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Literary BioethicsAnimality, Disability, and the Human$
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Maren Tova Linett

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781479801268

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479801268.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 17 January 2022

Cloned Lives

Cloned Lives

Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go

Chapter:
(p.117) 4 Cloned Lives
Source:
Literary Bioethics
Author(s):

Maren Tova Linett

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9781479801268.003.0005

Chapter 4 reads Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go (2005) as a thought experiment about the ethics of humane farming. In this novel cloned human beings are raised as sources of organs for noncloned human beings; they are killed in the donation process early in their adulthood. The government homes where most of the cloned human beings live in “deplorable conditions” suggest factory farms, while the boarding school at which our protagonists live evokes a humane, organic farm. These parallels raise issues of animal ethics. Is it enough to have, as influential food writer Michal Pollan believes, a good life and a respectful death even if that life is dramatically shortened? This chapter demonstrates the cognitive dissonance and logical incoherence inherent in the fictional scenario and illuminates the ethical contradictions of the humane meat movement.

Keywords:   Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go, animal ethics, humane farming, animal welfare, engineered human beings, cloning, human exceptionalism, Michael Pollan

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