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Comment by myrmecophaga on Open Thread, July 1-15, 2012 · 2012-07-08T22:33:05.297Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

What are people's views on the cow from The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (as an ethical dilemma)? For those who haven’t read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the character is explained on wikipedia Ignoring the idea that vegetables don’t want to be eaten,

  • Would it be a good thing to breed such a cow? (If so, good in what sense/why?)
  • Would it be right/okay to eat such a cow if it existed?

My own opinion is that breeding such a cow is good because it replaces a non-sapient thing that will suffer being slaughtered with a sapient thing that is happy to be slaughtered. I think it’s perfectly okay to eat it because that’s what it wants to have happen (but at the same time, you aren’t obliged to).

It turns out my OH isn’t convinced by this reasoning, so I thought it worth asking.