Re: future pets

den Otter (
Sat, 18 Apr 1998 11:51:05 +0200

> From: E. Shaun Russell <>

> To me, the question of animal cryonics is one of "can we?"...not
> physically, but psychologically. With humans, the concept of cryonic
> reanimation is mostly physical --generally, if a human is expecting to be
> cryonically preserved, his reanimation may be quite disorienting and even
> frightening, but it is, nonetheless, expected. The problem with freezing
> pets (let's say, for the sake of argument, dogs) is that there is (thus
> far) no foreseeable way of training them to expect reanimation.

Neither is there a way to fully prepare them for an operation (with full
anaesthetics etc), yet any "good" pet owner won't hesitate to have
his pet treated in order to save its life. Cryonics doesn't differ fundamentally
from a (potentially) life-saving operation.

>Could a
> dog, upon reanimation, understand where it is, when it is, why and how?

If you let it "wake up" in a familiar environment it won't suffer future shock.
Pets have proven to be very adaptable, dogs for example usually
have no problem with living in a completely unnatural environment with
alien beings (in a house with humans). So you could gradually introduce
them to the future world, and soon they wouldn't even know any better.
Apart from that, by the time we have the means to revive frozen animals
and people, there will almost certainly be very advanced emotion control
possibilities which would elliminate stress alltogether, if so desired.

> If
> not, then the question of ethics is indeed a pertinent that
> extends into the realm of volition. Can a dog choose to be cryonically
> frozen? Certainly not.
> Dogs (and most other animals) don't have the volition needed to make such a
> choice. Does this mean that we can choose for them? An interesting thought.

Our superior abilities give us the privilege (and the responsibility) to decide
the fate of lesser beings. If you assume that life is better than death (and
transhumanism does, I belief) and that we will be able to shape the future, than
saving your pet by freezing it is the morally correct thing to do, imo. Killing
someone/thing that wants to live is worse than saving someone/thing that
wants to die, because the former has no choices left while the latter can
still take his life later, if he still wants to. Death is the end of freedom, so
to speak. Since we don't know what our pets "think" about this, it's better
to be on the safe side. Also one could argue that a deathwish never really
is a deathwish, but the desire to end suffering. Mental and/or physical
shortcomings that make one want to kill himself can presumably be
fully cured in the future, which is another argument to freeze without