Summary Of Sue Hubbell's 'Shrinking The Cat'

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In the book of Shrinking the Cat by Sue Hubbell, the author examines the concept of genetic engineering and argues how genetic engineering is nothing new by providing examples of humans altering genetically the species of cats, corn, apples, and silkworms. The introduction of this book discusses the fact that humans put themselves at the top of lists of the smartest animals. Yet in this case, these lists are hardly objective because they are created by humans. The author provides the example of her very own beloved dog, Tazzie, in the situation of how Tazzie is capable of finding a bone every single time they visit the park. The author explains how intelligence or knowingness is “knowingness for some purpose” (4). She explains
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Later on in the book, the readers are introduced to cultivation of silkworms. Hubbell shows that humans have refined silkworms to work for textile producers, and how humans have smuggled silkworms from China to the Western world. The author states that in our five thousand years of association with the silkworms, humans have already conducted many genetic experiments upon them. The mutations that are preserved in the silkworms now might have been lost in the wild, and the author also noted in the book that silkworms is a species that has been “minted by human ingenuity” (79). Since this species is “minted by human ingenuity,” Hubbell explains how silkworms are now completely dependent on humans and require controlled breeding. This means a breeder could select unusual alleles to become characteristic of a particular group of silkworms. After Hubbell’s explanation of how humans engineered genes of silkworms even before we could understand the definition of “genes,” she introduced a different species: cats. Hubbell explains how she has a kitty named Black Edith Kitty, and how this kitty’s ancestors have been genetically modified for human companionship. Later on in the book, Hubbell explains how the Egyptians viewed the cat as a sacred animal, and how cats were raised to be sacrificed in order
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