I feel like posting something a bit quirky - I had a family get together - and SOMEHOW the topic of cannibalism came up.
Then it progressed into 'Is cannibalism morally acceptable' , etc.
Some of my family members were utterly shocked when I said I thought it was perfectly fine if the member a tribe for instance is already dead - and the eating of the body is done as either a ritual - or a way to get some good grub. I can see how eating a deceased tribe member could potentially increase the well being of the tribe. It provides food , first and foremost. It is also a way to honor the dead.
My brother went as far as to say he would actually partake if he went to visit one of these cultures out of sheer curiosity. My family was even more shocked, and ended the conversation. But he was dead serious. (Pun intended.)
So two questions.
1.) Is cannibalism acceptable?
2.) Would you partake if you ever happened to visit one of these cultures? (I'm not talking about a life or death situation ... like a ritual feast perhaps?)
My answer to 1.) is listed above.
My answer to 2.) Is ............. Yeah. I probably would. I'm curious.
As to the first question, I consider cannibalizing a dead human to be as acceptible as consuming any form of animal life, in terms of absolute morality. In terms of what is culturally acceptible I would have to defer to the culture in question. The huge gulf that is thought to exist between human animal life and other animal life is an imaginary one. Biology does not support such an assertion. A dead animal is meat.
To the second question I can only reply: I like mine cooked medium well.
1) ...morality is completely subjective, so yes.... :]
2) .....hell no... have you ever heard of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease? CJD is a degenerative neurological disorder. It's primary mode of transmission is through cannibalism, and usually patients with CJD die within 1 year of the onset of symptoms, which include, but aren't limited to:
Personality changes, muscular coordination problems, dementia, insomnia, depression, impaired vision, coma, and, as the disease progresses, usually motor skill coordination begins to worsen. oh yeah, and eventually the person dies.
1.) Yes, in many situations. As when you're not capturing and killing survivors during a zombie apocalypse(that happened in The Road, and in The Walking Dead--it troubled me so much, that people would throw aside any care for other human beings--could they face themselves if they ever found a city again, where they were safe?)
2.) Yes, the Mayans actually had ritual sacrifice of enemies and it was part of their average diet--they didn't have any herbivores for regular meat, so human sufficed.
One really awesome science fictiony thing I read about once was a coffee-maker size machine
That you could put any sort of meat cells into and it would grow them into a slab of meat, complete with marbling to perfection.
You could put human cells into it too, specifically? Your own. So you'd know what you tasted like.
I would do that. Because I'm curious.
But I would also eat the body of someone dead(not the central nervous system, though! you get kuru from it, it causes uncontrollable shaking), recently dead, perhaps a fetus as well, that someone had aborted--I'm interested in trying balut and llama fetus someday as well.
Food is food, we're omnivores and can eat just about anything, the only thing you have to worry about is cooking something properly, poisons, and possible diseases--most of us have a natural genetic component that means we likely were cannibals at somepoint in the past, that protects us from contracting something when we eat human meat...forget what, but it was...intesting and compelling data.
I have no problem with it, though, as long as murder wasn't used to procure the human meat.
LOL - for some reason I got a bit sick thinking about eating a human 'fetus' ... but to each their own!
This thread is turning out great. I wish Abdallah kept posting : (
Balut is Duck fetus, still in the egg, steamed. With egg white.
Some...dish from India, forget the name, is llama fetus. Kind of taboo there now. Thanks Western thought.
But it's coming in vogue to eat the placenta for some whole foods trustafund hippies nowadays.
So technically they are cannibalizing themselves! It's tissue from their body!
: D But it also has a lot of nutrients/meat in it, I imagine--animals eat it because they need every bit of nutrition they can get, us...not so much. We got the nutrition.
There's so much problems we have with food. We eat chicken, turkey, pork, beef.
Most people have fish, turkey, quail, other foods...on special occasions, only. Gator Tail was common only before a football game against the gators. I'm one of the few people I know who eats deer meat regularly--we have such a limited meat diet and so many foods are taboo because of the status attached to them--squirrel, rat, raccoon, etc, are all 'pests', not food. Same with big cats, from cougar to mountain lion--not food, pests. Bear--we don't eat them. Coyotes--we don't eat them. These are all meat, food, and I daresay our ancestors did--but as time went on, it's like the mushroom market--the only ones you find culturally accepted are the the ones in the supermarket.
That said, I get that cannibalism is a whole 'nother level of "taboo" for someone to push past, but there are other things to eat in survival situations, should our supply of meat dry up. Bugs, for instance--just as nutritious, unlikely to be bothered by the zombies should they come, and yet NO ONE turns to them for protein in any of the survival stories. Makes me quail at the day any supply system dies--supermarkets, the roads, mass infection of a major food source(potato famine, anyone?), and I have to go to work that day.
What goes into the ritual thing as well: If someone handed me the goat eyeball from their precious goat that they just slaughtered to celebrate my arrival...what am I gonna do, go "Nah, I don't eat goat." In any ritual where you, an outsider, are invited in, if you turn them down, you are outright insulting them--especially in cannibalism, which is often for funeral rites in certain cultures. So the question is more--if you are invited into a ritual, do you turn those people down?
Cannibalism is acceptable in times of dire need. When men were lost at sea, for instance, in the story that inspired the writing of Moby Dick-- the men would eat the bodies of those who had already passed away. When the dead run out, it's time to volunteer or draw straws, obviously. I would partake if I was starving and more likely to survive than the other person when all was said in done. I don't have any moral qualms with cannibalism that's agreed to beforehand in that sense. As for killing and eating people just to do it, that's on the same level as murder-- and is morally disgusting because of the murder, not the cannibalism.
You also don't have to go to a tribe to try human. There was an art experiment a while ago where a man took bits of human flesh (can't remember if they were extracted from himself [I think they were], or donors) and made a meal out of it and invited so many people to try it for the sake of art and experience. Like ten people showed up and it ended up not being bad at all. Human tastes much like pork anyway.
1) No. I don't know, maybe it's just me but don't you find that a little gross? Especially if the person is already dead, that's disgusting.
I've always found it more acceptable to eat people while they're still alive, too.
"Especially if the person is already dead, that's disgusting."
Well I would hate to have to cook the gent alive - While gnawing into his Flesh as he screams in pain.
I would rather him be dead - It's a bit easier to stomach.
No, I wouldn't do it, because I'm a vegetarian. I find it disgusting for animal to eat animal.
Makes no difference whether its human flesh or other-animal flesh. Its all the same.