PUBLIC RESPONSES

“Of course, sheep are not indigenous to NZ…”

“I don’t know if is practical in the city [as] a lamb is not a pet, but if you have it in a special farm and you can track your lamb with a chip, could be plausible.”

“I’m not sure about the shedding. I think it might be better to have non-shedding animals and sheering [sic] stations (operated as lemonade stands to maintain the child engagement?). One of the complaints about dogs is shedding, so much that some of the most expensive breeds do not shed.”

“Using a huntaway [is a bad idea]. They are a naturally noisy breed of dog, and tend to rush things. Border collies or another suitable working breed which is easy for average people to train would make a far better end result.”

“Didn’t find this scenario particularly realistic. While the other two [sic] scenarios I could see working in one sense or the other, this one just didn’t sit well with me. I have never been good with, what I see as, unrealistic scenarios. My imagination doesn’t stretch quite this far, not necessarily the huntaway gene into a sheep, but more that everyone has to have one etc. Sounds like a huge disaster to me.”

“The genetic modification of the PermaLamb to remain forever in ‘lamb’ state is not a good idea. The name of the scenario might hint at how central this notion is to the animal, but I think it would be terrible for pets to be ‘designed’ in this way, as I think children in particular learn about the cycle of life and death, usually, through the ageing of their pets. I think that ageing process is important in recognising that animals also have personality. My old dog got grumpier as she aged. A permanently young animal may not encourage a whole range of empathetic insights that pets can teach kids.”

“It blurs the lines between product, food and pet in ways that I hadn’t thought of before. The convenience of the ‘special’ grass, the way it helps smooth over that ‘seam’ from pet to food was the most provocative. It encourages you to confront the relationship we have to animals in terms of a stark choice – is this animal cute enough to keep for a while longer? If not, no worries! Hand feed it, in a nurturing way, and then invite your friends over for the cook-up.”

“This scenario creates circumstances in which people can better consider the welfare of the animals that provide their clothing and food by being the relationship into the home.”

“Making every NZer have one [is a bad idea], not everyone is capable of taking care of animals. Creating a whole new species rather than working with, and promoting the ones that we already have [is also a bad idea].”

“This scenario has linked consumerism, animal welfare and technology in new ways for me. It also highlights the moral and ethical dilemmas inherent in design, and shows how quickly the kind of utopian determinism around technology could lead to an ‘advancement’ that we, as a society, may not actually want.”

“I’m interested in the idea of quantifying pets and animals, and think this is the most likely to happen. ‘Augmenting’ our pets with an array of sensors and network technology is intriguing, probably from a health monitoring sense. I find this scenario most interesting when it comes to feeding data back to the animals themselves – not so much what kind of quantifiable data is possible to be captured, but whether is it possible to allow the animals themselves to act upon this data? The idea of an ad-hoc mesh network formed out of live-stock or ‘companion animals’ is also really interesting, like a kind of ‘infrastructure fiction’. The data collection (IF truly private) offers an opportunity for understanding place better [but] there would need to be additional clarification about privacy protections.”

“Genetic engineering [is] not human’s role on the planet. Information like weather can be gathered without implanting animals with technology. Social networking is for people-to-people contact not people-to-animal. No part of this scenario illustrates people at work, the people have no life purpose. The scenario of compulsory having an ‘animal’ is in biblical terms the mark of the devil without the human having the mark.”

“Disturbing. I think people have done enough f*cked up stuff to animals, just look at all the problems that designer dogs have with their health. I cannot believe that you got funding to come up with any of these future scenarios. It just seems that you are trying to work on behalf of the wool/sheep industry to find even more ways to exploit sheep and other animals at their expense. There are so many ethical issues that you haven’t even touched on. It is a very bad idea. This project is a classic example of the biotechnological turn in animal sciences which aims to increase the efficiency and profitability and output of animal production with little regard for ethics or animal suffering/welfare. This scenario has made me think that all New Zealand research must have to involve some sort of benefit for the sheep industry.”

PUBLICATIONS & PRESENTATIONS

Galloway, A., 2018, “Troubling”, in Routledge Handbook of Interdisciplinary Research Methods, C. Lury et al. (eds), London: Routledge.

“Following Haraway, our speculative design ethnography aimed ‘to build attachment sites and tie sticky knots to bind intra-acting critters, including people, together in the kinds of response and regard that change the subject – and the object’. But these responses and changes are not given; rather they are both more and less than what researchers may intend, expect, or hope.”

Galloway, A., 2014, “Do People Dream of Electric Sheep?” Royal Geographical Society (RGS/IBG) Annual International Conference, 26-29 August, 2014, London, UK.

Galloway, A., 2014, “Why Count Sheep, and Other Tricky Questions About Speculative Design Ethnography.” Mobilities and Design Workshop, 29-30 April, 2014, Lancaster University, Centre for Mobilities Research, Lancaster, UK.

Galloway, A., 2013, “Towards A Multispecies Internet.” Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) Annual Meeting, 9-12 October, 2013, San Diego, US.

BACK TO: COUNTING SHEEP