Furries in space, coming true? Furry gene research group Vulpine Designs will soon attend the International Astronautical Conference in Dubai. The event focuses on space technology.
Vulpine Designs stand for the so-called ‘freedom of form’ with genetic engineering. It is an idea in which humans can adjust their body however they like.
Promoting this idea is CEO Daniel Davies, or known as Athamanatha Kitsune. He believes this would help people better express their inner selves.
“I started Vulpine Designs several years ago to work out how to develop a gene editing system that would be capable of enabling real-life transformation.
But in the same system, the same process also enables solving genetic defects and diseases that have obviously affected many people, regardless of whether they’re furry or not, for a very long time.
Freedom of form is about people being able to represent their true inner selves in their biological and physical form however they want. As long as it is not negatively affecting other people.”David Davies (Athamanatha Kitsune)
In genetic engineering, organisms’ DNAs are modified to achieve a preferred outcome. This is not new. It has been around since 1973, when scientists successfully made a gene modified bacteria.
Genetic engineering is used today in areas like agriculture, food and medicine. Humans also used it to treat medical conditions, or in some cases alter the genes of human embryos.
It could be beneficial; a 2021 report says it could help conserve and restore biodiversity. But, ethical worries are present; critics doubt its safety and impacts on future generations.
When asked to comment on those criticisms, Davies points out humans “already done a lot to evolution” using selective breeding.
Selective breeding means breeding different species to produce offspring with desirable traits. The practice has existed since the early Ice Age.
While Davies’ works often intersect furry fandom, he is not just a furry. He is also an otherkin. Otherkins are people who say they are spiritually not all human. They instead identify with other beings, for example animals.
He says Vulpine Designs’ plans can help furries, specifically those with species dysphoria. Species dysphoria means believing that one’s body is of the wrong species.
Otherkin and furry communities intersect each other at times. The difference is that furries do not identify spiritually with animals. The animal characters furries use, called fursonas, represents someone they want to be if they are an animal.
Now we know what Vulpine Designs does, why are they going to an astronautical convention? Furries in space?
“You’ve got to bear in mind that space is not exactly a very nice place for a living thing to be.
It’s a real worry because anything could happen to the earth. It takes the wrong asteroid on the wrong day, or a big super volcanic explosion or two and we’re thrown away.
What does it take to get us out of this solar system, it’s going to take a lot of ingenuity; thinking in terms of generation ships and things like that, so you need people who can cope with space long term, you need people who can cope with unusual planets long term rather than looking for what we currently deem to be habitable, so that we can make intelligent life multiply a tree without it taking forever to do so.
If we can be better adapted and if we can diversify our genetics, then I believe we’re gonna have a better chance of some form of intelligent life, even if you don’t want to call it human anymore, surviving.”David Davies (Athamanatha Kitsune)
Studies on gene modification have advanced in the past decades. Pushing on this, Daives says he hopes his research can give people more ways to express themselves. He adds, hopefully, it can prepare humans for the future.
WATCH: Gene editing, furry fandom and humanity’s future | Furterviewing Furs S2E1
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