Cannibalism is an act of eating the flesh of one’s kind. It is quite a common happening in the predatory animal world but we human, the most intelligence kind should not practice such as an act. However, it is reported that human do practice cannibalism so exactly what are reasons for cannibalism? In current days, it is famously reported in a country that does not have much exposure to the outside world. The reasons for cannibalism could be cultural pressure or psychopathological.
Under the field study of anthropology, there are different categories of cannibalism and the experts are still trying to fully understand the underlying behavior. However, the big question remains unanswered, what are reasons for cannibalism?
Cultural reasons, it is known that cannibalism was practiced by certain population as a part of their spiritual ritual and certain tribes have to eat body parts of their deceased relatives as an act of veneration. Some tribes however eat only outsiders known as exocannibalism, which they only eat the defeated enemies and they believe that by eating the defeated enemies, they will be able to gain the enemy’s abilities. In one of historical studies, when a king is overthrown, the king’s dead body will be served as a delicacy. This act is known to emphasize one’s superiority over the vanquished.
There are a few considerable evidences of human beings eating their own kind, practicing cannibalism during the food shortage. The famous historical research of a shipwrecked in the 19th century where the crew of the ship resulting in killing and eating their own kind due to lack of food. In this case, cannibalism helped them to survive rather than die of starvation.
The famous Aztec tribe of Mexico practiced routine cannibalism, where they consume human flesh as part of their diet. This has been justified by the studies done by some famous historians. The Aztec consumes human flesh and treat it as a rich source of protein for the Aztec population. When the Spanish armada invaded Mexico for the first time, the whole crew of the first ship was gone and never found again. They were caught by the Aztec and was treated as food.
No matter how ridiculous cannibalism is, the famous case of Jeffry Dahmer where he killed young children and keep their flesh in packet in the freezer, which he will eventually cook and ate. This is driven by sadistic pleasure or psychopathological reasons.