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Cannibalism: A Human Atrocity Essay

1052 words - 4 pages

Cannibalism: A Human Atrocity

"Cannibalism is morally wrong according to modern religion. In Christianity, it was used by God as an ultimate punishment for the disobedience of the Israelites during the siege of Jerusalem. Around the sixth century Before Christ, the prophet Jeremiah warned the Israelites of such a holy damnation: “I will make them eat the flesh of their sons and daughters, and they will eat one another’s flesh during the stress of the siege imposed on them by the enemies who seek their lives” (Barker, Jeremiah 19:9). Despite the warnings, the Israelites continuously disobeyed God and were rightfully punished. Jeremiah saw God as ultimate and threatened the ultimate crime as castigation for their sins. In Islam, cannibalism is considered haram, or one of the “carnal sins which constitute the most grave danger to man and environment” (Light of Islam). Cannibalism is one of man’s greatest betrayals to God.

Cannibalism was a topic of ancient horror stories. In Greek mythology, “after Thyestes unwittingly ate the flesh of his own children, the Sun was so appalled that he turned back on his course and plunged the world into darkness” (Hodgkinson, 2001). Such an idea was haunting. In the Odyssey, Odysseus met the Cyclops, “a race of one-eyed human-eating giants” (Acadia). Cannibalism was nightmarish and represented ultimate power.

In modern day, cannibalism has emerged in the most horrifying crimes. In 1991, Wisconsinite Jeffrey Dahmer was convicted of fifteen gruesome murders dating back to 1987. Dahmer raped young, ethnic men he met in bars across Milwaukee. He used the teenagers as experiments of his sexual fantasy by “drilling holes in the selected victim’s skull, then dribbling caustic liquids into the wounds in an effort to destroy the subject’s conscious will” (Richardson, 2002). Dahmer cannibalized at least one corpse. An escaped victim led police to Dahmer. What they found was sickening. The bodies of eleven were dismembered and scattered across his place. Dahmer’s bedroom included a shrine “decorated with candles and human skulls” (Richardson). The investigation and clean-up of the crime scene was so horrendous; workers were put through intense therapy and psychiatry for recovery. The case of Jeffrey Dahmer horrified the nation and the world.

Cannibalism is a very mysterious, arcane phenomenon, and governments launch propaganda to conceal the practice from the general public. Around 1968, “acts of power cannibalism became rife in certain areas of southern China, perpetrated by Mao loyalists on class enemies” (Hodgkinson, 2001). The Chinese Cultural Revolution, led by communist Mao Zedong, eradicated any social opposition to Maoist philosophy. In the town of Wuxuan near the Vietnam border, seventy-five people were slaughtered and cannibalized by Maoists in a gruesome, government-led mass murder. Today, Beijing officials still deny the attacks (Hodgkinson). The...

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