Building in Beyond Earth
At the end of the 20th Century, the field of anthrozoology – an interdisciplinary mix of anthropology, ethology, medicine (human and veterinary), history and social psychology – arose and grew dramatically over the next 100 years. This new academic discipline inadvertently sparked an ethical debate within and among the worlds’ religions concerning the role of animals in “the divine plan,” whether animals had souls, the function of reincarnation, and a host of other faith-based issues following the climatic changes in the wake of the Great Mistake. When the colony ships departed Earth, many colonists continued the debate...and with planetfall and the new species encountered it grew even more intense. On this new planet, some colony settlements established “preserves,” akin to the zoological gardens of Old Earth in structure but not function. Instead of being intended for the edification of the public, these alien preserves were to be used for scientific research. But these preserves also served as yet another basis for the debate about humanity’s destiny among some colonists, reinforcing philosophical notions of Harmony or Purity, according to the prevailing argument. In time, as the settlements grew into cities and shed their “frontier” culture, the alien preserves were opened to casual visitors. While for many a visit to the settlement’s alien preserve was a pleasant or exciting interlude, for others it became a pilgrimage of sorts.