It’s a toad-eat-toad, spider-eat-spider, and yes, human-eat-human world.
Of all the screen villains, none is so disturbing as Hannibal Lecter, in The Silence of the Lambs. It’s not just that he kills people. He also eats them, thus contravening one of our deepest and most ancient taboos: that to consume human flesh is the ultimate betrayal of our humanity. But as zoologist and author Bill Schutt shows in his new book, Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History, not all cultures have shared this taboo. In ancient China, for instance, human body parts would appear on Imperial menus. [Find out what happened to one of the Uruguayan rugby players who ate his teammates after their plane crashed.]
When National Geographic caught up with Schutt by phone at his home on Long Island, the author explained how, in the animal kingdom, cannibalism is extremely common; why mad cow disease and a degenerative brain condition found in the highlands of New Guinea were both caused by cannibalism; and how climate change could trigger mass cannibalism.
You write, “Cannibalism makes perfect evolutionary sense.” Explain that idea, with some examples, please…
Finish Reading: Cannibalism—the Ultimate Taboo—Is Surprisingly Common