Tag Archives: animals

The Future of Animals presented in Anime

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Humans are the leading cause for change with animals and technology. Depending on the relationship between the type of animal and humans, will justify the impact of how technology is used to change the animal. While there can only be so much change in real life about how people use animals, anime takes a hold of the creator’s imaginations and utilizes future technology for better or for worse.

Looking at Pokemon, a mild child friendly Anime there are a number of aspects that challenge the perception of every day animals and the impact of technology on them. Pokemon being abundant throughout the land, living free in their natural habitat but also being the goal to capture for future Pokemon Trainers brings to light the purpose of them. Comparable to real life animals we see in the wild or the ones we have as pets. The connection between making some Pokemon resemble real life animal’s aides in the purpose that we would also impose on them. Magikarp known by players as the weakest Pokemon of Generation One – it is in resemblance to the real life yellow rockfish. Utilizes the simple change of evolution to get it to evolve. The trainer impacts on the rate of evolution in a number of ways to get the perfect evolution – which in a Gyarados.

Items impact the change that occurs, when technology created by companies in the game give the player the capability to change the natural progression of evolution. Based on the intention or purpose of the Magikarp the tools used on it are varied. To give it experience boost to evolve quicker an item called ‘Exp. Share’ (Experience Share) is used that grows Magikarp without having to battle with it. Depending on what type of Gyarados you want, in the means of way of battling other players you would use selective breeding to get the Magikarp of your choice then use items to aide in the creating of a specific design of Gyarados. The items used are artificial but the final outcome after all the items a used is seen as a natural creation. The player just aided in having that natural creation. This selective breeding can be seen in dogs today, when compared to the dogs of decades ago. Shown here are a number of dog breeds that have changed over the last 100 years to aide in the most desirable traits from these dogs. While there are not Pokemon diseases affecting the selective breeding process. The consequences of doing it in real life with dogs have placed burdens on the animals.

bulldog change in breed

The Change in breeding Bulldogs over the years. Source

Playing with the natural processes of animals is not just restricted to the deemed “ethical standard”, when the purpose of an animal is to aide in the advancement of technology, not so by being the solution but by being the tool of what human mind can think of then we get to a point where only so few will tread. In the Anime, Full Metal Alchemist the experimentation of creating a chimera is brought to light to the viewer. Chimera being the combination of both mythological understanding and the medical understanding. What was brought to the attention was the purpose of trying to create a chimera that could understand and talk human speech without the using or endangering a human in anyway. The life work of Shou Tucker was under threat and with little compassion for anything else around him he made a decision that would go against every ethical means in real life. Though this is an anime and with the freedom of creation, that creation can be used in any way to provoke the audience. So, with this to create a chimera Tucker would use his own daughter Nine and her dog Alexander to create a chimera capable of interacting with humans. While nothing today with the use of technology has been used to create the combination of human and animal is such a graphic display of unethical practices, The curiosity of human intervention with technology has still aided in the combination of added linked species to create something new.

Anime gives an insight into the use of animals greater than in real life as the only limitation is what you can create. Though as time has gone on and how technology has changed the purpose of animals will change. When animals lose their purpose what else is there to do with them. To simply leave them be would be an easy answer but to act it out, seems woeful.

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When an animal gets a leg up

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Cyberculture represents the presence of computers and networks in all aspects of contemporary life such as our social life, education and labour. With each area being represented by the combination of human capability, its effect on technology and the return relationship that technology has on humans. However, there is another group that can’t control technology as easily as humans but is affected by it. That group of course being animals.

monkey phone

A Monkey and his phone. Source

Animals are everywhere and we use them for everything. We have farms where cows and sheep roam for textile and food production, we breed cats and dogs to have them as pets and we even group a bunch of animals together in an area and call it a zoo so we can look and admire the exotic-ness of them all in one place. Society has used animals for many reasons and as humans have evolved and developed new things animals have been alongside to be a part of that change. With this post, I will be going over a variety of areas where animals have been popularized and helped from the development of cybercultures.

First hearing the word ‘cyberculture’ and then the meaning my immediate thought was the internet and its obsession with animals. There is no doubt that animals have been made a staple of browsing the internet and with what the internet can do, animals will be staying on it for quite some time. On YouTube for example from the repeatable ‘catchy’ beat of Nyan Cat from 2011 to the ever so grumpy cat conveniently named ‘Grumpy Cat‘ from 2012. Cats have become a popularized source for entertainment and enjoyment. The popularity of these videos created a viral hit that utilized digital tools to create something so popular. The creation of popularizing real animals for general aesthetic looks to behavioural attributes. While this is the use of cyberculture to create animals as a source of entertainment for people there are multiple layers of technology engagement with animals.

One step further from just filming an animal with a camera or using digital software to create an animal is to use technology as a part of the animal’s life to better it. Current trends of 3D printing has allowed for people to create pieces of the body or prosthetic limbs. Much like an arm or a leg. The evolving of 3D printing has allowed for animals to have their limbs (beaks, legs, hoofs) recreated and attached to give them a longer and more capable way of living. This meaning that the technology used to aide in the creation of these limbs allows animals to not have their injury an issue to live a normal life. Buttercup the duck who was born with a deformed foot was lucky enough to have a 3D printed foot made for him. Below is a video showing glimpses of the process and the result.

There is the understanding that technology has both a positive and negative aspect when it comes to development and implementation. When future technology is being theorized then there needs to be some way in which technology can be tested and confirmed for human use. There is no shortcut on what can be seen as an advancement in technology but the researches who put information into practice need to test what they want to create. This is where animals come into play. There are ethical reasons as to why researches do not test on other people, as much as there are ethical reasons also for animals there is the understanding that the vision of having a success in the lab; testing on animals is justified when it saves millions (even potentially billions) of people’s lives. Animals bare the grunt of what goes into these advancements and are not acknowledged for what they go through to turn research into a success. Where the end justifies the means.

Groups such as P.E.T.A (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) justify that no animal should be used for testing and that there are numerous ways in which testing can be done but without animals. Such as the technology called “Human on a Chip“, where human donor cells are used on a microchip that can simulate real human/animal tissue and in turn natural responses.

As long as there have been humans there have been animals alongside them. When technology evolves to benefit humans, animals are considered in that involvement. The entire life of an animal can be encompassed in the world of technology and the change technology has created. Looking at future posts and interests within this topic. I will be exploring the life cycle of a cow and how they have been impacted by technology from cameras being installed in the birthing barns to make sure they survive, to the change in location technology to monitor the herd, to the change of the milking machine for efficiency in gathering milk.