Cannibalism Essay Example



When it comes to cannibalism, there are four main archetypes. Aspiring, compulsory, ritualistic, and choice. These archetypes make up the people known as ‘cannibals’.

Before we get ahead of ourselves, what is cannibalism? Cannibalism as defined on the first google results is :

Cannibalism is the act of consuming another individual of the same species as food.

[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannibalism#:~:text=Cannibalism%20is%20the%20act%20of,ancient%20and%20in%20recent%20times.] 

Cannibalism has been observed in several species in the animal kingdom, including hamsters. Mainly when animals are indulging in cannibalism, it's to weed out their young or out of pure necessity. 

Now with the definition out of the way, let's get to the archetypes of cannibals. 

First, Aspiring Cannibals. Aspiring cannibals are people who express interest in consuming other people. Aspiring cannibals typically come with another label after ‘aspiring’. Such as ‘Aspiring Ritualistic Cannibal’ or ‘Aspiring Choice Cannibal’. Usually though, they are just ‘aspiring’. Aspiring Cannibals usually fight the hardest when the topic of morality and legality is brought up when discussing their wants for having a human on their dinner plate. Often citing Ritualistic cannibalism or animals known for consuming their fellow brethren or children. 

Second, Compulsory cannibals. Compulsory Cannibals are people who eat other people simply out of the fact that there is no other food source available. Compulsory Cannibals are always going to be endo-cannibals. Endocannibalism is the act of cannibalizing someone from your own community. Compulsory Cannibals are never going to have the option to travel outside of their communities. Compulsory Cannibalism is not limited to eating others, but often self cannibalization. The reason I did not create an archetype of self-cannibals, is because self cannibalization is quite often born out of Compulsory Cannibalism. Compulsory Cannibalism can be seen in movies or scenarios where some people are trapped on an island with no way off and they begin to consume each other since they have not been provided with food or the knowledge of how to harvest.

Third, Ritualistic Cannibalism. Ritualistic Cannibalism is Cannibalism that is done as part of a ritual. It’s common in some cultures to consume the flesh of a dead loved one. Ritualistic Cannibalism is almost always ‘endocannibalism’.There was a rare brain disease stemming from the ritualistic consumption of the brain of a dead loved one. The disease was called ‘kuru’ and manifested in new guinea and the practice was stopped in the 1960’s but the disease had a long incubation period (the time it takes for an illness to really present), many cases were still reported in the years following the cease of brain consumption. 

Fourth, Choice cannibals. Choice Cannibals are people who consume others for their own personal enjoyment rather than circumstance essentially forcing cannibalism into their life. Like many forms of Cannibalism, Choice Cannibals often partake in endocannibalism. Choice Cannibals are not common, though, seeing as the act of cannibalism is quite illegal and those partaking in other forms of cannibalism are just outside of the reach of the law. Choice Cannibals tend to hide the fact that they enjoy consuming other people. Cannibalism is a taboo in many societies around the world, and Choice Cannibals can be found in some of the more privileged areas of the globe. Being able to indulge in Cannibalism without needing to is insanely privileged, because Compulsory Cannibals have to cannibalize each other out of the sheer fact that Cannibalism is their last option and they are so poor they cannot afford food or access to food. Ritualistic Cannibals can be also defined as Choice Cannibals, however, reasons for Cannibalism are completely different. Ritualistic Cannibals often do it out of ‘respect’ for their deceased loved one, Choice Cannibals do it because they want to for no discernible reason.

The bottom line is there are many different kinds of cannibals, and it is worth noting how to tell them apart. I thank you for your time reading this.