My recent trip to The Rainforest Cafe got me to thinking about how animatronics should feature more heavily in a hypothetical society. Lacking sentience, animatronics offers humans the potential for an interactive experience with nature, yet without the elements of cruelty and exploitation commonly associated with keeping “live” animals in captivity. Imagine how parks like Sea World could flourish if they made the transition to housing mechanical dolphins and Orcas. This could even finally allow them to display versions animals like great whites, which do not seem to survive in captivity. It would also put an end to the senseless park deaths that occur (or at least further minimize them as accidents can always happen). Dinosaurs like the Wooly Mammoth could be resurrected to roam again, all without having to grapple with the ethical considerations. I suppose, if these animatronic creatures were to become high tech enough to develop something of a consciousness, that might be a game changer. It should be go without saying though that even without the ability to feel or reason, these beings should be treated with respect, empathy and decency as if they were as “real” as any other creature. You just never know, and it doesn’t hurt to be kind in this scenario.
Brandon Adamson is the author of Beatnik Fascism