Cannibals

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From Phoenix here , why is eating human flesh so abhorrent to us?

Usually it will be preceded by murder, as that is what happens in the animal sense when we eat animals (we don’t eat roadkill), but what if it didn’t? There was a man jailed a few years back for killing another man (or was it suicide?) with his consent and eating part of him, again with his consent. There was even an advert in the newspaper looking for such a volunteer. Is that wrong?

Even further back (I’ll look for sources on these if people wish) there was a plane crash in the mountains and the survivors only stayed alive to be rescued by eating the flesh of their dead fellow passengers. Is this too wrong?

Edit: The cannibal alleges it was a ‘killing on demand’, and I’ve got a handy Wikipedia Article here about the flight in the Andes (it was made into a film, probably where I heard it from), though the word ‘cannibal’ isn’t in the main bit, but the bit where they agree to eat the dead flesh is in the second paragraph of the ‘Food and Water’ section.

 
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I think the point is that the image of eating someone is drilled into you to be either
A. Hannibal Lecter-style, you know, the line where he says “A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.” And if you haven’t seen the movie, it’s just plain creepy. Not something you want to be associated with.
B. The Hills Have Eyes-style (might’ve gotten the movie wrong), where you have the dirty savage eating the guy while he’s still alive. Not pleasant either, and again, the mutants are the “bad guys”, so anything they do must automatically be bad.
C. Western Redskins-style, where you have the Indians eating the flesh of the “white man”, and they specifically make those scenes to be shocking to sell movies.

The media has kinda conditioned you to thing it’s gross or yucky or something else like that. I personally think it’s wrong to go cannibalism, but if someone specifically asks you to do it, I’m pretty sure that’s assisted suicide, and is illegal. The act of killing the dude is wrong, but not eating him as far as I’m concerned. Once he’s dead, he’s just another lump of meat like beef or something. It’s something entirely different to kill the guy and THEN eat him, though.

 
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Eating someone IS illegal no matter how they died, it is desecration of a corpse.

 
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if consented i think that its fine. humman meat might even taste good. hummans are, even though many dont accept it, we are animals. Mammals. we may have thumbs and are evovled but we are still animals. and if the person had conset or was found dead, you know like on the street wat ever. its not murder or suecide. it may sound weird but we are just animals and other animals do that too so why cant we? cannablisium isnt wronge its just different.:P

 
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desecration is a religious term, it shouldn’t have any applcation in law.

People can donate their bodies to be cut up for research or education, I see no reason they shouldn’t be able to do the same for food. I can imagine there having been reasons for it once – disease related – but suspect they’d now be redundant if so.

 
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yea i agree with phooltk. let the people do what ever they want to do with themselves.

 
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When our base instincts were drilled into us, we may not have had a way to cook things, so any human (being smarter than other animals) was more likely to be killed by disease than by anything else. So, if they had no way to cook the meat, but they ate a diseased human corpse, they would die, so, the ones with an aversion to eat humans survived.

Just a theory though.

 
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> The media has kinda conditioned you to thing it’s gross or yucky or something else like that.

I used the word abhorrent ;)

I’m not so sure about that, I can’t remember seeing much as a child in the way of what to eat and what not to – it was mostly my parents and I can’t remember them telling me not to eat dead people either. It could be built into us to not do anything resmbling harm to our fellow species members, and eating is rather a destructive action. Perhaps it is our tradition of honouring the dead, as mistress17 has exemplified.

> So, if they had no way to cook the meat, but they ate a diseased human corpse, they would die, so, the ones with an aversion to eat humans survived.

You could say the same thing for any meat. If you kill it it’s safe to eat, but if you find something green and dead on the ground it probably isn’t

 
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It’s not exactly a natural thing to want to consume another human body..

 
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Cannibalism is only socially acceptable if you’re a zombie.

 
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if you have no food but you are stranded with other people, people will turn to cannibalisum to survive! survial of the fitest right. that includes ourselves. besides if you want to eat somebody and they consent then its fine.

 
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Medically speaking (not that I’m a doctor, but i did study immunology at degree level)

there is a massively increased risk of catching something – as no mutations have to occur to pathogens to cross the species barrier. Immunologically humans are similar enough to each other to possibly trigger an auto-immune response, (that is where your body’s defence system attacks your own body) when cannibalism occurs.

I agree that if it is that or die, then there is an argument for it. I’m off to watch some more Ray Mears survival guides, just in case.

AT

 
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Yeah, the main problem is that if you are eating a diseased human you would most likely catch the affliction that the person had. This is (like Viral said) probably noticed by our ancestors; thus, they made it a taboo (well, most of them did). Just like random sex was a taboo (STDs).

 
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Its a natural instinct to not eat your own species, in order to preserve it.

 
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Tisk, I am not sure whether this can be applied when concerning the topic food. Since humans or other animals are ready, to kill a being from their own species if they feel threatened, than why wouldn’t they do the same if they are hungry?

 
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Most animals do not attack their own species.

 
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Unless they feel threatened. Wolves would kill a lone wolf, so that he could not eat food from their territory. When two lion prides encounter they don’t just wave to each other and continue doing their own stuff. When basic needs are not fulfilled animals tend to act hastily and irrationally.

 
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I mean in normal circumstances. If there is a normal amount of food, good territory, and no impending doom, animals do not harm their own species.

 
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Fact is that "ab"normal circumstances occur often.

 
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fact is "ab"normal circumstances occur often.

Not too often. It seems that the cleverer a species the less it eats it’s own species. Though if humans are cleverest then the cleverer the more viciousness and fighting they do [chimps also, though not the bonobo:] ]. I think it is an in built evolving thingy-ma-bob.

@brizingr9,: You might want to correct spelling+grammar in your replies.

 
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6turmovak, the only time (I’m sure someone will point out some obscure circumstance where this isn’t true) where an animal will kill another of its species is if it is to protect the life of itself or its kin. Therefore, Venderman’s statement about natural instinct to preserve the species is true, as the killing of its species is only to save others of that same species.

 
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desecration is a religious term, it shouldn’t have any applcation in law.

It shouldn’t, but it does. Eating someone, by law, is in the same area as burning them or cutting them up. I am sure there other words to be used instead of desecration, but the point to disregard it shouldn’t be made in the fact that a religious term is used in the law.

Besides that, as far as this discussion, how does someone give permission to be eaten, and how could it even be proved after death?

 
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is in the same area as burning them

The word cremation comes to mind..

 
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> Besides that, as far as this discussion, how does someone give permission to be eaten, and how could it even be proved after death?

They could write it in their will I suppose.

 
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yea it would be legal if in your will you some how stated something like " and i want ____ to eat my dead body when i die" or however you phrase things in a will. i wouldnt know.

yo sorry warbossjackjack i didnt correct my posts didnt think it would offend people if there was a few mistakes. :/