Sex Robots and Vegan Meat: Adventures at the Frontier of Birth, Food, and Sex

Jenny Kleeman. Pegasus, $27.95 (368p) ISBN 978-1-64313-572-4
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 fiancé,” 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. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 05/29/2020
Release date: 09/01/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-7999-6061-4
MP3 CD - 978-1-7999-6063-8
Compact Disc - 978-1-7999-6062-1
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