Kill or Be Killed on the High Seas

Read the story of Richard Parker and Tom Dudley. Is what Dudley did defensible? What would you have done?

I pray I am never in such a situation. I don’t know how much hunger one would have to endure to make the prospect of drinking blood appealing. As I read the wiki entry I couldn’t believe that was their solution, however if it’s the only liquid available what other options are left?

However that is neither here nor there, is what Dudley did defensible? I do not know. Who was Dudley to choose Parker as the sacrifice? True he was sick and in a coma but seeing as how they were rescued he could have been healed. If you had to resort to cannibalism I would await for either a volunteer (unlikely) or draw lots. At least then everyone has an equal probability of being killed. Perhaps it was the captain’s duty to die instead? He was responsible for his crew and instead ate the most inexperienced crew member, who arguably shouldn’t have been chosen as a crew member in the first place.

Something I find odd though is that Brooks shrugs off all involvement by saying he neither gave his permission or gave his dissent, that it was Stephens and Dudley that decided to do it. However by all accounts Dudley and Brooks received the greatest payoff by eating the most while Stephens ate the least amount of Parker. Just seems like there is something fishy going on there.

Anyway, the much bigger question, What would you have done?
I would like to believe it is not in me to eat another human being. The idea is wholly repellent, let alone eating raw meat. My father, on occasion, asks if I’m a vegetarian because I eat so little meat. I truly hope I would choose starvation over murder/cannibalism. I don’t think I’d survive it. Sure I may live by resulting to such measures, but the weight of that knowledge. I would never be the same and the person I was would die the second I took a bite.


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