Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go
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.
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