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New book by 60 Minutes’ Mike Wallace says pets will be uncommon in 50 years

By Gary Bogue
Wednesday, March 5th, 2008 at 7:49 am in Birds, Cats, Pets.

Mike Wallace has written a new book, ”The Way We Will Be 50 Years From Today: 60 Of The World’s Greatest Minds Share Their Vision Of The Next Half-Century.” It will be in bookstores on April 15.

Here’s some information from the press release I just received:
Mike assembled some of the world’s brightest, imaginative and forward-thinking individuals, including 15 Nobel Prize winners, to share their thoughts on what the future holds in this book. Fifty years is merely a blip in time, but in that blip can come incredible changes.

Just a few of those contributing essays in this insightful and thought-provoking book include: Vint Cerf of Google, known as “Father of the Internet”; Nobel prize winning astrophysicist George Smoot, who helped solidify the Big-Bang Theory of the Universe; Norman E. Borlaug, Nobel peace Prize winner and “father of the Green Revolution”; Astronomer Steven Beckwith, Director of the Space Telescope Institute at John Hopkins Univ.; Richard Dawkins, FRS, is an evolutionary biologist at Oxford.

Check out these 3 samples of the 60 predictions in “The Way We’ll Be 50 Years From Today”:

** Each of us will have a copy of our own complete DNA sequence, incorporated into a highly accurate electronic medical record and accessible from anywhere in the world. Visits to the doctor may seem a bit like Star Trek, with sophisticated imaging capabilities that allow precise assessments of any problems in any organ system (Francis S. Collins, MD, Ph.D., a geneticist who led the Human Gnome Project)

** Researchers will have discovered how to prevent breast cancer and heart disease will be no longer. (Nancy Brinker, founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Louis Ignarro, Nobel Prize winner and Professor, UCLA School of Medicine)

And this is the one that REALLY caught my eye:
** Schizophrenia and bipolar diseases will be well understood and treatable, and will be known to be caused by infectious agents combined with predisposing genes; children will be vaccinated against them before they become exposed. What will be surprising will be the discovery that many of the infectious agents causing diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, MS, some cancers and other chronic diseases are transmitted to humans by animals. Pets such as cats, birds, hamsters and others will be uncommon due to the danger of the infectious agents they carry. (Dr. E. Fuller Torrey, a research psychiatrist specializing in schizophrenia and manic-depressive illnesses)

Anyone want to see if those of us with not-so-great minds and no Nobel Prizes can come up with our own predictions of how it will be 50 years from today?

I’ll start it off:
I think pets play a much BIGGER roll in our lives than Dr. Torrey obviously does. I don’t think “pets such as cats, birds, hamsters and others” (dogs?) will be uncommon 50 years from now. Pets are too important to our lives and if it is discovered that they carry infectious agents, then a way will also be discovered to resolve that problem without getting rid of the pets. And $50 billion dollars in annual sales of pet food and pet-related products may also play some slight role in this. (Gary Bogue, fumble-fingered blogger and daily pet and wildlife columnist)

Anybody else game for this? Let’s hear your predictions. Nobel Prize winners and great minds will also be allowed to participate if they feel so inclined.

Just leave your comments below:

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9 Responses to “New book by 60 Minutes’ Mike Wallace says pets will be uncommon in 50 years”

  1. Liz Says:

    One thing that even today is causing families to not have pets is allergies. Childhood allergies and asthma are getting worse. There are lots of guesses as to why, the most common being environmental pollution but no one can say for sure. What I do know for sure is that we have had to banish the cat and dog from most parts of the house due to my son’s allergies and asthma. When these animals die (they’re both quite old) we will not be replacing them. My son is definitely healthier (though much sadder) when separated from the animals.

  2. Ernie Hines Says:


    I was surfing to find information on the death of Ray Orrock.

    It was great to see you still writing your column (Has it been for 50 years yet?).

    Your right, the doctor is wrong. Dogs and cats and assorted pets will be with us for a long, long while. They remain when the kids move out, and become the new kids — far less demanding and easier to care for, no tuition, no help with downpayments and we generally know where they are at night.

  3. Catlover Says:

    Regarding pets and allergies — another school of thought (the ‘hygiene theory’) believes that we are not exposed enough to pathogens as infants and children — that historically, people lived with many animals and the immune system developed in that context — take away that context and it doesn’t know what to do with itself and turns on itself. The presence of household pets has been shown to decrease asthma rates in some studies.

    Most measures of environmental pollution are down since the ’70s yet asthma rates continue to climb.

  4. Barbara Says:

    “What WILL be surprising…” In other words, this is a predicition by a psychiatrist? It hasn’t been established fact?

    Presumably the doctor has alternative suggestions for guide/guard/rescue dogs, companion animals, etc?

    Dr. Torrey should be concentrating more upon the leniency of pesticides approved by the EPA; or, food, drugs, cosmetics and other things by the FDA.

    Animals have been around for zillions of years; the EPA since 1970; and the FDA since 1906.

    I’m not worried about the animals.

  5. takeiteasy Says:

    I’ll take my chances. I’d rather live with my pets than without them and I will always have pets regardless of any imagined health risk, scare tactic, or paranoia.

  6. Truth Says:

    What Dr. Torrey is referring to is mounting (but not yet 100% proven) evidence that many instances of schizophrenia are caused by by genetically pre-disposed women having in utero viral infection during the first trimester. Toxoplasmosis. Look it up.

  7. How to Get Six Pack Fast Says:

    The topic is quite hot on the Internet right now. What do you pay attention to while choosing what to write about?

  8. Gary Bogue Says:

    Everything I can think of …

  9. Holiday in Spain Says:

    I searched on google and I had a hard time located the right info….until I found your blog.

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