Tag Archives: thought experiments

The Vegetarian Amputee Chef–A Personal Thought Experiment:

I’ve posed this hypothetical situation to several people before, but I’d like share this with the vast realm of online peers on WordPress and consider a wider range of perspective from this global collection of worldviews…I’m also a bit curious to see if there is some general consensus independent of one’s dietary preferences. Feel free to comment with any opinions or additional input on this matter…

First off, I want to emphasize that I am completely against animal cruelty, and although I am not a practicing vegetarian, I respect the virtues and dedication of those who are. I also understanding that vegetarianism stems from a vast range of beliefs–from religious affiliations, to health concerns, to environmental principles. This particular scenario deals specifically with the aspect of vegetarianism that meat consumption is unethical–with an underlying moral premise that animals cannot explicitly consent to being killed for humans to eat/use their flesh. With that, here’s a little something I call The Story of the Vegetarian Amputee Chef: Herbert I. Vorr is a five-star chef who happens to be a vegetarian of the aforementioned demographic–while Herb has always been curious about trying meat, he would never betray his ideals and eat a non-willing creature. One day, he severs his arm in an accident. The doctor is unable to reattach Herb’s arm, so the limb is amputated and kept on ice to preserve the flesh. Herb’s open-minded doctor suggests that, being a master chef in top physical condition, Herb might want to consider taking his discarded arm into the kitchen as an opportunity for him to prepare a gourmet meal with flesh that came from an organism with the ability to decide its own culinary fate: As a part of Herb’s body (his own flesh and blood) is the source of this meat, his recent circumstances have provided an exception to his self-determined lifestyle.
Discounting the cannibalistic implications of the issue at hand, does going along with his doctor’s recommendation allow Herb the chance to partake in meat consumption–as a deliberately consenting individual–while justifiably staying true to the fundamental nature that represents his vegetarian beliefs?

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