The Other, Other White Meat

Is cannibalism such a farfetched idea after all? In a world stricken with food shortages and other finite resources, such a proposition may find it’s way to a dinner table near you. What I’m not proposing is that everyone disband  and consume each other left and right, that, would be wrong. However, what if we were to consume those who have passed away through natural causes and the like?  Their bodies no longer of use to the original owner, human flesh harbors crucial nutrients key to survival; Nutritionally, cannibalism is sound. In addition to decreasing the food shortage, cannibalism also would decrease the amount of bodies filing up graveyards and crypts, increasing opportunity costs for land usage. If you’re interested, i discovered an interesting documentary on cannibalism. The short movie contains some interesting scientific discoveries pertaining to cannibalism that may surprise you.

What are your thoughts?

– Matthew K

3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    shermanj said,


    Hmm… a couple of things. I am curious about your “cannibalism is nutritionally sound” claim. First, where is your proof? Second, I am hesitant to buy into it because I know there are some pretty serious societal and cultural taboos about cannibalism, and most taboos have some sort of valid point behind them.

    That aside, science fiction has already addressed the scenario of running low on food and eating dead people… have you ever seen, or heard of, the film Soylent Green?

    You can watch it here:

    (I think it is interesting how we, as a species or culture, use fictional stories to address societal issues, like facism, racism, utopianism, or sustainability, in order to imagine unique solutions to present situations or even potential futures. There is something special about fiction, which lets us to step outside of the real and allows us to think creatively about ourselves.)

  2. 2

    Matthew K. said,

    On the basis of nutrition, individuals of the same species tend to have similar requirements in terms of minerals, vitamins and nutrients required for growth and maintenance. Think of it as the most essential “pre-packaged” food available. (David Pfennig, Ph.D)

    here is a short article, I found it to be very entertaining.

    As for taboo, i have no legitimate defense. Perhaps we must reevaluate our morals and ethics to live more sustainable lives.

  3. 3

    AnneMarie said,

    If it’s survival, then why not? I mean aside from what we read in the omnivore’s Dilemma about mad cow disease, and how animals including us have a natural aversion towards cannibalism so that we don’t acquire an infection associated with the practice. Nutritionally wise, I would have to say that what people typically eat is not something I would like to ingest myself. People these days seem to be deficient in many areas of nutrition. It’s too bad that the meats we eat are already nutritionally poor with unnatural feeding techniques, let alone even considering human meat. For those who need to survive though, I see it as a very plausible option. It breaks my heart to think those crash survivors had to make the excruciating decision to break the taboo of cannibalism. Especially being friends of theirs. But their survival was an incredible feat. If the evidence points to an evolution of cannibalism so we might survive, then I really wish our ancestors did not resort to it. I understand the poignant situation of people being stranded and having to survive, but to develop a gene that helps people to take in their own flesh without acquiring a disease is darn right scary to me! It could lead to more free thoughts of the practice, and a breakthrough of the taboo that won’t be specific to just surviving, or consuming the dead of people who died from natural causes. I have to take a very conservative viewpoint on this one because I want our society to have taboos against cannibalism, so that we don’t head towards dangerous grounds. With the exception of extreme survival situations, with the utmost respect and full consciousness of the act.

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