Sometimes it seems like animals simply can’t be exploited any further – that we have wrung every ounce of worth and resources from their bodies. Whether it is for entertainment, organ harvest, companionship or protein sources.
UK based artist Revital Cohen, has come up with a provocative project exploring how animals can serve as living life support systems for ill or dying humans. The project proposes using living animal bodies as kidney cleaning systems or respiratory devices.
“Assistance animals - from guide dogs to psychiatric service cats - unlike computerized machines, can establish a natural symbiosis with the patients who rely on them. Could animals be transformed into medical devices,” she questions.
With an onus on using animals that have been bred as transgenic farm animals or retired working dogs, the Life Support Project will offer an alternative to inhumane medical therapies, according to Cohen.
“Could a transgenic animal function as a whole mechanism and not simply supply the parts? Could humans become parasites and live off another organism’s bodily functions,” asks the artist.
It is debatable whether humans have already reached this point, where our very survival is dependent on our continued parasitic exploitation of other species. The Animal Life Support Project just seems like a continuum, albeit a more thoughtful argument, in favor of continuing to exploit animals to support our existence.