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Shiny ate his own foot

Today’s conversation is one I’ve been looking forward to, ever since I first came across the story. As you might know, I’ve said in the past that one of my goals for this show is to never be boring. And today’s topic fits in perfectly with that goal.

My guest’s name is Shiny. Not his real name of course. Shiny was presented with a rare situation. Some might even call it an opportunity. How would you respond, if you were given the opportunity to actually eat meat that came from a human being? For most people, the reaction would be “Absolutely not! That’s disgusting.”

But what if it could be done in a way that was legal and ethical? And in addition, what if it were done in a way that was healthy, so you wouldn’t have any worries about disease, or infection, or any of that? Well, honestly, for most people, I think the reaction would STILL be “No way!”

But Shiny is not like most people. He and a bunch of his friends are pretty open-minded, and they seem to be willing to try just about anything. And they did.

foot meat

Usually when you hear stories about cannibalism, it involves a serial killer like Jeffrey Dahmer. Or it might be about a group of people who are stranded somewhere for an extended period of time, and they end up eating the weakest in the group just to be able to stay alive. Shiny’s story does not involve murder, or survival. It’s really just a story about a brunch that none of them will ever forget.

preparing
Preparing

 

cooking
Cooking

 

Foot Tacos
Foot Tacos!

We’ll definitely be talking about this one over in the Facebook group, and you’re welcome to join us there, at WhatWasThatLike.com/facebook.

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Episode transcript (download transcript PDF)

Today’s conversation is one I’ve been looking forward to, ever since I first came across the story. As you might know, I’ve said in the past that one of my goals for this show is to never be boring. And today’s topic fits in perfectly with that goal.

My guest’s name is Shiny. Not his real name of course. Shiny was presented with a rare situation. Some might even call it an opportunity. How would you respond, if you were allowed to eat meat that came from a human being? For most people, the reaction would be “Absolutely not! That’s disgusting.”

But what if it could be done in a way that was legal and ethical? And in addition, what if it were done healthily, so you wouldn’t have any worries about disease, infection, or any of that? Well, honestly, for most people, I think the reaction would STILL be “No way!”

But Shiny is not like most people. He and a bunch of his friends are pretty open-minded, and they seem to be willing to try just about anything. And they did.

Usually, when you hear stories about cannibalism, it involves a serial killer like Jeffrey Dahmer. Or it might be about a group of people who are stranded somewhere for an extended time, and they end up eating the weakest in the group just to be able to stay alive. Shiny’s story does not involve murder or survival. It’s just a story about a brunch that none of them will ever forget.

We’ll be talking about this one over in the Facebook group, and you’re welcome to join us there, at WhatWasThatLike.com/facebook.

And if you like this kind of story, and maybe even like the true crime podcasts, hang around and after today’s conversation, we’ll hear from my friend Justin about HIS podcast. It might be one you’ll want to check out.

And now, please enjoy my rather unusual conversation with Shiny.

 

Scott

I have so many questions about this.

 

Shiny

Fantastic.

 

Scott

I hope that the people listening to this aren’t thinking of a particular question that they’re really hoping I’m going to ask and I forget to ask it. I kind of made some notes here ahead of time. We should say up front, that your wish is to remain anonymous – I think people would understand that once we get into what the story’s about. I’m going to be referring to you as by the nickname “Shiny”, at your request.

 

Shiny

I do appreciate that, Scott.

 

Scott

Sure. Of course. There were some friends involved with this whole thing. We’re not going to identify them in any way. There are going to be no pictures of you or your friends on the website. It’s kind of a different episode than what I usually do. I like to say that this podcast is never boring. Boy, we’re knocking it out of the park today with this one. So you and your friends had actually talked about doing something like this in the past, right? How did this come up in the past?

 

Shiny

I have a very close set of friends who all have a very dark sense of humor back in the day – and this is probably 13 years ago now. We’re all Epicurious people. We like to eat weird stuff and try different things. We just try out everything in life. One night, we were all sitting and saying, “If it were ethical and healthy – full consent was given and no one was harmed – would you try some human meat or, maybe, some human jerky just to say you’ve tried it and to understand it?” We all said, “Oh, yes, I’ll do that. Of course, I would! It’d be weird and whatnot, but I wouldn’t mind trying it out.”

 

Scott

Sure. It’s easy to say you’d try it when you’re pretty sure that opportunity’s never going to come up.

 

Shiny

I mean, what’s the likelihood, right?

 

Scott

Right.

 

Scott

Just to be clear on what we’re talking about here – when you say “human jerky”- we’re talking about actual human flesh?

 

Shiny

Yes.

 

Scott

Okay.

 

Shiny

We’re talking about cannibalism in a non-killy way.

 

Scott

Can you just elaborate a little bit? You talk about two criteria. There’s ethical and healthy. Can you elaborate on each of these as to how it would meet those requirements?

 

Shiny

So basically, you want something that’s not diseased. You don’t want rotten meat or something that’s gone gangrenous, or something like that. You want it to be ethical. Nobody was harmed to take it. Consent was given. You don’t just want to take somebody’s meat – that’s not nice – and nobody was killed for it. So there’s no Donner party or anything like that. It’s just circumstances that allowed for a unique situation.

 

Scott

The question that comes to mind is, “Is this actually legal?”.

 

Shiny

Sure. There are no laws against it. All laws surrounding cannibalism are typically associated with killing people. There are no laws against it, except in Idaho and Alaska.

 

Scott

So only two states have outlawed actual cannibalism. You’re right. It’s the surrounding circumstances where, typically, a person is killed before they get eaten.

 

Shiny

Yes.

 

Scott

Yeah. Are there any health concerns beyond non-diseased tissue?

 

Shiny

We did some research before we did it. There’s the prion disease, which is much like a mad cow disease. Typically, it’s associated with brain-eating tissue. It can’t come from eating any tissue whatsoever – there’s a very low likelihood of that. Also, I’ve done blood tests and everything like that in the hospital. They ran all kinds of tests. I don’t have any blood-borne diseases. I don’t have any bacteriological infections. Before they chopped off the bottom part of my foot, they cleaned it up really well. So when we got it back, we were kind of dubious and wondering, “Is this gonna be okay?” So yeah… No bad effects. It has been three years now.

 

Scott

So, it sounds like you really did your homework on this. So you were going in with your eyes open and knowing what was going on. You guys have joked about it in the past and are sure that the opportunity would never come up. Then, you had a motorcycle accident?

 

Shiny

Yeah.

 

Scott

Can you take us through that?

 

Shiny

Sure. It was a lovely Memorial Day afternoon up in the mountains. I was cruisin’ around on my motorcycle and was heading back into town. There were a lot of little fishing holes along my little mountain route. As I was coming up, there was some opposing traffic. I had 2 cars up ahead of me about 100 yards away. The cars had stopped and had their blinkers on. So, I said to myself, “All right. He sees me. He’s waiting”. When I got about 15 feet away, he hit the gas, pulled right into my lane, and hit the back of my motorcycle. Then, I fishtailed, flipped, and flew into the woods.

 

Scott

He was turning left in front of you as you approached him? How is it that his car hit the back of your motorcycle? Did you try to pass him but he just turned too soon?

 

Shiny

Pretty much.

 

Scott

Okay.

 

Shiny

It was a kid. He was with his girlfriend on Memorial Day. They were out having a good time. They were doing something in the car and he wasn’t paying attention. He looked up, hit the gas, and just found the back of my motorcycle.

 

Scott

I’m sure that’s a day he’ll never forget either.

 

Shiny

I have hit somebody in the past too. It wasn’t necessarily my fault but it was a traumatizing experience and something that haunts me to this day. So no, you don’t forget stuff like that. It’s absolutely horrible.

 

Scott

So you got thrown off the bike into the woods.

 

Shiny

Yep. The trees were really close, so I’m pretty sure I hit my foot on one of the trees flying through.

 

Scott 

You didn’t know that immediately, though.

 

Shiny

Not immediately. I sat up in the woods and looked around. I took off my helmet and just felt this intense burning on my leg. I looked down and my shoe was just dangling there. I can see some bone and some meat. I’m like “Oh, that’s bad”. So, I started screaming for help and a couple of people came down. This whole section is fuzzy because I went into shock pretty quickly. I do remember a woman coming down and putting a blanket on me. Then, a couple more women came down. There was a woman and her young daughter. Her young daughter went up to the truck. She brought back a tourniquet for me and tied it off on my leg. Another woman – because this is Northern New Mexico – came back and applied essential oils to my forehead without consent, mind you. She started rubbing stuff on my face. In a not very nice way, I asked her to leave. I had enough going on. I don’t need anything rubbed on my face.

 

Scott

That’s not exactly a first-aid procedure anyway.

 

Shiny

For some people, that’s just the end-all and beginning.

 

Scott

Right. I’m sure she had good intentions.

 

Shiny

She had great intentions. She just had absolutely no idea what she was doing. In my luck, there was an off-duty EMT close by that came down and helped out as well.

 

Scott

Obviously, somebody called 911, so the ambulance was on the way – I’m sure too.

 

Shiny

It was a heavily trafficked area. There were plenty of people around. It all worked out. About a half-hour there, they loaded me into the ambulance, tried to clean out the wound, and gave me some morphine, which did absolutely nothing except made me slightly nauseous. They took me to an area where they could get me on a helicopter and airlift me out of there. We waited there for about another half an hour. Then, on the helicopter, they said “We’d like to give you some ketamine to help with the pain. Are you okay with that?” I was, like, “Sure”. I don’t remember the helicopter ride at all. I was transcending time and space, and contemplating my own existence, which I think kind of helped out in the whole experience because I was in pretty good spirits for the rest of the time.

 

Scott

How long was the ride to the hospital?

 

Shiny

Probably another half an hour from where I was. So, I’d say it was probably an hour and a half from the accident to the hospital when I started being evaluated by the surgeons.

 

Scott

You were conscious at that time?

 

Shiny

I was conscious the entire time because of the medications. All my medical charts say that I was in very good spirits.

 

Scott

At what point did they determine how to proceed with your foot?

 

Shiny

As they were evaluating and taking x-rays, I have vague memories of the doctors telling me, “You may lose the foot”. They said, “We can try to reestablish vascular pressure, get blood back in the foot, and see what we can do.” I was like “I’m kind of attached to it. Please do what you can. Let’s see how this works out. If you can save it, go try to save it”. Again, these are just vague recollections because I was heavily medicated.

 

Scott

I saw some of the pictures, and one of the pictures is an X-ray of your foot. It just looked like a pile of bone fragments – like, there wasn’t even a resemblance of skeletal structure there.

 

Shiny

No, it’s all bits and pieces. I didn’t understand them until after a couple of days when they started showing me the CAT scans and the X-rays. It’s just bits and pieces in a vague foot shape. It was just completely macerated.

 

Scott

So there was no hope for it, then.

 

Shiny

No. What I was told was “If you have this, you will be on pain medication. It’ll never be weight-bearing. This will always be a burden as long as you have it.”

 

Scott

So was it a fairly easy decision to amputate?

 

Shiny

I think I hung onto it for a couple of days and pondered about what kind of life I wanted to lead. I had a guy who came to visit me, who went through a similar experience. He worked with the amputee coalition and did peer visits. His story mirrored mine in some ways. He was a military guy. He had an accident and basically pulverized his foot as well. For 5 years, he went through surgeries trying to fix it. I think he had somewhere around 30 plus surgeries. He had been on a wheelchair and pain medications for 5 years – he had been addicted to them, living with his parents, being completely depressed, and not having any sort of life. Then he said, “You know what? Take it off”. Then, within six months, he has a life again. He’s up and walking around. He’s off the medications and everything’s better. After listening to that, it kind of cemented the idea that I am not somebody to sit around. I’d go crazy. I can’t have an office job because I gotta be up and moving around. That’s just not the kind of life I want to lead. So, at that point, I was like, “Well.. Yeah. Take it off. Let’s figure it out”.

 

Scott

So, they took it off and saved it for you. Did you ask them immediately and tell them that you wanted to keep it?

 

Shiny

Yes. Originally, it wasn’t to eat. I wanted to taxidermy it or freeze-dry it to have as a doorstop. It’s mine. I’m not gonna let it go.

 

Scott

Honestly, a doorstop? That sounds almost as weird as eating it.

 

Shiny

But it’s fantastic. So, it is, like, $1,200 to freeze-dry a foot, and I couldn’t afford that at the time. I called around 13 taxidermists – or my friends did, rather – and nobody would take us seriously. In all honesty, I don’t know if they’re allowed to handle human remains. So, that was part of it. I couldn’t find anybody to do it, so I figured that I’m going to cremate it. That way, at least, I have it with me. I know where it is. It’s over on my desk right now in a little jar. That was the original plan. It wasn’t until after the surgery – after I’m home – that I started thinking, “Well, what if the meat’s still good? What if we could try that out?” I don’t remember exactly how that conversation came about. I do know that I started texting people, saying “Hey, remember how we always joked about this? What would you all think if we try it out?” Much to my surprise, I had a reasonable turnaround of people who are like, “Yep. Let’s do it”.

 

Scott

You have a very unusual set of friends.

 

Shiny

You go through life and you find people who accentuate your life. You gotta keep those people around. It’s an effort, but when you find good people, you keep them.

 

Scott

At that point – when you told them about it – did you already have it in your possession? Was it still in the fridge at the hospital?

 

Shiny

It was still in the fridge at the hospital. I didn’t know what the situation would be like. I didn’t know if it was frozen. I didn’t know if it was refrigerated. I assumed that it’d be pretty well taken care of because of the hospital and the pathology department. I had no idea. So, it was kind of “Well. We’ll wait and see what happens.”. As a couple of weeks went by, I went and picked it up. This is also weird because I sat on a little chair, signed some forms, and then they just gave me a foot in a bag.

 

Scott

I assume the forms would release the hospital from liability or something like that.

 

Shiny

That’s all it is. It’s a release form saying, “You understand that this is biological waste, but it is yours. We respect that and we are not taking any part in what you’re doing here.”

 

Scott

Alright. Yeah. It’s a biohazard. They even have very strict guidelines on how to dispose of that kind of thing, but they handed it back to you anyway.

 

Shiny

Yeah. So, I had a foot in the bag. I put it in an ice chest and went home.

 

Scott

Is that the point where you said, “Okay, guys, we’re really going to do this”?

 

Shiny

Yeah. The next morning, we made a casting of it and went through the whole process. I went and I took a little chunk out next to the shinbone.

 

Scott

Is this after everybody had already arrived?

 

Shiny

No. This is a couple of days before. I took a chunk out of the shinbone. Then, we tried to do a foot casting and that was just a whole thing.

 

Scott

What is it? Can you describe it? I’m not sure what is foot casting.

 

Shiny

Well, there’s arts and crafts stuff which is, kind of, a malleable material – it’s almost like a gel and it sets up. You can take a cast of an oddly shaped structure to pour plaster in and make a plaster cast. All my friends were trying to layer this plastic material onto a severed foot to try to get the shape out of it. Then, we let it dry for a little bit. That took a couple of hours in the morning. Then, we poured some plaster in it. Later in the afternoon, I went and had the foot itself cremated.

 

Scott

So that was the final goodbye to most of the foot…

 

Shiny

Yeah. Then, we had Saturday brunch a couple of days later. I gave about 2-4 ounces of meat and sinew off the shinbone. I have a good friend who is a very capable chef.

 

Scott

First experience for him too, I’m sure.

 

Shiny

Yeah. That was a fun question of “Hey, man. Would you be willing to cook up some of me?” So, he said, “Let me think about this”. He came back and said, “Yep, I’m totally gonna do this. I’m gonna figure this out”. So he took it. I can’t remember exactly what he marinated it in. However, it was something to soften it up because it’s an area of a person where it’s not gonna be soft meat. It’s gonna be very sinewy – lots of tendons and stuff like that. So, he marinated it overnight. I showed up at his house with a bunch of other people. We had some pastries, fruit tarts, and little stuff like that. Then, he started grilling up the meat that he made. We called them foot tacos, but it was really, like, a tostada with little fajita meat on it. Basically, that’s what it was.

 

Scott

What was the feeling or ambiance in the room? Was it, kind of, a little awkward because everybody knew what was about to happen? Or was it, kind of, a joking thing? How did your friends feel?

 

Shiny

There was a lot of dark humor and joking going on – just to ease the weirdness because it’s super weird. We were gonna cross that taboo. If ever you bring up cannibalism, it’s always under dubious situations where either you have primitive cultures eating their enemies or their loved ones keeping them around. You also have either serial killers who are not necessarily human in mindset. You have tragedies like the Donner party or that soccer team in the Andes where people survived. You never have fun with cannibalism.

 

Scott

Right. Those are 2 words you don’t usually hear in the same sentence. I keep thinking of a couple of scenes like the one with Anthony Hopkins in Hannibal at the end of the movie saying, “I’m having some friends over for dinner with some fava beans” or whatever that line was. Then, I’m picturing the scene from the office where Michael Scott burned his foot on the Foreman Grill. This is a textbook example of dark humor. There are so many potential jokes that would lend themselves well to this. So how many people were there in total?

 

Shiny

11.

 

Scott

So, there was enough that your chef could divide it up for pretty much everyone to just get a bite, right? It’s not like a meal.

 

Shiny

It’s pretty much a bite. He made 12 little samples. One person had seconds.

 

Scott

Did anyone get to the point of “Wow, this is really going to happen” and actually declined?

 

Shiny

No, nobody declined. However, one friend got a chewy bit – bless her heart. She chewed it for a while and said, “I’m so sorry. I have to spit you out. I can’t”.

 

Scott

I’m sure you didn’t take offense at that. What was the actual cooking process? I mean, were there seasonings? Was it just put on a pan and grilled on the stove?

 

Shiny

The marinated meat was on a pan on the stove. They chopped it up into little bits, put them on the stove with some salt and pepper, squeezed a little lime, sauteed it, took it out, sauteed some peppers and onions, put it all back together, and then chopped it up finer with – I think it was, like, a cherry sauce – some sort of little fancy green sauce that went over the top of it.

 

Scott

So not overly seasoned to the point of– obviously, the point is to taste what the meat tastes like, so you didn’t want to go overboard with the seasoning.

 

Shiny

There wasn’t a whole lot of seasoning – credit to the chef. He knew exactly the right way to do it even without the experience to extrapolate. He knew what he was doing, but I don’t think part of it was having the experience of trying people. I think it was my friends coming together to help me move forward through a tragic experience. This is a way to, kind of, put a bow on it and move on in a fitting way.

 

Scott

Did it smell like regular meat when you were cooking it? When you saute onions, they have a very distinctive smell that smells really good, so that probably was part of what contributed to the aroma.

 

Shiny

Yeah. It’s very red meat. It’s kind of beefy. I’d liken it to bison or elk where it’s somewhat gamey, very stringy, and very dark red.

 

Scott

How would you classify the actual taste of it?

 

Shiny

Very beefy, like a bison or a gamey cow. I heard they call it a Papua New Guinea pig. It is supposed to taste a lot like pork, but it’s not like pork or domesticated pork. If you have Old World Heritage pork from older breeds of pigs, it’s really dark meat. The other white meat is just from breeding or something like that because pork meat can be very dark. So I’d liken it to heritage pork, somewhat.

 

Scott

So, I’m sure the reason everybody didn’t gag on it was it just, kind of, tasted like something they’ve had before. I would imagine it’s more of a mental thing.

 

Shiny

It is. Yeah. Because it doesn’t taste bad. It’s a little bit chewy, mind you, but it didn’t taste bad at all. It tastes like a damn good fajita.

 

Scott

So, while that was happening, what was the conversation like during or after?

 

Shiny

During it, there were bad religious and sexual jokes like, “I don’t know if you’ll be inside 11 people again.” That was a pretty good joke. There’s a lot of awkward laughing. We’re all enjoying each other’s company and whatnot. The dark humor that came out was just perfect.

 

Scott

I can see that – down the road, into the distant future – this is something that have, kind of, bonded this group of friends together as they’ve been through something that nobody else has been through.

 

Shiny

Yes. 2 of the people who hated me were at my wedding last weekend – they were my best man.

 

Scott

Is this common knowledge among your other friends or is it not? I can’t imagine it coming up in some conversations at some point.

 

Shiny

It’s common knowledge among the general group. There are some people I work with who know. None of their parents know – that’s purely by design. They’re not going to understand it. They’re going to freak out. I don’t think my siblings know – it’s mostly just the friend group. When I did the story on Reddit, there were some people who recognized me. They were like, “Is this you?” Yeah, that’s me. So, it’s here and there. There aren’t a lot of people who know me by name or anything like that. Mostly, it’s just on the internet. So, it’s not a big story that everybody knows me. It’s like, “Oh, that’s the cannibal guy”. I’m only recognized, for the most part, on the internet – that’s just by linking to my Reddit handle. So, it’s a perfect type of weird fame.

 

Scott

You kind of made Reddit history, didn’t you?

 

Shiny

Yeah. Well, a little bit.

 

Scott

On the rare occasion when it does come up and you have to tell someone the story in person, what’s the reaction? There’s a range of reactions you get.

 

Shiny

I’ll tell you about the first date with my wife. We chatted online for a little while. She said, “Well, let’s go meet”. We met up at a bar around where she lived. She has sets of first-date questions, and she said, “Well, what’s the weirdest thing you ever ate?”. And… Yeah.

 

Scott

Oh, man. The one question I was hoping you weren’t gonna ask.

 

Shiny

I said, “Well, I don’t know you that well yet, so I’m gonna hold onto that. The second weirdest thing is pig’s ears”. Then, she said, “Wait, wait, wait. Pig’s ears is the second weirdest thing? You can’t do that! No, I asked you what is the weirdest thing!” I said, “Well, okay. The weirdest thing I ever ate was a portion of my own amputated foot”. So, she kind of looked at me and asked for the background story. Then, I told her. She kind of looked at me and said, “I don’t know if I believe you, but okay”. About a week and a half later, my best man and his wife came down to visit and she met them. Then, it kind of dawned on her, like, “Oh no. Wait. This happened”. So, within 2 weeks, she absolutely confirmed that this whole story took place. She still dated me. Now, she’s married to me.

 

Scott

That’s a pretty good litmus test. When you tell somebody that you’ve done something like that, it’s either “No way. I’m never gonna see you again” or “This guy’s interesting enough that he might be husband material”. Do you ride a motorcycle now?

 

Shiny

No, I’m not allowed to.

 

Scott

Not allowed by who?

 

Shiny 

By my mother. She went through a lot in that whole experience. She basically took care of me for about a month – staying with me and helping me around the house and whatnot. She said, “I don’t want to ever go through that experience again. So, just wait until I’m dead before you get on one again”. She got a pretty good deal because she’s pretty young and healthy. So, I’m gonna be waiting for a while.

 

Scott

You’re gonna be waiting for a while, but you don’t have a fear of getting back on a motorcycle and riding?

 

Shiny

No, motorcycles are the best thing ever.

 

Scott

So, do you have a prosthetic for your legs now?

 

Shiny

Yeah.

 

Scott

How’s that worked out? Is it pretty comfortable? What do you think?

 

Shiny

It’s pretty fantastic. I think it’s all about the fit. Technology has come a long way. It’s not like back in the 80s when it was, kind of, a static thing. There are new technologies that are made with carbon fiber. These new materials have a lot of resistance and flex to them. It’s fantastic. People don’t know that I have a prosthetic unless I tell them because I have a completely normal gait and I get around just fine.

 

Scott

Oh. So, people can’t tell that you don’t have any kind of a limp?

 

Shiny

No. I do pretty darn well. I’m also lucky for the way the surgery went, the fit, and everything. I don’t have any more extenuating circumstances that cause me pain while wearing the prosthetic itself. So, I do pretty well. I get around. I go for a bunch of bicycle riding. I don’t run – I didn’t run before – so it’s not something I’m missing out on, typically, like going hiking, swimming, and whatever. I mean, I walk all day outside for my job. I work in construction, so the prosthetic doesn’t slow me down.

 

Scott

Obviously, you are a real-life cannibal now – is that how you consider yourself? Do you feel any kind of stigma attached to that at all?

 

Shiny

There’s definitely a stigma attached to it – maybe, more so to me because I’m an auto-cannibal. I mean, I ate my own flesh. There’s definitely a stigma attached to it, but I don’t think the stigma applies, necessarily, globally, especially in this case because it was ethical cannibalism. I consented to people eating me. Everybody who ate me consented to eat me. Everybody knew what was going on. It wasn’t like those stories you hear from South America or the East where somebody was killing people and serving the meat on the street. There was no malice involved in any of this process.

 

Scott

It’s interesting. You and I were talking before I hit the record button, and I mentioned that I’m a vegan. So, obviously, I would not be eligible to partake in your little party, but then you brought up an interesting point that veganism means no animals were harmed. I’ve never seen any veganism information where it talks about cannibalism.

 

Shiny

The concept of veganism is that you ethically can’t put animals in servitude for your own well-being. So, you’re not going to keep cows and sheep and milk them without their consent. That is a form of slavery because they can’t consent. You can’t gain that, which I totally understand. However, with people, you can consent, right?

 

Scott

Yes. You can, and you did.

 

Shiny

Yeah. So I think, technically, it’s vegan. However, I feel that many people will argue that fact.

 

Scott

I can see them arguing it, but I’d want to hear the basis of their argument. I’m still not sure that I would do it myself, but I can definitely see both sides of it.

 

Shiny

Well, Scott, do you have any close friends who ride motorcycles? You never know if this opportunity might come up.

 

Scott

Well, it may. That would be another podcast episode for me. One final question. You said that the accident and everything that happened after was the beginning of good things in your life. Can you elaborate on that?

 

Shiny

Well, I always had an easy life. I grew up in the middle class, never struggled, and never had things I had to overcome to gain character. So, I just had an easy life going through everything – through college, through jobs, and kind of just existing. Then, I had this brush with death and learned to appreciate everything that I had. I set some goals 3 years ago in the hospital. I wanted to find a partner to experience life. I want to travel and I wanted to find a job to afford all that, so I left my sleepy little town and moved to a bigger city. I found my partner and now I’m married. I found a fantastic career where I’m still at the bottom of the pay scale but making more money than I thought I’d ever make. I’m going to start traveling the world now. Everything has just picked up. I have found this strength and resilience within myself to keep pushing, enjoying, and appreciating life. I mean, a foot is a small price to pay for this much personal growth.

 

Scott

Yeah. Well, character is built through difficulty, not through easy times, right? It sounds like you’ve really taken advantage of this situation to build a much better and more intentional life.

 

Shiny

I’d like to think so. You have to take what you can from any tragedy. Learn what you can from it, and try to move on in any kind of healthy way, whether it’d be a personal tragedy, death, or getting laid off from a job to anything. You have to learn what you can and apply it, going forward. Otherwise, you succumb to society. Being a society is overwhelming. There are too many people and the way we’ve set things up is not conducive to a happy life. So, trying to eke out and understanding ways to work within it is absolutely necessary to find any happiness.

 

Scott

Yeah, we don’t have any control over what happens to us. But we do have complete control over how we react to it. That’s kind of the way–

 

Shiny

Exactly

 

Scott

Yeah, I certainly appreciate you sharing the story. I have a feeling that this would be what people consider to be the weirdest episode I’ve ever done so far. But hey, my point with this podcast is to never be boring.

 

Shiny

Well, fantastic.

 

Scott

You’ve been a great help with that. I appreciate it.

 

Shiny

I’m glad, man. This was fun.

 

Scott

Thanks for listening to this episode. If you know about any other podcast episode where the guest tells the story of eating his own foot, please let me know – because I think this is the only one. As I’ve said before, one of my goals with this show is to never be boring.

And before we head out the door, here’s a word from Justin, the host of the popular true crime podcast, Obscura:

 

Justin

This is Justin from Obscura, a true-crime podcast. Do you like single host, narrative-driven true crime that isn’t afraid to get graphic? On Obscura, we paint a picture of the lives of the criminals and victims before telling a story of the crime, and how it unfolded. With atmospheric production and audio clips such as 911 calls, you have an idea of what we’re about. If that intrigues you, type “Obscura True Crime” into your favorite podcatcher. You can’t miss our logo. We’ll see you by the fire.

 

Scott

Thanks, Justin! If you’re into true crime stories with all the gory details, Obscura might be just the thing you’re looking for.

 

I also wanted to let you know, that if you’re a podcaster, or actually, if you’re even just thinking about doing a podcast, you should consider going to Podcast Movement, which is the biggest podcasting conference of the year. It’s gonna be in Orlando next month, August 13-16. I’ll be there, so if you’re gonna be there, let me know so we can meet up.

 

Had some pretty good discussions in our private Facebook group recently. One of the things I asked the group is this – what OTHER podcasts do you listen to besides this one? I’m thinking about doing some podcast promo trades with other shows, and I want to make sure I target the shows that you guys like. Just another way to grab more listeners.

 

And thanks again to those of you who support the show! If you’d like to be a patron and show your support for this show, you can do that at whatwasthatlike.com/support

 

Thanks again for listening, and I’ll see you here for the next episode, where we’ll once again ask the question, “What was that like?”