Note: This essay seems to have first appeared on an Australian website no later than 20 May 2001, and has since come into common circulation on the Internet. It is not clear whether or not the credited author is a pseudonym.

the other side of the coin

by Craig West

  You know, some people probably hate all those that transformed into something other than human on that fateful day. Then you have the dreamers -- those that wish they could join the couple of hundred or so people. But not me... no, I neither hate nor dream.
  I pity them.
  Yup, thats right -- I pity the poor bastards. Sure, they may have got what they wanted... but would have they have made the same decision if they knew what would have happened?
  Let's take a couple of issues, first of all privacy. If any of those 'transformees' (isn't Changelings the current politically correct name?) does something out of the ordinary, it's going to attract media attention that anyone public learns to live with. Granted, those with extended lifespans are going to have a while to get used to things. Think Royals, Celebs... any public figure. And let's say they decide to move? How the hell do you hide your condition? "Oh, my skin? It's normally like that..." Granted, things can be kept secret for a while, but how long until someone blabs to the media? Personally I like to keep things nice and quiet, for a number of reasons.
  Secondly... Sex. Let's not beat around the bush here (no pun intended, I assure you): Just exactly where on this planet is Mr. Brotzman going to find a Mrs. Silver Dragon? Even if there was, just how does he intend to start a family? I may be no geneticist, but don't you need a stable population to contribute enough genes so that you don't get deformities? Though personally, several species do quite well with incest, snakes for example, but there are a lot of snakes. Though how that centaur in Canada is going to get around the bestiality issue...
  "What else," you ask, dear reader? Friends of those long lived. Just how many friends of those whose lifespans are measured in multiple centuries are going to wither away and die while der transformee has his own personal fountain of youth? It's a subject well covered already in Science Fiction -- Apocalypse Troll, by David Weber, for one. The principle character lives on, while those around him/her/it (possible..?) die. Would you like for those who you have grown up with to die while you are still in the prime of your youth? Then have it happen over and over again?
  Don't worry, I'm still going strong -- death threats. Sure, not much might touch some of these exotic species, but I'm sure a number of people out there harbour strong feelings for those in scales, fur and other types of coverings. Don't you know the saying that goes, "Almost all of these people can vote, and some of them have got guns"? I'd like to point out some of the feelings against Mr. Bard, people hate others for some trivial reasons; race, colour of their skin, even religion (Don't you just hate it when those preachers come to your door?). And now there is an whole new dimension -- degree of humanity!
  One final thing: Has Mr. Long not heard of vicious animals being put down? Please, someone do us all a favour and point him in the right direction. Even if he's labeled an animal, he is still constrained by human laws in many ways -- if an animal attacks a person, that person has every right to demand that that animal be put down. Now Mr Long has publically stated that if he is declared non human, he will be above the law -- that being the same law that is there to protect everyone, both me and you. Now tell me, just how human is a pit bull that's attacked a little boy? Last time I checked, animals weren't allowed to drive either...
  I'll leave you with this: I am proud, damn proud, to be human.