Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Can "cannibalism" be justified?
The question was posted in response to the recent PBS airing of the documentary on the Greely Expedition.
In 1881, a multi-national expedition was launched to create fourteen Arctic stations that would collect scientific data (meteorological, magnetic, astronomical) to be used to better understand the earth’s climate.
Under the leadership of Adolphus Greely, twenty-five Americans sailed from Newfoundland on July 7, 1881. They were on their way to Lady Franklin Bay deep in the Arctic. Three years later, six survivors were rescued. They had been all but abandoned by the government that sent them north, and returned with dreadful tales of shipwreck, starvation, mutiny, and cannibalism.
It made me to begin to question the validity of cannibalism. Cannibalism has been around a long time and I suppose it is still practiced somewhere on the globe. Cannibalism can be ritualistic, a means of survival, or perversion as in the case of psychotics like a Jeffrey Dahmer.
Justification for me lies in the survival mode. Granted it would be difficult but when a person dies what remains is a corpse and in a survival mode would be a good candidate for nourishment.