In Montaigne’s essay, “On Cannibals,” he makes a comparison of the cannibal society to that of the European society. Montaigne states how odd or different it is that cannibal society without “the benefits of Christianity and civilization” were as advanced as they were. Their government was based and ruled on the laws of nature. Montaigne provides examples of a complete opposite society. The cannibalistic society functioned without any traffic, letters (alphabet), numbers (as used in math), and positions of power, poverty, wealth, clothing, occupations, metals, or agriculture. Montaigne examines the daily life, family, religion, and warfare of these inhabitants of the New World. Their daily life as cannibals is a simple life with a very limited education. In religion, they listen to their elders who recommend only two things: valor in battle and love of their wives.
Montaigne’ essay is a criticism of Europe with its own barbaric tendencies as he believes that the “corrupt” taste of Europeans has smothered Mother Nature. He is amazed that the civilized nations can implement crueler methods of war than the cannibals. He points out that it is less barbaric to eat a dead man, rather than “tearing him apart on the rack while he is still alive.”
Another comparison is that European countries feel the need to wage war in order to gain more land or territory, while the cannibals are satisfied with the land they already possess.  
In his essay he visits with three cannibals who have three criticisms of European society, however Montaigne could only remember two. First, that the cannibals expressed surprise that “so many tall, bearded men, all strong and well-armed” (the King’s guard) were willing to take orders from a small child (something that would have been unthinkable in their society). Second, the cannibals were shocked by the severe inequality of French citizens, commenting on how some men “were gorged to the full with things of every sort” while others “were...