A timely investigation into the forces that are driving innovation in the four core areas of human experience: birth, food, sex, and death.
In Sex Robots & Vegan Meat, award-winning journalist and documentary-maker Jenny Kleeman takes us on a journey into the world of the people who are changing what it means to be human. Focusing on four central pillars of the human experience–birth, food, sex, and death—Kleeman examines the people who are driving some truly amazing (and perhaps worrying) innovations. We are on the brink of seismic changes in the ways we live and die, from babies grown in artificial wombs to lab-produced meat; from sex robots able to hold polite conversation (and otherwise) to being able to choose to end our days with the perfect, painless, automated death. Our journey from cradle to grave is developing in ways which involve more and more technology, and less and less human interaction. Might these advances in technology serve to rob us of our humanity?
In this book Jenny Kleeman takes a profound look at what the future might have in store—and asks some provocative questions along the way. Jenny Kleeman places these scientists front and center and asks what is driving and motivating them? Are they entrepreneurs in it for the greater good of human advancement, or might there be more sinister—i.e. monetary—motivations in play? Gleeman is a skilled and subtle interrogator and travels with the reader on a fascinating exploration of the changes afoot, their implications for who we are as a society—and as human beings. It's an immersive, eye-opening, and hugely entertaining journey into a world of extraordinary visionaries on the frontline of a social revolution.
Journalist and documentary filmmaker Kleeman debuts with a funny yet disturbing report on the science, technology, and marketing strategies reshaping some of the most basic human urges and drives. Predicting sex robots "handmade in a custom blend of silicone, fully poseable and customizable" will soon be "normal rather than niche," she visits manufacturers and notes improvements such as "vaginal inserts," a "kind of ribbed rubber sock." (Though she hears of one woman creating her own "android fianc ," the industry largely caters to heterosexual male fantasy.) Kleeman also registers security concerns, such as robots being hacked to spy on or assault their human partners. Elsewhere, she visits a start-up where meat is being grown from animal cells, challenging scientists about the ethics of using serum extracted from the hearts of calf fetuses as a culture and about the final product's taste; the "chicken" nuggets she taste-tests have "the texture of the most low-grade processed food imaginable." Finally, Kleeman researches the "biobag," an artificial womb used to gestate lamb fetuses which may eventually make giving birth, even for humans, "as simple as opening a Ziploc bag." Readers will be fascinated by this preview of the possible future of sex, birth, and food.