What Would You Die For?
Nov 13 2012
If you're the kind of person who neglects articles about war and hardship that clog up the front of a newspaper, all in the pursuit of mindless tittle-tattle about snowboarding parakeets and record-breaking pumpkins, you might have read the story about a man who died earlier this week after eating dozens of cockroaches and worms.
The guy was devouring the roaches as part of an insect-eating contest hoping to win a snazzy new python. I know—with a prize as incredible as that, I'm surprised there weren't more people scoffing handfuls of gross, slimy bugs until they reached the brink of death.
Obviously, the prospect of winning a python is worth eating yourself to death for—that's a given—but this story got us thinking: What would you die for? World peace? An end to poverty? A new boat that you could never use?
VICE: Is there something you would die for?
Amy, 21: Can I be brutally honest and say no?
Not even to save the lives of a million kids?
Oh, you meant anything? I thought you just meant my close family.
You wouldn’t want to die for any of your family members?
No, they’d be really annoyed if I did that. My mom and dad would definitely be pissed off. Sex trafficking is more of an issue for me. I’d die to save one girl from the sex trade. I’ve got a really big thing about sexism. It gets me annoyed just talking about it.
OK, I'll leave you to it then.
Jack, 27: Yeah, definitely. Freedom and Western society. If someone who threatened that wanted to attack us, then I’d have no choice.
You're up for a ruck before you bow out?
I’m generally a peaceful person and I like to keep myself to myself, but if a war was going to kick off again and I got called on to stick up for our way of life, then I’d be up for it.
It seems like you’ve thought about this before.
Well, if another Hitler or Stalin pops up then I'd have to, wouldn't I, man?
Carol, 37 (left) and Nicole, 33.
Nicole: That’s a difficult question to answer.
What about saving a species?
Carol: Hmm, I wouldn’t do it for a species. I’d do it for the whole ecosystem in general.
Nicole: I’d take care of myself.
What about racism?
Nicole: Yeah, I would definitely die if it meant an end of racism.
What about now? That's such a wonderful, selfless offer that I'm sure we could work something out.
Nicole: I changed my mind actually, I’m pretty selfish.
Carol: I definitely think I would still.
You guys are like polar opposites. Carol wants to save everything and Nicole couldn’t give a shit.
Nicole: No, it’s not like that, I’m just more…
Of an asshole?
Michael, 27: Like a material thing? Oh, definitely for a yacht.
What? You wouldn't be able to use it, though. You'd be dead.
Oh, OK. So, something else like happiness, maybe?
I don’t think you understand the question. So, what if you were in a plane crash and there wasn’t enough food for you and the rest of the survivors to last until the rescue team arrived. Would you offer up your flesh?
Sure, why not. People would know who I was after that. I'd leave a legacy.
Nina and Frank, both 58.
Frank: That’s going to be pretty short because I can’t think of anything offhand.
What about something like wiping out world famine?
I’m not convinced by that, to be honest. It’s like all those suicide bombers. They think they’re making a difference, but nothing changes, does it?
I suppose not. What about you, Nina?
She says “It’s to die for” quite a lot, but that’s normally to do with food or something.
So you’re comfortable living selfishly?
Nina: I know where this is going—it’s a religious thing, isn’t it? You're trying to get us to turn religious.
You rumbled me. I've got God on the phone and he said that if you die, racism will end.
Don’t be stupid, that’s never going to happen.
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