With another serviette I swept the mouse up into a plate and dropped it into a plastic bin behind the bar. I thought repeatedly about the desirability of a universal system of justice that applied equally to all living creatures and wondered what sort of sentence I would receive from a tribunal based therein. I had committed an act tantamount to unintentional manslaughter but knowing this did not free me from my guilt, in the same way as I had decided that it was better to put the mouse out of its misery despite having no access to the longings that comprised the mouse’s inner life or the agony it had undergone, so this hypothetical tribunal would relieve me of responsibility without having a clear idea of the private texture of the mouse’s existence. In any case I did not believe in responsibility, therefore I did not believe in the divestment of responsibility.
By Adrian West.