Saturday, Dec. 06, 2003 - 4:00 a.m.
Cost of the War in Iraq
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The Sanity of Cannibals??
Me again! You just KNEW I couldn't stop at one entry and one update tonight, huh! I should be washing those darn bugs off of plants. (you get a taste of my endless carryover of tasks not completed, eh!... though I have finished inking in my 7 pages of comics)
I couldn't resist looking up cannibalism after last night's entry. Someone said that it seems less than sane to take pleasure at imbibing someone else's flesh, but I was thinking of that. Isn't the whole communion thingie in Christianity about that? This is my blood and this is my flesh?? Being a failed Protestant I am not so in the know, but it seems that is what was up. Now don't you think that is a bit macabre? I mean, if you were going away, you wouldn't tell people to imagine that the last meal they were eating with you was your blood and muscles would you? A little grotesque, but something millions and millions of people do every week. Very strange.
I have found this utterly fascinating page about cannibalism in the Bible, and it really is worth a read. VERY interesting. It is called "Is Cannibalism a Religious Experience?"
Just recently a tribe in Fiji apologized to the descendents of a missionary for their ancesters having eaten their ancestor. Very interesting.
Often in different societies, enemies were partially eaten to partake of their strength, and sometimes the same with your own venerated ancestors. This is called "mortuary or funeral cannibalism.
Here is an excellent article from Telegraph.co.uk on how anthropological ideas about this have swayed since the 1970's, when it was asserted that any tales of cannibal savages were just fabrications of racist white explorers. Much interesting evidence is surfacing around the globe.
Here is a more tongue in cheek site (we hope), where there are complete instructions of how to butcher (with a recipe for serving) the human animal.
Here are some links about cannibalism in different cultures: Easter Islands, the Early Celts, the Anasazi, the Congo, and Australia. I'm not picking on these people or places, the list could go on and on, but I have run out of the desire to look through the 253,000 Google hits on Cannibalism. Yup. Do your own research if you want more.
We all know of the case of the footballers whose plane crashed in the Andes, which was made famous in the book and the movie "Alive!". We studied the book in my high school Man and Society litterature class, and supposedly the movie is excellent and thought-provoking. Then there is the earlier instance of the Donner Party, a group of intrepid (and foolhardy) pioneers who didn't make it to California before winter set in in 1846-47. (oops! Onewetleg maintains that the Donners were not foolhardy... read what she has to say in my notes, eh!! Famine can indeed inspire cannibalism, as is supposedly happening in North Korea.
The issue of cannibalism and our distaste for it was used by Jonathan Swift in "A Modest Proposal", wherein he tries to point out how we are hypocritical by not caring for the lives of the poor, but somehow caring about their deaths. He proposes that impoverished Irish families be paid to take care of and feed unwanted mouths, thus making sure that the baby is doted upon and well-nourished, until the age of two, I believe, at which points the parents are paid for it, and the child is slaughtered and served to the British rich, much like veal. It would be a happy child to the end, and then serve an economic purpose, instead of the children who were abandoned, abused, beaten, and often died of malnutrition and starvation in Mr. Swift's day. A great satirist, but he definitely has a point. Our distaste is one-sided.
When it comes to animals we are just as bad, since we are in general completely uncaring to how they are treated as long as they are inexpensive and taste good on our tables.
If you are philosophically inclined, I would suggest looking over this entreatise called In Defence of Cannibalism written by Richard Routley. He compares our eating of animals and human flesh from a philosophical point of view. He discusses our assumptions of the morals of eating both human and animal flesh. He looks at how we may consent to our bodies being used for medical or research purposes, but not as food. Many other interesting considerations here. He might've had long chats with Jonathan Swift if they had lived in the same century!!
If you are less philosophically inclined here is a website on cannibalism by whyfiles.org. Lots of info and fun graphics as well! :) Sort of the National Graphic story of cannibalism.
So, cannibalism does not seem to be the sole domain of the insane, and we could hardly call cannibalism a sign of insanity, given it's widespread nature across geography and time in human culture. It is not even unnatural... my hamsters would eat their babies if bothered while the babies were very young. Online I have found information on cannibalism in opossums, chickens, lions (males often eat the offspring of other males so the females will be receptive to mating with them), and even sharks in the uterus!! Baby spiders eat eachother, as do many sorts of hatched tadpoles. Praying mantises and black widow spiders are notorious for eating their mates. Well, the end of the wild kingdom episode! I hope you liked it. Just remember that if you are to do something, whether it be take someone's artwork, or have sex with them, or marry them, or hire them for work, or even eat them, you should do it consensually! :)
By the way, here is another article about Mr. Miewes, whom I wrote about yesterday.
Well, that's all folks! Sorry for the lack of photos and all, but I figured you could just read to your little hearts' content!! :)
Gonna go do a couple things before I go beddybyes
love to me, da wench.
ps, please go do my new survey!! thanks a gadzillion! and two!!
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Goodbye Michael. May your next life be kinder to you. - Thursday, Jun. 25, 2009
*inspired by Chaosdaily