Art is Art and Water is Water

April 27, 2019

Non GMO Clowns

Filed under: Twitter Threads — foone @ 8:19 pm

Original Twitter thread July 24, 2018

Someone posted this and it’s one of those quotes that’s all “ooh, powerful” but it’s also completely nonsensical. Have you heard of “the dog?” It’s a new pet that’s become very popular in recent centuries.


The wolf does not perform in the circus for the same reason that if every house had a pet tiny elephant, there would be no elephants in the circus.

It’s just one of my pet peeves to consider things “natural” that are very much not natural. Like we think that there’s just cats and dogs and oranges and bananas that’s just how things are. They exist, have always existed, and aren’t something we built. All four of those things are exactly as natural as the Brooklyn Bridge. They exist ONLY because humans built them. just because we built them with centuries of selective breeding instead of hammers and concrete doesn’t make them any more “natural.”

So there’s really no comparison to what we did to wolves. It’s far worse than putting them in the circus, really. It’s not even “slavery,” it’s like infinitely worse than that, from the perspective of the honor of the wolf. We don’t take a dangerous animal from the wild and put them in a cage and work with them, finally training them to do some “act” but it’s still risky. We don’t even imprison and breed them, having generations of them all living in servitude but still longing for freedom, someday. No, we did this for SO LONG that we have bred out the wild from them. We DOMESTICATED them. We made them our friends, our servants that don’t even think they are servants. It’s like a slave that doesn’t realize they are a slave and has no concept of freedom.

A clown in a circus can go home and take their makeup off. We made them into a clown that doesn’t even realize they’re wearing makeup, because they were born with it. They’re such a clown that no one puts clowns in the circus anymore, because it’s not a novelty, because every other home has a clown living in it. We raise our kids with clowns, because we made them that safe. We don’t even have to train them, clowns are just friendly & safe. I’m just saying, if you want to talk about species who have honor and should be respected for what they do, WOLVES ARE NOT WHO YOU SHOULD BE GOING TO FOR THIS.

Random tangent on this already weird thread: there’s a chance this is wrong for cats. We may not have “built” cats, because one theory is that rather than being domesticated, they domesticated themselves. (Which is so like a cat, you know?) Basically they realized that hanging out with humans was a good idea (because we have food and are willing to share) so they started doing it and we kept them around cause they’re cute and eat the rodents and other pests.

The main reason this natural-things-aren’t-natural idea is my pet peeve is because, for medical reasons, I have to drink orange juice every morning, and every morning I have to stare at this “NON GMO!” sticker on my orange juice. Oranges aren’t natural. They’re a hybrid.

Just because we made them in a more error prone way than with genetic engineering in a lab doesn’t really make them any more “natural” and it certainly doesn’t make them not genetically modified. We modified them slowly and without a perfect understanding of what we were doing. And then suddenly now we can modify them more accurately and with better understanding of what we can do and everyone’s all “ooh, let’s put stickers on them to say they’re not modified!” and I imagine the scientists are just sighing.

I just take this cult of “natural is better” and “science is bad” a little personally. Science is AWESOME and we shouldn’t be irrationally scared of it, especially when we’re sitting on millennia of science getting us to where we are now. There’s plenty of reasons you could rationally be against genetically modified organisms. But “not being natural” is certainly not one of them, especially not while you drink your orange juice. Anyway, Oranges are a hybrid between pomelos and mandarins. They’re not even a “simple” hybrid. They’re a complex hybridization between earlier pomelo/mandarin hybrids, so your average orange is 42% pomelo, 58% mandarin. That’s what happens when you’re carefully maximizing the traits you want in your orange.

And it’s not just oranges. selective breeding has created all sorts of “natural” vegetables and fruits we eat every day.

I’m just saying, these things are not “natural” and were actually created so recently that there are BUILDINGS still standing that are older than them. And this is getting very rambly as my threads often do, but humans are tool-makers. That defines us as a species, you know? And it’s kinda insulting to our long history as toolmakers to start saying that natural is better and any sort of change is “artificial” and “bad,” ESPECIALLY when this “natural” state is the result of thousands of years of modification by humans trying to make the world better! It’s insulting to the very idea of Science. And what we did to dogs is pretty insulting to wolves, or would be if they could understand it. But the dogs seem to be happy with it, so *eh*. They’re cute and fun, it’s okay.


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