Mar 242008

A “walking supply” was what you might use to escape a Siberian Gulag, according to Anne Applebaum’s book. Escapes were difficult because the camps were a long way from anywhere. So you and your buddy might talk a third person into doing an escape with you. You’d want to pick someone who was well fed, like the camp cook. He would be the “meat”. If you ran out of food, you’d kill him and eat him. The nice thing about it was that you didn’t even have to carry him until the food was needed.

Not everyone could pull this off, though. It would help if you were already a hardened criminal.

That was in the Soviet Union. Here in the west, you don’t need to embark on a life of crime to make yourself into the kind of person who could do that. It may be only step 2 in a five-step program, but in the U.K., the prime minister is pushing for legislation that would allow the creation of “savior siblings,” according to the Daily Mail. If your kid has a rare disease, you could generate others who could be tissue or organ donors, and use genetic screening to abort any who wouldn’t fit the need. The idea is catching on in the U.S., too, according to this Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article.

It’s not quite the same as a walking supply, but it’s a step closer than we were before.

And a lot of the rationalizations could come in handy when get to Step 5. Look at some of the comments at the end of that Daily Mail article:

… should church leaders in the House of Lords, who have not been elected, be allowed to influence the laws of the people?

Many such arguments have merit on both sides and tipping the scales towards the greater good is all that conscience demands.

Morality aside, there’s an interesting twist to one of the “walking supply” stories in Applebaum’s book.

The two men did as planned–they killed and ate the cook–but they had not bargained on the length of the journey. They began to get hungry again:

Both knew in their hearts that the first to fall asleep would be killed by the other. So both pretended they weren’t tired and spent the night telling stories, each watching the other closely. Their old friendship made it impossible for either to make an open attack on the other, or to confess their mutual suspicions.

Finally, one fell asleep. The other slit his throat. He was caught, Buca claims, two days later, with pieces of raw flesh still in his sack.