vice.com – If you could taste human flesh in an ethical way, would you? It’s the kind of question you ask after watching Silence of the Lambs stoned. No matter how you respond, you never expect anyone to hold you to your answer. But in a recent Reddit post, user IncrediblyShinyShart shared the story of a motorcycle crash that put him face-to-face with the macabre hypothetical. When a car hit his bike and sent him careening into a nearby forest, his foot was shattered to the point that he would never walk on it again. When the doctor asked if he wanted to amputate, his one question was, “Can I keep it?”
The United States doesn’t have a federal law banning cannibalism. Idaho is the only state in which the simple act of eating human flesh can land you in prison. Laws against murder, buying and selling human meat, and corpse desecration make cannibalism difficult, but technically legal in the other 49 states. It’s rare someone able to consent to being eaten meets someone interested in eating them, but even that scenario raises a ton of ethical questions. A Belgian man named Detlev Gunzel was sentenced to eight and a half years in prison for butchering and eating a Polish businessman with his consent.
Shiny’s is the rare case where cannibalism was not only legal but ethical. He documented the entire process, but due to the graphic nature of the photos, we have omitted several from this post. View the full set here.
We asked the 38-year-old why he decided to feed himself to his friends, what he tasted like, and how the experience changed him. The following interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.
VICE: Why did you do this?
Shiny: Originally I wanted to have it taxidermied or freeze-dried. How cool would it be to have my freeze-dried or taxidermied foot standing around the house as a lamp or a doorstop or something? All of this came out of the idea that it’s my foot. It’s not going to be cremated and chucked into a landfill. It’s a part of me, and I want it back.
Dog…what the fuck kind of brunch..do not, I repeat do NOT invite me to your brunch party if your fucking leg is on the menu…hard fucking pass. Dude wanted his damn leg to be in his living room like the lamp from Christmas Story but instead made leg tacos to serve his friends…reasonable.