Intellectual history of cannibalism

Discuss

26 Responses to “Intellectual history of cannibalism”

  1. hungryjoe says:

    I would like to make a joke where I compare the postcard from Fiji to the TSA’s enhanced pat-downs.

  2. andygates says:

    This Christmas stocking filler still has a leg in it. Nom!

    Also – “plainly impossible”? Is he calling the survivors of the whaler Essex liars? Famous case, inspired Melville, and all that.

  3. PurityObscurity says:

    Why do you always post these things when I’m hungry?

  4. FriendNdeed says:

    It’s wild to see a revolting subject being easily laughed off. (Note that more than half of the Comments so far have a lighthearted jokes.) I have this reaction mostly when something revolting happens that doesn’t affect me directly and I can’t change it. That’s when I make jokes too….cannibalism jokes included. Even though cannibalism jokes are always in bad taste.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I’m pretty sure that cannibalism at sea has actually happened. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Essex_(whaleship) for an example.

  6. Anonymous says:

    “In real circumstances, they would die of thirst long before dying of hunger.”
    Actually, if you find yourself stranded on the open sea, you should drink about a cup of sea water a day, starting the first day. Your body will be able to process the low amount of salt and you will get enough water to survive. (as long as you have a companion to snack on)

    • The Mudshark says:

      Actually, if you find yourself stranded on the open sea, you should drink about a cup of sea water a day, starting the first day. Your body will be able to process the low amount of salt and you will get enough water to survive. (as long as you have a companion to snack on)

      Source?

  7. Anonymous says:

    The situation of “sailors adrift in a boat who supposedly cast lots to choose one to be sacrificed” is certainly not “plainly impossible” for . This happened! It’s an important English criminal law case that is studied in first year law classes in Canada: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R_v_Dudley_and_Stephens

  8. technogeek says:

    People…
    People who eat… people…
    Are the hungriest people
    In the world…

  9. dross1260 says:

    “He was a fine young cannibal”
    —Maurice Moss

  10. Blue_Jaunte says:

    Damn you, Pescowitz. I’ve had this book in my Amazon wishlist for months, and I was just waiting for the price to drop a bit. Now it won’t drop for at least another 6 months. Thanks.

  11. andygates says:

    Are there recipes?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Sounds very interesting but there is once case of a breed of chimp that eats another of it’s species (chimp b) after invading and capturing chimp b’s territory and eating the enemy chimps regardless of the fact that’s there is an abundance of figs (their main source of food and reason for invasion.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I wrote my Master’s dissertation on the ethics of cannibalism in survival situations and I can say that there are indeed many documented cases of people having eaten others in ‘castaway’ like situations. Indeed, as Avramescu notes, people would die of thirst before hunger, however this is in most situations.

    In the case of Dudley, Stephens and Parker, Parker was killed because Dudley and Stephens believed his blood to still be viscous. Had they waited for him to die his blood would have been too congealed to offer any sort of hydration. The fact that they ate his body afterwards is incidental and is something that, having already killed him, made sense.

    But there are also other cases of survival cannibalism. The most famous and perhaps most recent is in the one involving Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571, when it crashed into the Andes. Being surrounded by snow the survivors had no shortage of water. However, their rations did eventually begin to run low and they did indeed engage in cannibalism for its nutritional benefits rather than for hydration.

    The reasons for cannibalism vary depending on the situation and the need. My research concluded that cannibalism can be ethical so long as certain measures are enforced. All potential benefactors and victims must consent, knowing full well that it may be them who may be killed and eaten. The method for choosing must be random and fair. It must be taken as a last resort.

    Avramescu’s book is interesting but it has little to no philosophical or ethical considerations. That’s fine, however, as it is a history and not a treatise on its ethicalness.

  14. Syd says:

    Also see Armin Meiwes the German guy who advertised for a person interested in being eaten. He um, found someone. And made a video.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armin_Meiwes

  15. efergus3 says:

    A joke Site that came out in 2005. Very funny. Had quite a few people wondering. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hufu

  16. squealingrat says:

    What is the tastiest part of the human body?

  17. Anonymous says:

    RE” “imagined”

    There is, of course, a very real case where life-boat occupants killed and ate one of their number.
    R v. Dudley and Stephens (1884) 14 QBD 273 (QB)
    Classic law school reading about necessity as a defense for murder.
    (It isn’t one.)

  18. Wally Ballou says:

    Mmmmm, roast leg of insurance salesman!

  19. Tdawwg says:

    A tasty subject!

Leave a Reply