The skin is removed as a single piece, after the internal organs had been removed, the body was then cut up and shared, and after roasting, was eaten.
The full story:
In the Brisbane area, a native doctor singed the body hair from the body at a large fire, leaving the beard and head hair unburnt, while other members of the group sat around their own fires. 3 other native doctors dance toward the corpse, while each holds a stone knife in his mouth. If of a man, the corpse was placed face down on the ground, women were placed face up. The skin is removed as a single piece, including the fingers, toes, ears, etc. It is then spread on spears near a fire to dry. After the internal organs, including the entrails, had been removed, the body was then cut up and shared, and after roasting, was eaten, except for certain parts, that were destroyed in the fire. Some relatives, mother, widow or sister keep the collected bones. After placing the pelvis in a bag it is used to identify the ‘murderer’.(Roth, 1907: 398-401). The process is finalised by placing the skin and bones in a hollow tree.
I looked this up as I was talking to an historian friend on the weekend and he told me that some Indigenous Australian peoples occasionally consumed human flesh, usually as a part of a ceremony. And just now, I came across this news article published today:
The grotesque truth that will force you off the Paleo diet
Researchers from the University of Tübingen in Germany looked at human remains from Belgium that date back to approximately 40,500 to 45,500 years ago and found evidence of cannibalism among the Neanderthals who lived there.
The team noticed “cut marks, pits, and notches” in the bones, which indicate they had been bitten into by humans. “The remains indicate processes of skinning, cutting up, and extraction of the bone marrow”.
The author had ad-libbed her own comments of What the actual f*ck, you guys. and Ewww into the article.
But you don’t even have to go back to ancient times or ‘tribal cultures’ to find socially accepted consumption of human remains…
Mummia (mummy powder) was being sold in Europe as a medicine from the 1300’s up until the early 1900’s…
A cure for what ails you
Mummy powder was obtained by raiding ancient tombs and plundering the corpses found inside. These could include the most famous mummies in history, Egyptian mummies, or other, less well known corpses. Once the appetite for mummy powder grew, manufacturers took to digging up any old corpse for their supply. Quite literally; any desiccated corpse would do, and buyers really could not tell the difference anyway.
Once the corpse was obtained, it would be ground down into dust. The powder could be mixed with various other substances and was prescribed to treat everything from headaches, stomach ulcers, to tumors. It could be taken orally or used as a plaster or salve. It was so popular that any apothecary worth its salt carried mummy powder.
…and could be found an ingredient in paint (mummia brown) as late as the 1960’s.
‘Mummy,’ as a pigment, is inferior to prepared, but superior to raw, asphalt… it is usual to grind up the bones and other parts of the mummy together, so that the resulting powder has more solidity and is less fusible than the asphalt alone would be.
A London colourman informs me that one Egyptian mummy furnishes sufficient material to satisfy the demands of his customers for twenty years.
Mission Brown …now mummy powder free!!
From our current worldview, this all may seem weird/icky…But it seems like it was normal for a lot longer than it has been abnormal. At least the humans were free range! We do some absolutely horrible things today in the name of animal agriculture, that should NOT be considered acceptable.
I hope that someday all the ‘ewww…what the actual f*ck, you guys’ things that we now consider normal to do to animals and each other in the name of greed will also someday be banished to a barbaric footnote from the past.
For this to happen, we need
- People to stop pretending everything is ok just because social norms say that it is.
- People need to start using, rather than ignoring the empathy and moral compass that we were blessed with. We also need to understand that morality and empathy are by no means limited to humans. Many studies have found animals capable of displaying both, and not only to others of their own kind.
- We need to stop thinking that we are superior and our needs matter most. The selfish individualism of deliberately adopting a high protein diet is an example of putting personal desire over greater good. The elevation of humans above other species is an artifice created by us, for us. I don’t believe in karma but I can’t believe so many people who claim to do nothing to try and improve theirs!
- ‘Speciesism’ needs to become as unpalatable to caring people as so many other ‘isms’ are. Hopefully from there, wider change can ripple out.
- Animal derived consumables (meat, milk, eggs, leather) etc need to become more of a rarity and less of a ‘default’ choice by mainstream consumers.
Don’t be a Norm. Change the norm.
Life. Make it count.
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded. Ralph Waldo Emerson
I think we can aim a bit higher than improving just one life!
So tuck into parsnips, not people; corn cobs not cows; lentils not lambs; veggie burgers not veal and peppered broccoli not Peppa Pig.
Peppered broccoli recipe -please ad lib the quantities to requirements-this is based on the famous Singapore Pepper Crab recipe.
In heated oiled frying pan or sandwich press (my preference), add Broccoli florets, lots of ground pepper (I use high speed blender to mill peppercorns)
When broccoli is cooked, turn off heat and stir in minced garlic and vegetarian oyster or stirfry sauce. Serve with rice.
You can also do edamame this way as a snack, you still don’t eat the skins though.
Butt who knows, with the current fad for zombies and skull tattoos…
…one day we might go full circle and find ourselves back on the menu again?!
There are 7+ billion of us who will all die one day…that is a lot of bodies to get rid of…and a lot of meat that is going to waste.
We take from the earth in life and don’t even give back in death. Cremation uses fossil fuels and emits a literal stack of pollution. Deep burial doesn’t feed the earth. Maybe in future we could be turned into food for carnivorous animals whose traditional hunting grounds we have usurped?! Or at very least we could be turned into fertiliser.
Promission is a new concept which involves freeze drying the body, which can then be powdered down easily. Plants can grow in this powder, unlike the ashes from cremation.
BUT I also do like those little freeze dried fruits coated in chocolate…hmm…now there’s an idea…!
http://www.haytap.org/ (Text below is from Wikipedia. This has been the most difficult charity so far arrange a donation from overseas to.)
HAYTAP rejects the idea of animals as property, and opposes the use of animals in any form: It is against raising animals for their furs,selling them as pets, hunting them and making them a trade commodity. It promotes a vegan diet.
HAYTAP supports the presence of stray animals at a tolerable level and the appropriate prevention of strays.
HAYTAP opposes animal fighting, seal hunting, bullfighting and works to stop the use and abuse of animals in certain display contexts like zoos, circuses, dolphinariums and roadside exhibits.
Through posters, HAYTAP attempts to draw public attention to animal rights issues like abandoned pets, street dogs and cats, roadkill, fur clothing, emotion in animals, anti-hunting and captive animals in zoos, circuses and dolphinariums.
HAYTAP advises municipalities and governments on legislation to improve animal rights. It met Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in February 2011 and obtained his commitment to take action regarding animal rights.
Most people around here sacrifice animals once in a year -fest of sacrificing animals. This is a must for Muslim people who can afford it. The operation -cutting off the animal’s head- is performed mostly in the streets.
My major concern is “how do people think that they have the right to kill and eat a living soul”. It is very likely in the case of militarist structures. How soldiers feel the right to “kill the enemy”.
Here is the complete write up from a Turkish vegetarian.