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Cannibalism Is Wrong

Essay by   •  September 26, 2011  •  Essay  •  441 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,842 Views

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Over the years cannibalism has been described in many ways by many cultures. A definition of cannibalism is the eating of flesh by another of the same kind and to make it wrong it must be contrary to ones ethics or morals. I believe there are certain instances where cannibalism could be an acceptable practice. If a human being's only means of surviving one more day meant the eating of another person's flesh, then the act of cannibalism, in my opinion, is justified. In remote parts of the world, cannibalism is accepted as a cultural/religious practice and is considered a societal norm.

Imagine yourself and a friend stuck on a deserted island with no food. You have been on this deserted island for weeks and your friend suddenly dies of starvation. You are now alone with no food and the only means of surviving would be to consume the flesh of the deceased. In this context, the need for survival would make it acceptable to become a cannibal. I would rather eat human flesh and increase my chance of survival than to not eat anything and die of starvation. My survival instincts would kick in and allow me to perform an action that I would not normally consider. There have been documented incidences where people have had to actually eat the flesh of another human in order to survive. To the family of those survivors, cannibalism cannot and should not be considered wrong.

Over time our world has seen many cultures that practice cannibalism in varying levels. For example, some cultures may save the act of cannibalism only for high religious ceremonies whereas others would go out and hunt humans for daily consumption. Nowadays, with the push of Christian missionary influences, there are likely only very few cultures that practice an extreme form of cannibalism. To put this into perspective, a child grows up watching elders in his society participate in religious ceremonies where cannibalism is practiced, until he reaches an age where he participates and then he raises his child with the same views. Over many generations this becomes the social norm for this particular culture, no one within this small culture knows this practice to be different or considered to be unacceptable. Outsiders/foreigners then observe this behaviour and try to instil their own views of what is considered "wrong". I do not think that it is right for outsiders to enter these isolated societies and interfere or to judge them using their own Westernized morals.

In conclusion, I believe that cannibalism is not wrong when it comes down to the act of survival or the practice of religious cannibalism.

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