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Can Cannibalism be acceptable?

With Halloween fast approaching, we will discuss the stuff of nightmares - cannibalism.

Cannibalism has been documented as early as the Neanderthals. It is still practised today as part of rituals and cultural reasons and was once practised as the consumption of the human body was thought to be beneficial for medical purposes.

In 1972, a flight from Uruguay bound for Chile crashed. This became known as the Andes flight disaster. Many onboard died on impact with the mountain and many more died in the following days. The survivors were not rescued for over 2 months. How did they survive?

The survivors had very little food, there were eight chocolate bars, a tin of mussels, and three jars of jam and almonds on board. With rationing, this was not enough food to last the ordeal. The body requires significant calories to survive the cold and altitude. There was no naturally growing vegetation in the extreme climate as it was -30 degrees.

The survivors then turned to eat the plane's upholstery and luggage but this just made them sicker. The difficult decision to eat those who died was made. It was a difficult decision. Using broken glass from the windshield of the plane, pieces of flesh were cut off and consumed. This frozen meat was difficult to eat so they began leaving the bodies out in the sun to dry.

Some considered the act of cannibalism to be that of the eucharist, the body, and the blood of Christ. This helped the survivors justify what they were doing. Once the skin was eaten, the survivors moved on to eating the hearts, lungs, and brains. After two months, they were rescued. Rumours speculated that they killed other passengers for a meal. The backlash was soon dealt with when the public understood what the survivors went through. 13 bodies were untouched, and many of the survivors had family onboard and did not want to eat their relatives, however, 15 bodies were now mainly skeletal. Out of 45 people on board, only 16 people survived this ordeal. In this instance, cannibalism was justified and was necessary for survival.

Dissect real organs and take part in The Post Mortem Live!


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