Pamela Clayton
Eng 101
Dr. Earle
28 April 2011

The concept of Cannibalism
“Food or no food, I was going to get out of there…I had to think about which miner was going to collapse first and then I started thinking about how I was going to eat him…I wasn’t embarrassed, I wasn’t scared”, Mario Sepulveda, one of the survivors of the collapsed Chilean mine which caved-in on August 5, 2010. The 33 miners whom were rescued last year after 69 days inside a Chilean mine at times pondered suicide and cannibalism (Usborn 1). This demonstrates cannibalism for survival or necessity. Merriam-Webster defines cannibalism as: 1) The usual ritualistic eating of human flesh by a human being; 2) the eating of the flesh of an animal by another animal of the same kind and 3) an act of cannibalizing something (Merriam-Webster 1). It is also called anthropophagi, the eating of human flesh by humans. Many books and research reports offer examples of cannibalism, but few scholars have questioned whether cannibalism was ever practiced anywhere, except in cases of ensuring survival in times of famine or isolation.
There are three basics types of cannibalism: survival cannibalism, dietary cannibalism, and religious and ritual cannibalism (Ngo 102). This is a side of human nature many would prefer to keep hidden. The complex elements of secrecy, denial, and even pride have historically accompanied the act of eating of human flesh (Cannibalism Secrets Revealed). The reality is that even the most civilized of human beings have resorted to cannibalism for one reason or another. In most cases, cannibalistic activity is the result of dire, life-or-death situation and the ultimate last resort in a bid of survival. For many people, the word “cannibalism” usually evokes the image of a group of uncivilized beings sitting around, roasting their enemies over a fire. Cannibalism is an ancient taboo that continues to intrigue, inspire research and produce new evidence. When reading about these...