December wrote: I think this is why some on this thread feel that Edward's choosing his victims makes it worse -- it acknowledges that drinking human blood is not a natural act but has a moral dimension. If you want a consistent position about what Edward does, you need to choose. Either it is basically ok -- not a moral big deal -- for vampires to kill people (we are their natural food source), or it is not. To try to believe both at the same time is a natural response, but it is bad reasoning.
And I don't think any of the Cullens (or even Stephenie) has a clear-cut position here. The Cullens don't seem to think ordinary vampires are evil; they may evangelize a little (as vegetarians tend to!), but they don't try to stop them from killing people. Their moral stance is very much that of vegetarians: 'killing animals (or in their case, humans) feels wrong to me, and I'm not going to do it; but it is not an monstrous, unarguable wrong like murder, where it would be almost as wrong of me if I didn't stop others from committing it.'
I see what you are saying. Here is my thought- Vampires, by nature, see humans as food, yummy food. There is nothing wrong with that, because that is what they are- you could argue that their existance is wrong, but that is a completely different debate!
So, with that in mind, that vampires thirsting for humans is not something "wrong" that they are doing, it is simply how they were created, I commend and even admire the Cullens for trying to deny that part of themselves. 99% of the vampires do not give a second thought to their prey other than how good they tasted. All vampires were once human, yet not all of them even consider the veggie life. It might sound crazy, but I think that Laurent is a step up (ever so small a step!) from the regular vamps- at least he gave the veggie life a go.
I tend to disagree with those who think Edward was attempting to "play God" by trying to find a compromise between what he is and what he doesn't want to be. He is a vampire and as such needs to feed on blood. He tried the veggie life that Carlisle introduced him to and it was not enough. And so, in search of quenching his thirst, he decides to give in to his natural desires for human blood. He compromises with himself and his own conscience by drinking the blood of vile humans he catches in the act of committing horrible crimes. How is that seen as worse an act than the vampire down the street who kills at random? Sure, that normal vamp may get a bad guy once in a while, but more likely than not, his prey is an innocent mother, father, brother, etc.
I guess I am just confused on this one because the way I see it, Edward doesn't want to be a vampire. He considers his kind to be monsters, the bad guys. And, not wanting to be a monster, he does all he can to be the least offensive monster he can be. He was, imo, not trying to play god, he was trying to reconcile himself with what he is. He places guilt on himself just for being what he is. If he could save humans while feeding- while doing what is natural for vampires to do, then he felt that he could make up in some small way for his existance.