Originally published in The Core, 10/06/2000, University of Maryland, College Park, MD

Why Everyone Needs A Glowing Bunny

By J.S. Levine

Is there anything in this world that would be more wonderful than an entire forest of glowing animals? I know, that's a rhetorical question.

There's been a lot of talk lately about Eduardo Kac's Alba, an albino rabbit created with EGFP, an enhanced version of a gene found in the jellyfish Aequorea Victoria that causes the jellyfish to glow slightly. Well, let me say this right off the bat: I love the idea of glowing animals. I think that the glowing rabbit idea works for everyone. I'll admit it; the entire project didn't have a point besides making a rabbit glow.

Now some people think that a genetically altered creature is a monstrosity. Not me! Imagine the fun available when you give a bunch of kids an enhanced animal like Alba, and then hand them a UV light! Presto, instant glowing animal, sure to give those kids hours of fun.

Of course, other people then say "but that's unnatural! God intended us to have plain old boring albino rabbits!" Pish posh. If that were the intent, humanity would never have bothered to invent genetic engineering! The glowing rabbit was given to us a chimerical animal, one that doesn't exist in nature...but now we have one! What more proof does someone need to know that this is a good thing?

Hunters, especially, should rejoice. We could create special preserves filled with enhanced animals! Simply hand each hunter a UV light, a gun and some bullets, and watch as great joy commences. And think of the possibilities we now have with genetics: We could someday create a glowing cat or dog. Or how about enhanced strength? Better vision, senses of smell, taste, or even a glowing tongue. Those crazy kids in the future have a whole new world to look forward to.

The anti-glowing-rabbit-people can talk their talk, but we know they aren't going to walk the walk. They don't want these animals because they think glowing animals are stupid. They think that no one on Earth would want one. I say that the message is clear: we must have more glowing animals, and we must have them now! There might be a long road ahead of us, but Alba shows that the end of that road is closer.

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