On Cannibalism

Mel and I recently watched the movie The Road.  Here’s a plot synopsis from imdb:

A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind and water. It is cold enough to crack stones, and, when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the warmer south, although they don’t know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing: just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless cannibalistic bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a rusting shopping cart of scavenged food–and each other.

Throughout the movie, whenever the father and son come across another person or group, cannibalism is used as sort of a litmus test to see if they are a good guy or a bad guy.  Good guys would never eat another person – no matter what, obviously.

But really, what’s so moral about refusing to eat another person?  Obviously there’s a difference between eating someone who’s already dead vs. killing someone to eat them, but really…. if they’re already dead, and you’re hungry…. well… I say go ahead and eat them and feel good about it.  Who decided that eating another person was so bad?

In fact, this is my official announcement:  If there’s ever a food shortage, please feel free to eat me.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.  In fact, just to make it a more pleasant experience for you, I’ve been soaking in a bathtub full of a teriyaki marinade for 20 minutes each day so that I will have a little bit of a “smoked hickory” flavor – you know – ‘cuz if things get bad enough that you’re eating people, there probably won’t be a lot of spices laying around, either.

5 comments to On Cannibalism

  • I wholeheartedly agree, though it's true we were raised on a school curriculum that was sympathetically fascinated with the Donner Party.

  • Please, spices last forever. I'm sure we'll have plenty of savory options at the end of the road. But mostly, I love the timing of this post. I seriously had this EXACT same conversation with Jason a few weeks ago. I'd like to think of this as my last great gift to society. I'm pretty sure that my body fat alone would feed a small neighborhood for weeks. But was the movie any good?

  • Table for Donner Party of 5.

  • gastro, Michael – I never understood why people were so upset with the Donner Party.

    Kalie, if you would be so kind, I have a particular affinity for pastrami – so if you can make yourself taste like pastrami, that would be great.

    Also, yes, the movie was very good.

  • Jo

    Supposedly human flesh is actually quite tasty, like pork or veal.