”I remove their meat from the bones, first the legs, then the hands, and then take out the internal organs. I like to cook the meat directly with a little salt, but before eating the internal organs, I will perform some rituals… “This sensational statement came from a Brazilian man who was convinced by the cult theory that “cannibalism can purify the soul.” In the name of hiring a nanny, he tricked nine young women into coming home, and then dismembered and cooked them. . The above paragraph was in June 2015. He confessed to the court how he dismembered the women. The jurors present all felt terrified after listening. They said: “This person must be a lunatic, a pervert! A normal person. Humans must not be able to do such terrible things!”
But when we calm down and examine this incident carefully, we may find that although we humans now claim to live in a civilized era, cannibalism is generally regarded as barbaric. The old and backward bad habits don’t seem to be too far away from us.
Metaphor about “cannibalism”
We human beings have always been omnivores. From the age of grazing and drinking blood, whether it is flying in the sky or running on the ground, there is nothing that we do not eat. Only in the matter of cannibalism, we are still very taboo.
But despite this, in our daily language and culture, we still often reveal some innuendo that means cannibalism. For example, when two people are whispering next to each other, if one party gets too close, the other party may say: “You go a little bit, you will bite my ear off.” When we meet When we get to the one we like, we can’t help thinking: “I like him so much! I really want to eat him!” When we defeated the opponent easily, we would disdain: “He is not enough. I stuffed my teeth.” These seemingly inattentive words all contain the hint of “cannibalism”. Why is this so? Is it true that human nature is inherently prone to cannibalism?
The word “cannibals” appeared after Columbus discovered the American continent. When Columbus heard the local natives talk about how the Caribs ate their captives, he misheard a sound, so he had another word with the same etymology as the Caribs-“cannibals”. The existence of cannibals means that cannibalism is not accidental, and archaeological evidence also shows that cannibalism was once very common in the past, and the history of human cannibalism can even be traced back to 800,000 years ago.
In 1994, archaeologists discovered the fossils of the first “pioneers” who came to Europe in a cave in Atapueca in northern Spain. Studies have confirmed that these prehistoric humans are also cannibals, and they especially like to eat the meat of children, because the remains found in the cave are from children and adolescents. The distribution of fossil layers shows that this cannibalism is not a one-off, but It keeps happening. Experts also said that the places where these pioneers lived were very rich in animal and plant resources, which meant that they were not eating people because of lack of food. They might be eating children from other ethnic groups, because at the time, this was to prevent other ethnic groups from expanding. The most direct and effective way to compete with them for limited resources.
In 133 BC, after the city of Numancia was surrounded by Roman troops, due to food shortages, large-scale cannibalism also appeared in Numancia. At first, the Numansians only ate the meat of those who died naturally, but gradually the phenomenon of the weak eating the weak. In order to survive, the strong will unite to kill the weaker ones, and then share their flesh.
In addition to deterring the enemy and famine are the causes of cannibalism, cannibalism also occurs in many accidents. In 1846, a gold mining team of 87 people in the United States was trapped in the winter mountains. After eating livestock, belts and blankets, they had to eat their dead companions to survive. In the end, only 48 of the 87 people Survived. In 1972, Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571, which was taken by the Uruguayan rugby team to Chile, crashed into the Andes. After food was cut off, hunger defeated everyone’s respect for life, and the rest began to eat the bodies of the dead. In the end, some of them survived tenaciously. This incident was also adapted by the American director Frank Marshall and made into the movie “Legendary Survival”.
The meaning behind cannibalism
If eating human flesh in order to survive is a last resort, then to observe cannibalism as a traditional custom is simply incredible in our civilized society today. But in many cannibal tribes, cannibalism is like other customs and habits, because it has a certain significance, so it has been passed down from generation to generation.
From the cannibal tribes in the forests of Papua New Guinea to the primitive tribes of the Amazon Basin and Fiji Islands, there are traditions of outsiders and insiders of the cannibals. They will eat the people captured from the hostile tribe as a sacrifice to the gods, hoping that the gods can bless the tribe of their tribe forever. This is by no means purely for eating meat, because they don’t eat all the captives. They only pick the bravest captives to eat. They believe that as long as they eat the bravest enemy, they can gain his strength and courage. Not only do they eat the enemy’s meat themselves, but they also feed their children, so that children can gain more power from an early age, and then they can defeat the enemies of other tribes.
Beth Conklin, an anthropologist at Vanderbilt University, visited the cannibal tribes in the Americas between 1985 and 1987 to study their cannibalism. She discovered that these cannibals not only eat the meat of their enemies, they even eat the meat of their relatives. Because in their view, after the death of a loved one, only eating his meat is the best farewell to him. They believe that only by eating the meat of their loved ones will they be integrated with them, and the blood and flesh of their loved ones will remain in their bodies, and they will also gain the wisdom and courage from their loved ones. As Da Vinci once said: “Our life is based on the death of others. In the dead, unconscious life lurks, waiting to be combined with the stomach of another living person and regain consciousness and wisdom. .”
In addition to the custom of cannibalism for survival and group cannibalism, there are also some people who cannibalize because of certain morbid psychology. In 2001, a German man named Armin Meiweis publicly advertised on the “Cannibal Community” website, looking for a “person between 18 and 30 years old, who is strong and willing to be eaten.” What is even more incredible is that a person named Brandes took the initiative to contact Maivis. The two met on Christmas Day, and then Maivis cut up Brandes to cook and recorded the process into more than 50 videotapes. After being arrested by the police, Maiweis has been quibbling that this is not a murder, he just “helped” the victim to die in the way he chose, but the German court still sentenced him to life imprisonment for murder. Ironically, after being imprisoned, Maiweis became a vegetarian. He also actively helped the police deal with cannibalism-related cases. According to him, there are at least 100 cannibals in Germany.