Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Cannibalism - A Lot More Common Than We Are Comfortable In Admitting

Cannibalism is a time-honored tradition practiced by all animals. In times of famine, mothers eat their young. In times of plenty, mothers eat their young. Look at the archaeological record of our and related hominid species, and you will find lots of cut marks in bones, lots of carbonization from cooking fires.

We have been inculcated in the value system that cannibalism is morally repugnant, and yet, that really hasn't stopped the practice altogether.

In the West, with the arrival of the Enlightenment and the Protestant Reformation, we have divided the world into Christian and Cannibal: Civilization and Savagery. (Please ignore the fact that the fundamental sacred ritual of Christianity involves the consumption of  flesh and blood). The idea, you see, is that the liberal notions of individual dignity somehow preclude from sane or rational behavior the idea of eating each other.

Of course, we still practice cannibalism, but we do it in the marketplace. People, as useful commodities, are consumed. Labor and ingenuity are extracted from them as soon as is useful. People have value right up until they cease being productive. Children, of course, as future labor resources, are treated as valued objects. (Although, with the coming biotech revolution, newborns and fetuses will no doubt be put to work as well).

None of this, of course, is new, but I think the marketing strategy for modern denial of modern cannibalism is fairly modern (and by modern, I mean in the past 500 years? since the advent of globalization).


  1. Hmmm??? And I have been careful not to feed the chickens chicken...

    1. In industrial farming, pigs eat chicken shit, chickens eat pig shit.