cannot be digested. Thus allowing things like potato chips with no calories. Yes, we are so rich in the west that we have invented food that we can enjoy eating even though it has no food value whatsoever. Eating purely for the sake of eating, how decadent is that? And again, how would one explain such a product to a starving third worlder?
One of those mysteries of life I guess. Who knows, maybe olestra inspired Chindogu, the Japanese art form of practical items that are ultimately impractical. Loads of fun. That may ultimately sum up the west. We may have had our priorities screwed up, but at least we had fun while it lasted:
(The above Chindogu Cat Slipper image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It is an historically important image, it is not being used for profit, and it is central to illustrating this post. The lower Abandoned Amusement Park Photo is also claimed as Fair Use under US Copyright law. It is from this fine site, and it is not being used for profit.)