Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A queer subject. A gut churning topic to read through for most of the people. Leave this post and pick up something light to suit your sensibilities if you must, but then I can't help thinking about it more and exploring into the deep red layers of the subject, for I am truly intrigued by this very idea of eating another human being to satiate one's hunger or some other dark desire.
I am sure everyone who is reading this would have been an audience to the streaming visuals of the news report on the 'Nithari Cannibals' nithariin days gone by. Though the purpose was primarily to get rid of their victim's bodies, yet the perverse idea of eating people up was startling enough for the authorities and the judicial system of the country to announce capital punishment for the accused (till date). 
However, I was led to think if the idea of eating another human being is actually as gruesome as it is made out to be. To this end, I indulged myself in doing some research on the topic and was surprised to see that there is no dearth of material on the subject and one can even find the history of cannibalistic behavior, stories where eating another person was held justified (Yes) and then interestingly delectable recipes that one can use to cook parts of human flesh. (Well, in form of black humor only though)
During this study on Cannibalism I learnt that almost seventy two different groups of primates, fish and birds practice the eating of the flesh of their own species. It is only humans, however, who eat fellow humans for either ritual or religious purposes or perceive human flesh as an item of food to be imbibed for hedonistic pleasure.
Click Here to check out a Wikipedia link which happens to be an interesting and enriching source of information on cannibalism as practiced in early history, pre-modern and modern day. It narrates the extreme situations when various races resorted to eating another human being and cases where cannibalism was used as a means to instigate fear in the hearts of people who were made to witness the same. The siege of Leningrad by Soviet Army and the plight of German soldiers who fell back on eating each other after their supplies ran out is well documented in the books of history on World War II. The Japanese concentration camps too have a similar tale to tell the world.
There have been reported cases when people who were caught up in desperate situations took to cannibalism in their bid to survive. In 1972, the survivors of Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571, consisting of the rugby team from Stella Maris College in Montevideo and some of their family members, were forced to resort to cannibalism during their entrapment at the crash site. They had been stranded since October 13 and rescue operations at the crash site did not commence until December 22. The story of the survivors was chronicled in Piers Paul Read's 1974 book, Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors, in a 1993 film adaptation of the book, called Alive, and in a 2008 documentary: Stranded: I’ve Come From a Plane That Crashed on the Mountains.
aghori One also comes across the reports of 'Aghori Sadhus' eating human flesh in certain parts of India as well. I came across one such video. Check this, if you are not weak hearted.
Despite the taboo, cannibalism was widely practiced until the 1960's among various tribes in Papua New Guinea, some of whom ate human flesh for spiritual reasons and some simply because they thought it tasted good. Despite not having received popular press in the western world many Europeans used crushed skulls, bone marrow and a variety of other human "parts" as medicines until the 18th century. US anthropologist Beth Conklin, for example, quoting a 19th-century source, writes that in Denmark epileptics were reported to stand around the scaffold in crowds, cup in hand, ready to drink the red blood as it flows from the still quavering body. Check out the entire article about medical cannibalism Here.
  There are several interesting anecdotes around cannibalism. It is said that Marco Polo, James Cookwho kept extensive diaries of his travels, also had occasion on which to dine on human flesh, and wrote that he found it "too sweet, too tough and not at all pleasing". Another well known explorer and diarist to dine on human flesh was Captain James Cook. Cook never recorded his pleasure or displeasure with this repast but as is well known to historians, he was eventually eaten himself.
OK now for those whom I have erroneously spurred and who are now enticed  to try fellow flesh, there are couple of trivial problems to consider one of which is that the consumption of human flesh is illegal in every nation in the world and that in modern society no person has the right, under any circumstances, to kill another person for the purposes of eating him or her.
There is another factor that one needs to consider and which is that there is a very good chance that people who partake of human flesh will develop kuru, a neurological disease similar to the Kreutzfeld-Jacobs syndrome we most often associate with Mad-Cow Disease.
There is another interesting angle to the subject. The following quote is taken from Bible:
Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you (John 6:53).
This phrase "Eat my flesh, drink my blood" does sound pretty gruesome and cannibalistic in the first read and was spoken by Jesus as recorded in John 6:53. and was actually used as an analogy to explain that just as how bread is needed to satisfy the physical existence and sustenance, He being God, must be consumed in order to be spiritually filled and satisfied. Just as we partake of bread with pure faith that it will keep us alive, eternal life comes through the same kind of faith in God.
Anyway, those of you are still not deterred in your ambitions and are considering the potential possibility to eat up your friends or foes, here is an interesting recipe to check out. (I hold no guarantee for the following recipe and do not claim to have tried or tested the same. Please also note that I shall also not accept any invitation to come and taste it).
Marinated Leg of your Manager
When it comes to Managers, the meat can be tough and wirey. Slapping the flesh while your Manager/Boss is still alive can sometimes help tenderize the meat. Remember Culinary Gurus, fear tenderizes all meat.
Ingredients: 1 leg of the Manager
4 cup white wine
12 chopped carrots
4 diced white onions
2 Bay leaves
1/2 cup butter
salt and pepper to taste
grated Parmesan cheese

Combine half of the wine, bay leaves, 2 of the onions, and salt and pepper to taste. Slice the leg into pieces the width of a normal steak. Place in the pan and cover with marinade. Refrigerate, covered, for 3 - 4 hours, turning the meat occasionally.
In a large wok,  melt butter and add meat. Fry until the meat is golden brown on both sides. Remove meat from the pan and add the remaining onions and carrots and wine. Simmer until vegetables are soft.
Pour vegetables and meat back into the pan and saute for 2 hours. Serve topped with grated parmesan cheese, salad and wine.
Feeds the entire team which the Manager supervises.
You can Click Here for a few more creative recipes.
I guess, it already been one of the lengthiest posts that I ever made. So enough 'Head-Eating' already (the corresponding phrase in Hindi would be 'Dimaag Khaana', hmmm looks like another intrusion of cannibal instincts in the language).
Keep sending in your comments and feedback. Have Fun !!!


Anonymous said...

whew.. can't imagine people having human flesh..

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing such a fastidious thought, article is nice, thats why i have
rewd it completely Powered by Blogger.