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In an extreme survival situation would you.........?

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posted on Jan, 25 2007 @ 07:52 AM
Watching a programme last night somehow got me thinking about this....God knows how!

Anyway I'm going to approach a subject that is considered one of the ultimate taboo's; cannibalism

If faced with an extreme survival situation, something like a global catastrophy or the stero typical stranded situation; jungles, mountains etc. Could you or Would you resort to eating your fellow man?

If the answer is no, for the purposes of this thread, you are 80% likley to die yourself, leaving a 20% very very slim chance of survival.

If the answer was yes, who and how would you eat:
Male or Female?
Young or old?
Would you only eat the dead and risk disease etc?
Would you eat the living if so how do you decide who to eat?
Would you hunt fellow man/woman, if so how?
How would you cook and prepare your fellow man?
Would you know how cook and prepare your fellow man?
How would you prevent yourself becoming someones dinner or would you offer yourself?

I know this is a bit of a freaky subject but it's not like it hasn't happened in the past....just thinking back to that plane crash in the Andes.... There is also strong evidence that our ancestors regularly resorted to cannibalism.

This is a serious post posing a serious hypothetical question.... Just wondering if anyone else has thought about this topic should the worst ever happen!

All responses thanked in advance


If this topic has been discussed before then could someone kindly direct me to the thread.

[edit on AMThu, 25 Jan 2007 08:15:05 -060005e by Marlborough Red]

[edit on AMThu, 25 Jan 2007 08:15:37 -060037e by Marlborough Red]

[edit on AMThu, 25 Jan 2007 08:15:57 -060057e by Marlborough Red]

posted on Jan, 25 2007 @ 09:34 AM
Hey Marlborough, what programme were you watch to spark this thread?

Male or Female? - Female

Young or old? - Young

Would you only eat the dead and risk disease etc? - Depends on how long they had been dead and was there any visual signs of disease

Would you eat the living if so how do you decide who to eat? - A bigger question that if I would eat human flesh. Kill another human to eat??? Again I would have to be there to accurately know if I would. Deciding who to eat. I would base it on their value to the community.

Would you hunt fellow man/woman, if so how? - Not sure.

How would you cook and prepare your fellow man? - Internal organs first. Liver, kidney and heart as these have high energy content, then the flesh and finally the marrow from the bones.

Would you know how cook and prepare your fellow man? - Yes. I have some butcher skills

How would you prevent yourself becoming someones dinner or would you offer yourself? - Being aware and certainly would not offer myself up.

I think it would be easy for me to say, Yes I could eat human flesh in the right circumstances but until I was faced with those circumstances, I can not accurately say if I would.

posted on Jan, 25 2007 @ 09:37 AM
Unfortunately, the only way to answer this is to be put into a situation where this would be needed.
Most people will categotrically state that they would rather die of starvation rather than resorting to cannibalism. The thing is, is that suc a statement of belief is from our civilization and socialogical facade.
In an exteremt situation, this facade disappears fairly quickly and our drive to survive kicks in. A good example of this was the 1972 sixteen members of a Uruguayan soccer team who survived for 70 days in the Andes after a plane crash. They ended up eating the flesh of thier dead teammates.

posted on Jan, 25 2007 @ 09:48 AM
i watched a programme the other night that got me thinking that eating each other was probably quite normal in our early days.

The prgramme followed two rival groups of Chimpanzees who would fight each other for territorial purposes out in the forests. It was quite normal for them to capture a rival chimp and to feast on its raw flesh. It was quite sickening and graphic in detail to watch trying to comprehend how any species could eat its own.

It got me thinking that maybe in our past when we were no better than beasts ourselves maybe it was normal for us to do the same.

My question if that was the case what stopped us from doing such a thing?

After being put on a BBQ and slapped with a dollop of hamburger relish i doubt there would be much difference

posted on Jan, 25 2007 @ 09:56 AM
what stopped us (in the western world) is probably religion coupled with increased resources such as farmed vegetables as well as meat raised for consumption such as sheep and goats.
Most of the Western religions have big taboos against partaking the flesh of another human being. In fact one of the main detractors that people had against Christians was the celebration of the Last Supper where Christ states that the bread symbolized his body. Many of the opponents (even today) relate this allegory to Christians promoting cannibalism. (note before I get blasted.... No I do not subscribe to the beleif that this is cannibalism)

posted on Jan, 25 2007 @ 10:48 AM
In a rational mind right here and now, I say no. I can survive on other things available. If not, desparation will have to dictate the circumstance.

posted on Jan, 25 2007 @ 10:57 AM
Agreed the only way to answer the question properly would be to be put in it.....but for the pruposes of this thread it is a hypothetical question/situation so just try amd imagine you are in it.......

I watched that same wildlife programme with the chimpanzee's also and it shocked me as well.....Is it only shocking because it's chimps doing it? Or is it just as shocking when any animal eats its own kind e.g. big cats such as lions; large males will kill young and eat them if food is scarce, they will also do this to eradicate the competition, (straying slightly I know it's more infantacide).

Religion and the spread of modern agricultural techniques certainly put a stop to it 000's of years ago but I think human sacrifices were regularly practiced by some early civilizations e.g. Mayan's, Aztec's, Egyptians and Druids, whether this was for canibalism or not would be pure speculation. But maybe famines in the ancient world drove people to extreme measures!

I think in an extreme situation I would have to say yes. As kenshiro pointed out survival instinct would have kicked in and you would be out for yourself!

As for the other questions I posed, I the OP, am actually finding it quite uncomfortable trying to answer them myself.......I'll get back to you.....

Thanks for the response so far....I didn't think anyone would reply to this topic....


posted on Jan, 25 2007 @ 01:21 PM
Male or Female?

Doesnt Matter, both sources of food

Young or old?

Doesnt Matter either

Would you only eat the dead and risk disease etc?

I wouldn't eat a dead person, unless the corpse is relatively new

Would you eat the living if so how do you decide who to eat?

Survival of the fittest. Natural Selection

Would you hunt fellow man/woman, if so how?

I would let them run, then stalk them.

How would you cook and prepare your fellow man?

I have no idea, tear off the arms, then cook them, I would most likely skip the

Would you know how cook and prepare your fellow man?

How would you prevent yourself becoming someones dinner or would you offer yourself?

I would kill anyone or anything in my way

posted on Jan, 25 2007 @ 07:27 PM
If you were to take the edible parts of your average human (minus liver, kidney and other lites due to possibility of infectious contaminants) how much in useable calories could you have if you cannibalized your 'statistically determined' obese-person?....How many humans a month would you need to hunt to keep fit and strong?

posted on Jan, 25 2007 @ 08:42 PM
"Long Pig" as human flesh is known among cannibal tribes is reported to be quite tasty and much like pork. There is a very long history of cannibalism dating back to prehistoric times and it is ongoing in todays world. It is no big deal. Food is food and Meat is meat. Only social conditioning has made it taboo and in a survival situation I would never overlook a suitable food source.

If you cant keep up, you may end up as dinner.

posted on Jan, 26 2007 @ 08:51 AM
most of your questions are IMHO irrelevant - if canibalism was the only percieved option - you would eat the freshest kill

it is only " choice " canibals like jeffrey darmher that have the luxury of selecting " the left haunch of a red head boy " or such sillyness

you would eat the freshest , most palatable cut [ unless you were in a pecking order - where the " best " had already been claimed ]

if a devout moslem was faced with a starvation situation - and the only 2 [ improbable ] options were :

fresh pok chopps being cut as he watched from the flanks of a very healthy pig which had been killed 5 minuites previously


a rancid flyblown rotting maggot ridden lambs carcase sitting in a puddle of raw sweage

what should he do ?

i managed to drag an answer to this very squestion out of some quite learned moslem friends several years ago

and the response was :

5 said - eat the pork chop now - and when i am still alive - i will set about atoning for my sin tommorow

2 said - i would starve to death - if allah has , in his wisdom engineered such a choice - it is fate that i should die - if allah wanted me to live a prime healthy lamb would be hanging from the butchers hook - not a ping

posted on Jan, 26 2007 @ 09:22 AM
As quite a few people have stated, for me, it heavily depends upon the situation. I'm married, and have a kid on the way. I'm all about the family unit first, and I've even placed orders on my family in who is highest in priority in terms of if I had to choose who lives and who dies. To protect my family, I would do near anything, and that would include, in the most incredibly extreme of emergency situations, killing another human to provide food for them.

That said though, we'd have to be talking about a pretty damned extreme situation. I'm a proficient outdoorsman, and work to increase my skills, my body, and my resources every single day. I really can't imagine many situations where the situation was so incredibly bleak and impossible that I'd be forced to make that kind of decision. In almost every single situation I can think of, it would involve one or more of my family having the inability to move, and my inability to transport them via some sort of crude sled device. In such a case, they and I would have to have been badly injured enough that most likely they'd die even if I could get food to them. Otherwise, food is almost always within a day or two's walk, be it grass, tree bark, bugs.

The problem is that most people keep to the "Sit and Wait" philosophy. If my plane crashes in an area where there's no food, I'm grabbing what gear I can, leaving a note stating my direction, and my family and I are going on a very long hike, leaving a proverbial breadcrumb trail behind us (like stacks of rocks, or bits of wreckage or something) in case rescuers DO show up quickly.

I just can't imagine too many realistic scenarios where I'd allow myself and my family into a situation where we might be forced to eat another human being, but if it were otherwise completely unavoidable, then yes, I wouldn't think twice about it.

posted on Jan, 26 2007 @ 09:41 AM
an " interesting " follow on to this has just occured to me :

in a extreme survival situation - with a finite supply cache - and no prospect of mre

would you murder the " useless eater " who had no viable skils ?

i am not talking about eating them , or storing thier flesh for " later "

but simplt murdering the " unworthy " on day one

an example - there are 10 of you and only 100 galons of water - 4 are " useless eater " types

@ 1 gallon / man / day - you have 10 days

but if you kill the 4

the survivors have 16 days ration

a simplified example

but what would you do ?????

APE is not feeling very civilized or people frendly today

posted on Jan, 26 2007 @ 10:10 AM
I doubt I would kill as a pre-emptive strike for water rations.
I am deluded enough to believe there are other ways.
I am sure I could get drinkable water from other sources.
Killing out of greed is a bad thing. That is what we are defending ourselves from. Wouldn't you agree?

posted on Jan, 26 2007 @ 10:39 AM

Originally posted by ignorant_ape
in a extreme survival situation - with a finite supply cache - and no prospect of mre

would you murder the " useless eater " who had no viable skils ?

Probably not. As cold as it may sound, I've always found my fellow man to be my most useful resource. Unskilled labor is still another set of arms and legs to get some work out of. It's still another pair of eyes to keep watch, and it's still one more brain that might have a bright idea. In critical situation, people become tools first and people second. Just because I don't have a use for a tool doesn't mean I break it, it means I set it aside till I have a job for it to do. Of course, THEN you have to remember afterward they are people. I don't have to convince my hammer that hitting the nail is in the best interests for all involved, it just hits what I swing it at. Unless you have a cult-like grip on your fellow survivors, it will require some diplomacy and manipulation to get them to continue to work.

Now, if the question were adjusted "A useless, obstinate eater that refused to in any way, shape, or form assist the group" then I might rough them up a bit, if the group's survival depended on their action. However, it is usually just a matter of establishing dominance, which, with some people, requires force, with others, requires empathy, and with still others, mere intimidation. I tend to use empathy with the big guys cause it's nice to have some brawn on your side in a tough spot.

Generally, though I'd opt for banishment with the knowledge they'll either kill themselves off, come back begging to work for the group, or they will achieve success where we fail. Either way, they're the heretic monkey and have to be shown their place.

(edit, added "rough them up a bit" when I realized it was left out)

[edit on 1/26/2007 by thelibra]

posted on Jan, 26 2007 @ 11:08 AM
Some very well thought out responses to the original post......Its obvious that these things are never clear cut ans as simple as a yes or no answer....

I was thinking that in placed it this hypothetical stiuation I would say yes and opt for a young female......However after consideration this would be an inherently stupid thing to do, whilst it may ensure my and others short term survival it would ultimately lead to the long term extinction of the species....


posted on Jan, 26 2007 @ 11:40 AM
I would definitely do it in a survival situation. I think that I might be apprehensive at first but I am sure that feeling would be easy to push aside if I was hungry enough.

I'm not sure if there would be a difference in the quality of the meat from a man or a woman. I don't think that I would be picky in that kind of situation. I think that if I had my choice of a few bodies, I would choose the one that had some fat so the meat was not too tough.

I don't think that I would kill someone just for eating if they were part of my group.

I would eat muscle first, you could probable get some nice steaks from someone's thigh.

I hope I don't sound too gruesome, I am just trying to be honest.

posted on Jan, 26 2007 @ 03:03 PM

Originally posted by Terapin
"Long Pig" as human flesh is known......and it is ongoing in todays world. It is no big deal.

Hey Terapin.....what do you mean by this? Do you mean in some far away land or odd religion or even secret society....

posted on Jan, 26 2007 @ 04:38 PM
Marlborough Red, While some may feel it is shocking, in fact there is cannibalism in today's world. I am not talking just about remote tribes in New Guinea where cannibalism was a way of life for centuries. Although it is now illegal and supposedly no more tribes practice it, there are some tribes who still do. Primitive tribes are not the only place where cannibalism occurs

North Korea is one example where cannibalism can be found. As you may know, North Korea can barely feed it's population and there are severe food shortages. Last year several people were jailed for selling meat, that was supposed to come from livestock but in fact was human flesh. In starvation situations when push comes to shove people will eat each other to stay alive. North Korea is not the only place where this happens. Famine is often leads to long pork being on the menu.

posted on Jan, 27 2007 @ 10:05 PM
would you murder the " useless eater " who had no viable skils ?

I think this is the most interesting question here. Now in a survival situation water is very important (as everyone knows) Food is another but but less critical component. Most people can go a few days without water depending on activity levels and climate...I personally lived 11 days on what could be caught and snow. It was very little at that. I lost close to 35lbs in that time. Getting back to the subject though...In a warm environment I would eliminate 2 of the 4...the best refrigerator for your food source is to keep it alive until it is needed. Harsh...yes, but in a true survival situation it is about surviving and having the mindset that you are doing this to stay alive. Most people do not know what they are capable of doing in a situation like that...We are animals and it is in our nature to do what we have to do to live.

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