Definitive Essay: Cannibalism

Topics: Cannibalism, Jeffrey Dahmer, Carib Pages: 3 (773 words) Published: April 29, 2007
Cannibal is a word used to describe a trait which most conscious creatures would rather not resort to. Creatures with no conscious have practiced cannibalism for millennia with no apparent unfavorable results. Only conscious creatures seem to have difficulty with the concept; the only socially accepted cannibals are those who became so out of necessity. Why do we have such difficulty with the concept; our answer lies with the origins and meanings of what it is to be cannibal. Where does cannibal originate from? What makes a cannibal a cannibal? What sorts of conditions create a cannibal? A cannibal, however controversial, is an individual member of a group, pack, or society; who partakes in the consumption of the flesh of others identical to itself for satisfaction of hunger, desire, or necessity.

Originally the word cannibal comes from one of the forms of the ethnic name Carib or Caribes, a fierce nation of the West Indies. Caribs were recorded to have been anthropophagi. After the 1492 discovery of the Caribbean Isles, Crístobal Colón continued his exploration of that particular island chain. When Colón landed on one of the isles, it was a Sunday, also known as the Dominical Day. So Colón named the island isla de Dominica. On this island, Colón found natives who actively participated in the devouring of human flesh. The first representation of the name as he heard it from the Cubans was Canibales, explained as "los de Caniba or Canima."

Cannibals very often show themselves in a variety of situations, and although they are very similar to placentophagists, vorarephilics, or necrophagists, they should not be confused with any of them. All of these psyches have the similarity of devouring flesh, though the methods may differ. Placentophagy is the act of mammals eating the placenta of their young after childbirth, vorarephilia is a fetish which focuses primarily upon being consumed or contained, and necrophagy is the act of feeding on corpses...
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