I think, morally speaking (and probably taste too) I'd be ok about eating someone if my life depended on it.

(111 Posts)

I was just pondering this as I cooked some bacon. As you do.

Pigs are lovely, I'm very fond, but I've no issue with eating them. Lambs too, and all sorts of other animals. And I thought, woudl I eat, say, a dolphin?

Hmm. Probably. Especially if I was really hungry and it was all there was.

shock

And then I thought, well, what about a person.

And do you know, my brain doesn't scream in horror at the idea. If I was marooned on a desert island for eg, with someone else, and they starved to death, I'd probably be ok with cooking and eating what was left of them. And in fact, if someone else did the butchering bit, I'd probably chow down fairly happily.

shockshock

I've never really thought about it before. But there you go.

AIBU?

lougle Sun 16-Jun-13 21:03:07

Ledkr, that doesn't really fit in with the survival theme, does it?

<Imagines survival situation where proper cooking, fava beans and nice chianti were available.....>

Sparklingbrook Sun 16-Jun-13 21:03:35

<picks splinters out of bumhole> grin

ivanapoo Sun 16-Jun-13 21:12:17

I'm veggie but I have always said if the world was about to end and some was on offer I'd eat human flesh. When else would I get to taste it? I'm curious!

HollyBerryBush Sun 16-Jun-13 21:14:41

Yeah, I would, in a plane-crashed-in-the-Andes situation.

That made me wryly smile. One of my oldest friends was at the sister school in Montevideo, she knew those boys on the plane. She still knows those who survived.

I have often said I would like to eat my horse when she dies. And I don't eat meat. I just love her so much that it seems an appropriate way of getting rid if her.

Thurlow Sun 16-Jun-13 21:22:29

Really, holly? That's fascinating. I always wonder how they just carried on with normal life afterwards. Not that I would imagine anyone would blame them for what they did.

Eyesunderarock Sun 16-Jun-13 21:26:10

I'm a vegetarian, I wouldn't have a problem with eating a person, or being eaten in a survival situation. If we were already dead.
For me the dilemma would be whether I was willing to kill someone else in order to survive by eating them, or for my children to eat.
I think I'd start with rabbits and pigs first in that scenario.

This book is worth reading, including the chapter on cannibalism.
www.amazon.co.uk/Maos-Great-Famine-Devastating-Catastrophe/dp/1408810034

TroublesomeEx Sun 16-Jun-13 21:27:40

I was just about to say the same as ivanapoo

I'm veggie and have often pondered this - would I eat a person if it was that or die of starvation. And yes, I think I could.

Jan49 Sun 16-Jun-13 21:35:21

I'm vegetarian. Morally I don't think it would be wrong to eat parts of a dead body to survive in an emergency situation. But practically I don't think I could do it. I'm revolted by meat, always have been, and it would seem like meat. I think I'd just die. Perhaps it would be a place where you could eat leaves or chew on grass and I'd do that.

Surely the solution would be to post an opinion on mumsnet that people would disagree with and then survive on all the biscuit biscuit biscuit til help arrived.wink

ZZZenagain Sun 16-Jun-13 21:37:13

I can't imagine being so h7ngry that I would chop up a person's body to eat or start gnawing on a raw limb. I would prefer to think I wouldn't do it but if my dc were starving, I suppose that is just what I would do. Have never been really hungry. I suppose when you are, hunger overrides everything else and so you can eat things you could not ordinarily imagine eating (worms, insects etc)

I don't think it would bother me in the slightest. I think I would have to be pretty desperate to actually kill someone myself, but if my children were hungry, then I would - I wouldn't think twice about it. I like to think I'd try dogs/cats/rats first, but if people were all there was, then people it would be.

sarahtigh Sun 16-Jun-13 23:44:13

when starving children die in third world countries they tend to bury them, not use them to feed slightly less starving children, I am not saying it never happens but it does not appear from the news or any other form of media that this happens with any regularity which is why there is discussion in certain situations like plane crashes because normally the dead are just buried maybe in mass graves but still just buried

Morloth Sun 16-Jun-13 23:46:31

I have watched surgery.

What disturbed me about this was how much we are 'meat'.

If I had to, I would. I probably wouldn't kill someone to eat them. But if the choice was between say my kids and someone else, then I might.

Things have rarely gotten so bad people have resorted to this though.

Starving to death is very painful and takes a long time.

If you are hungry enough not just a bit peckish you will eat anything.

Bark, dirt, pets, people...

Sarahtigh, that's a very good point. I did read the Andes survivors book and they were pretty screwed up about what they did, but those countries where starvation is all too common a process don't resort to cannibalism. confused

Morloth Mon 17-Jun-13 00:25:22

They may well do Ellen but it isn't the sort of thing most people could stomach on the evening news. I certainly wouldn't hold it against anyone.

It could be that there are filters on humans though that cause the initial revulsion in most people.

Even in the survival situations, there have been people who have refused.

It is probably something like the 'warrior' gene.

There will be people who will do anything but they are probably the exception to the rule.

I don't actually know what I would do in such an extreme situation, and I really hope I don't ever have to find out.

No, I wouldn't hold it against someone myself. But it seems to be extremely rare, even in desperate circumstances. Is there some inborn natural taboo about it? I've never even been very hungry, let alone starving. I've no idea what that might be like.

Morloth Mon 17-Jun-13 00:32:32

Desperate people do desperate things.

Who knows.

I have been hungry (like not eaten for a couple days) but never to starvation point.

Certainly never to the point where people looked tasty.

But there probably is a line a human can cross that will reduce them to the basic predator they are.

Eyesunderarock Mon 17-Jun-13 00:32:40

sarah, one of the points about cannibalism in a desperate situation is that those doing it know that it is a shameful choice and so don't speak about it.
So there may have been hundreds of incidents in areas where it has gone unmentioned and unreported, either the disinterring of corpses or the killing of people in order to eat them.
It's impossible to know.

Bit heavy going for this thread though. smile

ripsishere Mon 17-Jun-13 02:06:26

I could eat someone if they were already dead. i couldn't kill and butcher them. I would prefer just muscle over anything attached to bones too.
I've eaten dog. It wasn't nice despite the woman who sold me my portion telling me it was black so therefore tastier.

TheEarlOf Mon 17-Jun-13 03:36:56

YANBU but I would not do it eW eW eW (although I am a vegetarian because I can't stand the thought of eating flesh)

Wouldn't mind someone eating me in a plane crash situation though

TheFallenNinja Mon 17-Jun-13 06:06:06

To be fair, these days, my mates would turn out to be horse.

Fakebook Mon 17-Jun-13 07:06:20

I wouldn't want to do it, but doesn't hunger make you go mad? I wouldn't know what I'd do if I was delirious.

I had an eating disorder as a teen and have been hungry (think weeks without any food and months with barely anything at all). After a while, the hunger just goes tbh, you're just left with a weird euphoria and lightheadedness.

I have no idea if it would be different in a different mind set though.

SacreBlue Mon 17-Jun-13 08:08:32

Afraid to put kibosh on thread by doing a Basil Fawlty grin

In many highly torn areas where there are famine conditions people do resort to whatever they can - I certainly would. Irish Hunger stories tell if them having green faces from trying to survive on grass, eating raw turnips (I have done this out if nice crunchiness but then they were seen as livestock feed not human food)

The penchant for insect eating in various countries is seen as a result of previous famine years, it expands what is the norm to eat to the degree needed to survive so wild birds, horses for some, dogs, cats for others, insects and arachnids for others.

The eating of humans is/was the norm into relatively recent times, I don't have link, but the human equivalent of mad cow (CJD or something was it?) has slowed/stopped the brain eating

<shuffles off thread, arms up, moaning BRAAAAAAIIIIINNS>

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