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Dog and Monsters - Bioengineered

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  • What can I infer from the title of the essay?

The title would infer the contrast between regular dogs and the bioengineered dogs that adapt the current technologies and human needs.

  • Who do I think is the author’s audience? What is the principal purpose of the essay?

The target audience would be who love dogs as well as those who are interested in contrast between reality and bioengineering technologies.


  • What is the general subject of the essay?

In this essay Coren’s general subject is genetic engineering. He argues whether people should raise fears about it or it is safe.

  • What is the author’s approach to the subject?

In this essay, Coren infers that genetic manipulation of species ( dogs for example in his essay) is primitive. Throughout his examples in the essay, he demonstrates how natural and harmless genetic engineering is.  


  • What do I know about the author’s age, political stance, and general beliefts?

Coren was born in Philadelphia in 1942. He appeared on numerous TV shows as well as host on his weekly TV show, Good Dog and has also published several books about dogs. He lives in Vancouver with his wife, two dogs and a cat.

  • How qualified is the author to write on this subject?

Coren educated at the University of Pennsylvania (undergraduate) and Standford University (Doctorate). He’s currently a professor and director at UBC. He’s a prolific writer and researcher. He has published in USA Today, The Globe and Mail, The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, Time, People, Maclean’s, Cosmopolitan, and Entertainment Weekly.

  • When did the author write the essay? Under what conditions? In what context?

This essay was originally published in Saturday Night magazine in May 2000. People might dress similarly when they choose the same kind of dogs as pets. As a result, it raised the question “How has the role of pets changed over the past century?” It leads to Coren’s thesis.


  • Where was the essay first published?

It was originally published in Saturday Night magazine in May 2000

  • What would I like to learn about this topic?

I would like to know how Coren supports his thesis that genetic engineering is harmless.

  • What are some of my opinions on this subject?

I totally agree with Coren as genetic engineering has already diffused in our daily life. For example, my grandmother could tell difference between the watermelon she ate when she’s little and the one I eat right now. As the one I ate doesn’t come with seeds.


  • What the essay’s main idea?

People raise fears against genetic engineering as they see it as “tampering with creation” or upsetting the natural balance. However, Coren claims that bioengineering is harmless by demonstrating his thesis with his interesting points how genetic engineered dogs, starting with the DNA of a wolf, adapt the current technologies and needs of human owners.

  • What words do I need to look up in a dictionary?

Devastation deliberately predecessor canine notoriously agonizingly preternatural obedience obsolete

  • What are my initial reactions to the ideas in this essay?

I find that this essay is very informative. I learned a lot about breeding of dogs or dog’s predecessors. And it’s quite interested to see how Coren correlates selective breeding to the recent controversy topic genetic engineering.


  • How does the author achieve his or her purpose in this essay?

Coren points out people raise fear against genetic engineering and even prince Charles stated it “should be left to god” However Coren raises many interesting points to demonstrate that genetic engineering of dog has been around for centuries to meet the needs of human or current technologies. In other words, genetic engineering is harmless.

  • What assumptions underlie the author’s reasoning?

Coren argues that genetic engineering is harmless and primitive. It has been around for centuries.

  • Do I have a solid interpretive understanding of this essay?Do I understand the relationship among ideas?What conclusions can I draw from this essay?

According to Coren, we shouldn’t raise fears about genetic engineering. Instead, we should have faith in biogenetic engineering. Starting with the DNA of wolf, we have spent 14000 years of biotechnology and genetic engineering of dogs to make our lives easier or fulfill our needs. It is not “tampering the creation” or “upsetting the natural balance”; by contrast, it is harmless and useful to us.

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