On the New York Times website there's an interesting article about factory production of fake chicken (for the purposes of eating) -- it's the kind of thing Mr. Caden Cotard might read over breakfast with little Olive, yeah?
IT is pretty well established that animals are capable of suffering; we've come a long way since Descartes famously compared them to nonfeeling machines put on earth to serve man. (Rousseau later countered this, saying that animals shared "some measure" of human nature and should partake of "natural right.") No matter where you stand on this spectrum, you probably agree that it's a noble goal to reduce the level of the suffering of animals raised for meat in industrial conditions. (Source)
Bonus: you can't catch bird flu from a fake chook or turkey. (The animal turkey, that is; not the country Turkey.)
The article includes a link to a 2003 New Yorker review of Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake. (Susan Orlean has been known to write for the New Yorker, and she was a big part of a different Kaufman film. Coincidence?! I THINK SO. Now I'm confusing myself.) Anyway, that review is also worth checking out:
In her towering and intrepid new novel, "Oryx and Crake" (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday; $26), Atwood, who is the daughter of a biologist, vividly imagines a late-twenty-first-century world ravaged by innovations in biological science. Like most literary imaginings of the future, her vision is mournful, bleak, and infernal, and is punctuated, in Atwood style, with the occasional macabre joke—perhaps not unlike Dante's own literary vision. Atwood's pilgrim in Hell is Snowman, who, following a genetically engineered viral cataclysm, is, as far as he knows, the only human being who has survived. (Source)
Thanks to Dave!