Gwen van der Zwan, Valienska Magfira, John O'Shea

The Ethical Way of Eating Blood

Blood Sausages by Gwen van der Zwan and John O'Shea

When tackling the ethics of food production and consumption, the notions of blood as food has always been a somewhat bloody and grim topic. Blood can be considered as the same level as meat, in a way that it is produced after slaughter. So like vegetarian meat, is there a substitute for animal blood?


Blood Sausage by Gwen van der Zwan, taken from Motherboard, NL - Gwen van der Zwan, VICE

Though I’ve never came across the opportunity to consume such a bloody dish, Gwen van der Zwan showed that you can make it anywhere and anytime. All you need are a few ingredients, a syringe, and of course yourself. After all, where else would you get the blood?

Gwen withdrew the blood herself and incorporated it in the lentil mix as a substitute to minced meat along with some herbs. She then consumed it later for dinner. There is a strong argument to say that this version of the blood sausage is vegan. If we don’t consider humans as animals, then Gwen’s dish did not kill or use any animal product which alas, makes it vegan and animal friendly!

John O'Shea on the other hand, produced his blood sausage using blood from a living pig and sells it. This is part of his 'Black Market Pudding' project. This way, he still gets the blood without killing the pig. It may not be consensual either, but it is a more ethical procedure than the typical way of making a blood sausage.