A pig in the heart, by Jorge Fauró

In a medical center in Baltimore (USA), a 57-year-old man has had a pig’s heart transplanted. It is a milestone in the history of health, but, beware, it is not a minor milestone in the particular history of the pig, an animal whose name we humans use to discredit the contrary and which the facts have come to confirm as a superior breed. There are certain living beings that have a bad reputation, such as chickens, pigeons, vultures or donkeys, but the pig takes them all, despite the profitability that people get from the pig. Everything is used from the pig. Also the heart.

The human being is a species subjected to the eternal debate of contrasts and contradictions. I want to believe that David Bennett, the maintenance worker in a terminal state who has had the good fortune to receive the transplant (he has been hospitalized for six weeks and his condition prevents him from receiving another person’s heart) is a normal man whose mental parameters accept vaccination as a means towards to achieve immunity according to what diseases. It would also not surprise me if any other recipient of a pig heart was one of those anti-vaccines who do not object to a good pig transplant. and the day they summon him for the third dose he messes it up with the toilets.

The transplantation of organs from animals to humans values ​​science and medicine as much as minimizes the negationist discourse of anti-vaccines. Every day we read that a thirty-something anti-vaccine who opposed getting Pfizer has died. Blessed are the deniers who continue to be news today, a sign that they continue to be treated like a home, although I already anticipate that when they stop being deniers and society no longer pays attention to them, they will run to the nearest health center in search of the injection . It may be too late for that day, but it is the price that is sometimes paid for give the note and endanger the lives of others. Science goes on.

We are, he said, a kind of extremes. We are equally opposed to receiving the vaccine, that we play our last card to the heart of a pig; the same we presume in private not to try red meat, that we stone a minister who charges against the macro-farms and slips the species that Spanish meat is of questionable quality if it is raised at close range. A kind of extreme, yes, and that we come up right away, too.

In the daily report of nonsense, in Murcia, a denier is at the head of the team of nurses who carry out their work in a nursing home, while in the Balearic Islands the high court of that community has rejected that two young girls can attend to school without a mask because the parents have ordered it that way. The worst thing is that, despite the high risk to collective health that events like these entail, they just scandalize us, although all of us who carry a human heart ask for the same radical reaction.

The Baltimore patient has survived the operation since Friday. Days before, he had joked with the doctors about what his life would be like from that day on, whether he would growl or end up wallowing in the mud. With due reservations, I wonder if life will change this Bennett emotionally; if you will feel differently, if you will suffer differently; if he will love or hate differently now that he has the heart of a gocho. Perhaps I love more and better and hate less.

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And the more I think about it, the more I remember the final paragraph of Orwell’s Animal Farm you know, that novel where pigs first took power over humans to end up negotiating with each other in the middle of a game of cards washed down with alcohol and set amid puffs of cigars. “The animals, astonished, looked from the pig to the man, and from the man to the pig; and, again, from pig to man; but already it was impossible to distinguish who was one and who was another».

Thanks to science and advances in medicine, the historic Baltimore transplant brings us closer to a degree of empathy with other species that we sometimes cannot with our own. There will be no complete parity until the reciprocal event occurs, namely: the day comes when a human being transplants his heart into a pig. Even the glorious ending of Orwell’s book will eventually get old.


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