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Facsimiles of Flesh


Journal of Applied Philosophy

Published online on


Ed Gein was a serial killer, grave robber, and body snatcher who made a lampshade from human skin. Now consider the detective who found that lampshade. Let's suppose that he would never want to own it; however, he does find that he wants a synthetic one just like it – a perfect replica. We assume that there is something morally problematic about the detective having such a replica. We then argue that, given as much, we can reach the surprising conclusion that it's morally problematic to consume realistic fake‐meat products. After explaining why we might the detective's replica lampshade morally problematic, we clarify the analogy between the replica and fake meat products. Then, we defend it against a number of objections, the most notable one being we can sever any association between fake meat and the real stuff without moral cost. We conclude by pointing out that our argument generalises: if it works, then there is something morally problematic about many fake animal products, including fake leather and fur.