Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why hasn't this been done before?
Put simply, the incentive structures in academia and drug companies aren't aligned with creating altruistic interventions from new research in any reasonable time frame. Academics do research often to research and advance their careers in the publish or perish paradigm we currently have in academia. The institutions we've trusted to translate this research into a world with less suffering are driven purely by the motive of profit and interests and fiduciary responsibilities that don't align with finding the most effective altruistic uses for our vast scientific knowledge.
Why haven't other altruistic organizations done this? Because of a lack of first principles thinking, primarily. Altruistic organizations don't often look for the most effective and efficient strategies to leverage new knowledge to reduce involuntary suffering. They usually start with an idea rather than a meta-search for the best idea space to explore to develop the best possible plan to reduce suffering globally.
This is why the world generally needs The Far Out Initiative and public benefit companies. We are the world's first public benefit company with the explicit goal of suffering abolition, and we have the freedom to prioritize altruism over always making the most profit possible, which traditional corporations don't. However, we have developed a strategy that directly aligns profitability with our degree of altruistic impact:
The more The Far Out Initiative profits, the more lucrative suffering reduction projects we can undertake, and thus, the more we can reduce suffering and thereby profit. We plan to systematically research, engineer, patent, and market suffering-free animals to replace the high-suffering animals in every accessible animal exploitation industry on the globe. A market penetration of only a couple percent into a single large animal exploitation industry, like the U.S. pork market -- in which we would have the exclusive right to sell suffering-free animals in virtue of the patent we plan to acquire -- has the potential to transform us into a "unicorn" level startup.
And that's with just one patent utilized to claim exclusive access to one national market. We plan to reinvest as much of our income as possible into accelerating the research/engineering/patent process so that The Far Out Initiative perpetually acquires new profit streams and intellectual property to increase its market valuation.
In general, we aim to bridge the gap between research with altruistic implications and its altruistic use, allowing said research to enter the world and change it for the better faster than when no one else thought to undertake this vital civilizational responsibility.
2. Why are you for profit?
There are three primary reasons: scalability, acceleration rate, and altruistic efficiency. We concluded early on that if we wished to have the most significant and most immediate impact on animal suffering possible, we couldn't rely on "winning hearts and minds" as a strategy. The goal of global veganism, while noble and well-meaning, isn't likely to be achieved for several decades, at least, until lab meat technology advances to the point at which it enables us to grow chicken legs without the chicken and filet mignon without the cow. This will closely coincide with the time period in which we can regrow entire human limbs on demand, for the same technologies and techniques will apply.
We aren't there yet.
And given that we currently have 70 billion farm animals generating (approximately) 2220 years of suffering with each second that passes, we recognized the immediate and urgent necessity of a "stop-gap measure" to extinguish the hellish infernos of suffering that would otherwise blaze for decades, unless someone acts. We arrived at a market-based solution: replace animals that can suffer – which is a negative selling point to almost all human beings who are capable of experiencing empathy – with animals that are identical in every way but that lack two genes – FAAH and FAAH-OUT – that break down an endocannabinoid called "anandamide" that is known to regulate global hedonic tone (the general capacity to suffer both mentally and physically).
3. Will suffering-free animals not self-injure?
While it is true that most forms of congenital pain insensitivity (usually tied to a loss of function mutation in SCN9A) lead to gruesome self-injury behaviors in early childhood, Cameron Syndrome (FAAH and FAAH-OUT deletion) isn't caused by the physical inability of nociceptive neurons to transmit pain signals. Jo Cameron, the one human case of Cameron Syndrome that we know about in rich detail, experienced no self-injurious behavior in early childhood and was unaware that she was different from other people until she was well into her 6th decade of life. This is unheard of in other forms of congenital pain insensitivity. It very strongly suggests that her brain is utilizing the nociceptive signals sent by her still functional pain neurons and creating either a non-agonizing sensation that is aversive enough to prevent self-injury behaviors and a lifetime of significant injuries or that it is producing a sort of "nociceptive blindsight" in which she intuitively avoids sources of injury disclosed to her by her still intact nociceptive signaling system, without experiencing the agonizing phenomenology that is usually attached to it.