I haven't tasted human flesh and I hope I never do. It's just how I feel. There is a certain absurdity to the thought that discards any potential of rational discussion of 'why'. Why don't I like the idea of eating human flesh?
Have you been around a table and hear someone say, "There's a tribe in India, the Aghori sadhu's who eat human flesh', to which you could possibly hear, 'Eew' or 'how could you?' or "that's just plain cold-hearted and yuck!"
What is it that makes us discard the idea of chomping on human flesh? Why can't we think of a juicy piece of buttock meat, or thigh meat, whatever you are into, rolled through a skewer, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled liberally with adobo seasoning?
- Is it because there is a thinking brain inside each of us that recognizes pain, but more importantly can voice it through shouts for help?
- Is it because it is conditioning of the mind with the deep-rooted idea that we do not betray those from our clan
- Is it because of emotions and the connections we have with people, either by seeing the sadness or fear in their eyes and being able to empathize with that?
- Or is it because we are just consider ourselves superior enough to do it to other animals BECAUSE we think:
- They cannot display all the emotions we relate to (i.e. fish don't make loud crying sounds), so the pain or heartlessness is peripheral and hence easily ignorable.
- We can ignore the painful cries because we don't understand them (e.g. a pig wailing as it is chopped)
We are empathetic, some more than others (e.g. vegans, nice people), but we enjoy the meat so much that we have adapted our minds into a process where it is 'OK' for planned death to happen to certain animals.
Then, we try to hide the process of killing (KFC will not show you explicitly how they kill chickens), and then bask in the idea of humane killing - if we have to kill anyways, and that's a given, let's do it in a slightly less painful way.
Don't we have different standards?
As you can see in the video above (See it now, if you haven't already), there is a practice in Madagascar where a high ranking person/guest is offered to eat the foreskin after a boy has been circumcised.
Andrew Zimmern, some call him the crazy guy coz he really eats anything, visited Malagasy as part of his 'Bizarre Foods' show, and witnessed the cermony in the video. For a guy who eats pretty much everything, this was still very difficult to comprehend on many levels.
Here's something for you -
You are a true explorer, an adventurer, someone who loves people and always wants to learn more about their lives, their traditions and be them, if only for one day. This means you try to be as gracious and respectful as you possibly can because you understand and even preach that what someone does 3000 miles across from your land, is normal, by their standards.
So then, if you are sitting amongst a group of 50 tribesmen in Malagasy, with women, children and all the locals crowded around the petrified little boy, and the proud Chief, waiting for the ceremony to begin. Then, the snipping is done, you hear the wails of the boy no more, there seems to be an energy of celebration, and just then the Chief turns and offers you a banana with a little piece of skin on it (did you just squirm?), all eyes on you with awe and wonder of this precious visitor being honored with this offer - What would you do?
Today I'm humming: Govinda by Kula Shaker