I know this sounds like an extraordinarily repulsive question - and I apologize to those of you who are offended by it - but that's what I find interesting about things like this...when we are forced to question very basic assumptions about today's world.

As a race, we will seemingly harvest and kill animals for food without a second thought (even when we consider them to have some form of intelligence or personality) yet it seems unacceptable in most, if not all, of today's societies to devour the bodies of human beings, even after they are dead.

A few years back, I remember coming across manbeef.com, a hoax website (which no longer exists) that made people think it was selling human meat. It caused enormous uproar, disgusting many people across the world. But why is that?

Many of us seem to have no problem with going to war with those who hold different ideas to us and then slaughtering the inhabitants of those other countries as though they were animals.

So why not eat them as meat?

Isn't there a deep-rooted double-standard within our collective psyche here?

asked 26 Apr '10, 07:14

Stingray's gravatar image


edited 26 Apr '10, 17:43

+1 for asking the strangest question on IQ so far.

(26 Apr '10, 18:57) Vesuvius

what? it is wrong? whoops...

(15 Sep '10, 18:07) Back2Basics

Ok Stingray, Now I'm concerned for you, LOL. Actually I think there are studies of cannibalistic tribes and over a period of time, eating human meat causes certain disease. BTW, I like your tags (food, cannibalism, spirituality) Great relations

(20 Sep '10, 10:12) RPuls

I have always thought the same way. And being a vegetarian myself, I have always asked this same question with the exception being my question's first word would be "then".

(05 Dec '10, 12:01) Pranay
showing 1 of 4 show 3 more comments

I have to admit that when I first read your question I did think 'Ugh'. However, you do pose a very good question.

I guess again it really all goes back to how we are conditioned and the beliefs we choose to hold. We're taught that it's okay to eat a cow but not a dog, a duck but not a swan.

We set our own standards by the beliefs we choose to hold on to and I think the majority's first response to your question would be the same as mine. However, going back to the life and death scenario in an earlier question, would we resort to cannibalism to save our own lives? We'd all like to say an emphatic no, but the human ego will do anything for survival so I guess it would depend how far enroute to enlightenment we've actually reached.

There is more than one deep-rooted double-standard at play within the collective psyche and the more each of us undertakes to take control of our own psyche, the more the collective will benefit.


answered 26 Apr '10, 12:32

Michaela's gravatar image


Most likely, the disgust factor arises from an evolutionary emotional trigger. Eating each other is not good for the survival of the species, unless extreme famine is present.

If it's possible for human beings to do it, someone will try it (or at least conceive of it). Just watch a few episodes of CSI and you'll be convinced of that.


answered 26 Apr '10, 18:03

Vesuvius's gravatar image


edited 26 Apr '10, 18:56

To quote Hannibal Lecter:

A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.

Guess it depends on what wine you have :D


answered 26 Apr '10, 19:39

ursixx's gravatar image


edited 05 Dec '10, 17:46

LOL! Too bad I don't touch the stuff........

(05 Dec '10, 17:04) daniele

I think it's about evolution.

As primitive beings (good beings, valuable beings, but primitive beings) we would eat anything. Probably including our own offspring.

As we evolved, we started to be touched by the suffering of those we were eating, but still required food. So we compromised and decided not to eat members of our own family.

Then we expanded our idea of who we called family. First we only ate members of other tribes. Then only of tribes we never heard of before, or who we considered enemies. Then no humans at all.

Then no animals, but fish. Then no fish. Then no eggs or milk. Some only eat fruit.

Reportedly, there are already whose who don't eat at all.

All in all, I think the double standard is a good thing: It means we are evolving. So it is good to be aware of the double standard and observe where it is going as a measure of our progress.


answered 30 Apr '10, 11:41

Carlo%20Capocasa's gravatar image

Carlo Capocasa

Interesting answer. Thank you for presenting me with a new idea! Quite a unique perspective on the evolution of eating!

(10 Dec '10, 19:21) Hu Ra

As with any question that deals with ethics, who gets to decide who or what is right and what or who is wrong? As Shakespeare said "There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so".

So now I just classify events and people as Harmonious and Non Harmonious. What ever words you want them called is irrelevant. The point I am making is most of us know what harmonious is as far as vibration is concerned. So when a person or thought or event matches your home frequency vibration it is known as harmonious too YOU. I believe there is a certain quality of these frequencies and harmonies that is pleasing to all.

Since now I let my feelings guide me and I constantly match my vibrations with things there is a better way for me to make my decisions.

And No eating a human would not be harmonious for me;)

But who am I to say that if I crash in a plane and I survive and you die and the only way I can live is to cannibalize ....

Mucho Gracias



answered 05 Dec '10, 03:19

jim%2010's gravatar image

jim 10

Oh Miguel, I'd better be on that plane with you for, me being vegetarian, my flesh would be way more nourishing than Stingray's :)

(05 Dec '10, 12:06) daniele

Ha ha haaaa start my day with a laugh. Thanks

(05 Dec '10, 14:46) jim 10

The belief that all life is sacred, that it's wrong to kill and emotional attachment seem like obvious answers to me.

A not so obvious answer : The fear of death and/or the fear of being no-thing at all.

Try to consider (just for fun;) that all of this (everything) is a great and strange dream meant to explain the dreamer to it's self or distract the dreamer from it's not-self. This dreamer is in fact grand emptiness. Nothingness that is not-nothing. Try to imagine existing as nothing / not-nothing / the empty dreamer.

Some find this idea terrifying. So terrifying they will come up with any set of beliefs and activities that help them pretend causality is real and there is something to do. Others would plunge themselves into this emptiness for whatever reason. I think a cannibal would fall into the latter category. But perhaps a cannibalistic ritual could distract from the emptiness as well. It would surely fill one up ;)

A good one to ask would be Death. It's sitting inside each and every one of us, waiting to take the stage. Turn inwards and ask Death, 'What's up with the eating humans thing?' and let us know what you learn.


answered 10 Dec '10, 19:33

Hu%20Ra's gravatar image

Hu Ra

Nice one, Stingray.

I have absolutely no clue why would people yearn for other people's flesh, unless my belief about why did we incarnate in the physical existence applies also in this case.

I believe we have come to Earth for one and only purpose - growth. Growth is when the unknown is being transformed into the known through experience.

So what is the act of cannibalism? An experience. Now how can you put measure on value of an experience, meaning which ones better than the other? Well I feel you can't. It can't happen because they are both actions with consequences and one of the fundamentals laws of the Universe is - what you put out is what you get back.

So maybe thousands upon thousands of years ago one being thought to it self "How would it feel to eat someone from my own tribe?" He posted that question and found someone who was willing to participate in that "experiment". So now, after this guy has eaten the other one, the other one wants to eat this guy to see how it feels.

Maybe that's how it all happens and why it happens. Of course, the myths about becoming immortal or gaining the persons strength when you eat them or religious beliefs about eating them are also a factor, but I don't believe you can make anybody do something they don't want to do. That is the underlying belief that is driving me so I'm basing my speculations primarily on that belief.


answered 26 Apr '10, 15:34

wildlife's gravatar image


this question reminds me of the fiction movie Solent green, or the non-fiction movie Alive, also of the killer Al Bundy.

It is a question I am pretty uncomfortable with really, but there were cannibal tribes here in America on Hawaii at one time, I think that were something like Malawi warriors or something like that. They would threaten people by sticking their tongues out that meant after I kill you I will eat you too.

The there were children's stories YES Children's stories of cannibalism remember this "Fee Fyy Foo Fum I smell the blood of of a little boy, I'll grind his bones and make him dead he will be my bread."

Something like that, Jack and his bean stalk.

With that said it seems that for some it was common and normal and not thought of as wrong, there is even mention of cannibalism in the Old Testament

It does seem a lot of it in the old testament was not as something good but as consequences of bad though.


answered 27 Apr '10, 23:33

Wade%20Casaldi's gravatar image

Wade Casaldi

edited 27 Apr '10, 23:40

That is a very good question. The whole bringing up and caring for an animal only to enjoy him for dinner at a later date does something to one's state of mind.

Stories here abound of the time when Stalin starved the Ukraine causing millions to die. Reportedly, with all their foodstocks confiscated, hunger was such that it drove some farmers to exchange one of their children and have it for dinner this way you didn't eat your own child, but the neighbor's.......I highly doubt city folks would have come up with this!

I would've been one of those who chose to die with their entire family rather than sacrificing one of my own. But then again, I am vegetarian.........


answered 15 Sep '10, 11:14

daniele's gravatar image


I am in agreement with the double standards part, but are you promoting the sale of human meat; and are you asking us to try it? If so I guess I will have to pass up on this one. I am not mentally prepared to eat human meat now, or any time soon, thank you, but no thank you!


answered 20 Sep '10, 01:27

Inactive%20User's gravatar image

Inactive User ♦♦

It's wrong to eat human beings because i'm pretty sure that means you have to murder the person first.. If you think it's okay to kill people let alone for food, you need help.


answered 04 Dec '10, 20:18

haha's gravatar image


There are people..called aghori saadhus who simply eat the dead after people are gone back home from funeral grounds...so u don't have to kill the human..where does it stop..is taste and experimentation the only thing that drive todays minds..? Plants have life..ANimals have life..humans have life... what to eat and what not to eat is the question to be answered depending on weather its a spiritual question, medical question, worldy question.. For spirituality , i dont think any spritual order allows eating HUMANS..because for an eater its a food, but for other humans..it might be an emotional attachment.. Medically, i am not sure.. Wordly wise, i dont think it would be a social thing to do..but in this world if u remove LAW...then there is no such thing that CANT be done...

This brings another question..would it be ok to eat a human..if he is like abandoned..no knows him.claims him...and lets say he is in a perenial comma?..or worst..would it be ok to raise a child for eating?????

Thanks sandeep


answered 26 May '11, 06:50

sandeep's gravatar image


Interesting timing Stingray...

Having recently watched a video clip of cattle being sent to slaughter in an abbatoir, my immediate thought was "how would these people feel if it was humans being sent to be killed and eaten?"

I think Westerners specifically are just so conditioned to eating animals. Maybe we should try human meat for a change and save the animals!


answered 27 May '11, 07:20

Flame's gravatar image


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