A U.S. clinic is selling human embryos. You can pick your embryo based on the egg and sperm donors' race, education, and looks, including childhood photos. All egg donors have some college education; all sperm donors have graduate or professional degrees. Objections: 1) It's baby-selling. 2) It's eugenics. 3) If you want an embryo, adopt one of the 400,000 frozen IVF "spares" that will otherwise be chucked. 4) This is the moral disaster we invited when we commercialized eggs and sperm and let people screen donors for looks and education. Defenses: 1) "We're just trying to help people have babies." 2) The embryos aren't made to order; they're prefabricated. 3) They're healthier than IVF spares. 4) This is cheaper and faster than IVF or adoption. 5) It's morally fine, since we've already commercialized eggs and sperm and let people screen donors for looks and education. (For Human Nature's takes on embryo eugenics, click here and here. For David Plotz's take on sperm-bank eugenics, click here. Plotz donated at the same sperm bank that's being used by the embryo sellers.)
The FDA approved the first weight-loss pill for dogs. It's supposed to block fat absorption and suppress appetite. One in three U.S. dogs is overweight, and the problem is growing. Reasons: 1) We eat too much bad food, so our dogs do, too. 2) We don't exercise, so our dogs don't, either. 3) Sitting around as we do, our dogs keep eating out of boredom, as we do. 4) We're too weak-willed to stop feeding treats to our beseeching furry friends. Official argument for the pill: It'll help control your dog's weight while you put him on a diet. Unofficial argument: It'll help control your dog's weight while you keep feeding him treats, you spineless loser. (For Human Nature's take on weight-loss technology for spineless losers, click here.)
Latest Human Nature columns: 1) The bum rap on cloned food. 2) Lesbians of mass destruction. 3) The Best of Human Nature 2006. 4) Unhealthy food outlawed in New York. 5) Food and sex without consequences. 6) Rush Limbaugh's reality problem. 7) The eerie world of policing cybersex. 8) Pro-lifers against contraception.