Cannibalism - the practice of eating human flesh - is illegal in every country on Earth. Yet, the moral context is far from straightforward: is it always wrong? What about in matters of life and death? Should having the victim's consent impact the way it is viewed?
Cannibalism has only been viewed as unethical in recent times
The practice has a long history spanning cultures, continents and millennia.
Cannibalism was believed to be a powerful cure for disease
In sixteenth-century Europe, feasting on the dead was used as a cure for a range of physical ailments. Moreover, it created an invisible and unbreakable bond that tied humanity together with a sense of brotherhood.Explore
There's archaeological evidence for cannibal societies
Several human remains excavated from caves around the world showcase signs of early caveman cannibalism. It proves that while this practice is now considered unthinkable, it was definitely part of our ancestry and cannot be ignored.Explore
Forms of cannibalism already exist in mainstream society
Whether in religious ritual or post-natal diet, forms of cannibalism are already widely accepted.
Endocannibalism is a customary rite based on spiritual beliefs
Certain tribal communities in recent history have carried on the practice of endocannibalism to this very day. They believe that it not only brings them closer to their ancestors in spirit but also in wisdom.Explore
Consumption of placenta is modern-day cannibalism
Cannibalism exists in the modern world to this very day through notions such as the consumption of the placenta. This practice, however, is disguised by promoting its nutritional value that has no basis in science.Explore
The Eucharist is metaphorical cannibalism, which emphasizes spiritual sustenance
Religions like Christianity are often said to be cannibalistic because of their belief in the Eucharist. By eating and drinking the bread and wine that symbolizes Christ's body and blood, they practice the very idea they disapprove of.Explore
It is only ethical when necessary for survival
Unless one's own life depends on cannibalism, it is morally abhorrent.
Survival cannibalism is seemingly innate, morality and ethics take a backseat in life or death situations
In rare and extreme examples where survival depends on cannibalism, it is permissible. For example, when survivors of the Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 crash of 1973 turned to cannibalism to survive, the mass media admired their fortitude.Explore
This page was last edited on Sunday, 15 Mar 2020 at 19:58 UTC