Is it wrong to eat humans?
Several years ago I had a debate, with anonymous net friends, over the question, "Is it wrong to eat humans?" My previous post made me rethink that question.
Of course, eating human beings has been considered a taboo practice in many regions, and it is crystal clear that killing human beings in order to eat them should be completely forbidden.
However, the question I am thinking about is this: "Is it wrong to eat dead humans?," precisely speaking, "Is it wrong to eat a human being that is already dead?" If it is wrong, what is the reason for that?
Do you think this is a devilish idea? Ok, then, let us think about organ transplants from brain dead children. In many countries, the heart, the liver and other organs can be removed from a brain dead child, whose body is warm because the blood is still circulating inside. Removed body parts are transplanted into other people's bodies. Some Japanese critics think that this is equivalent to eating human organs.
You may say that the motives are different. Organ transplants are for the purpose of saving people's lives, but eating human organs are for egoistic reasons such as gourmet cooking and delicacy.
Then, think about the following case. Imagine a man who loves his wife from the bottom of his heart. One day, his wife becomes seriously ill and dies suddenly. He deeply laments over her death, and wishes that at least a part of his loved one's body will continue to exist inside his body, and decides to eat her. (Please remember that the parents whose child becomes brain dead often wish at least a part of the body of their beloved child will continue to exist in someone's body, and argree to organ transplants.)
In this case, is it possible to find a sound reason for persuading him (and us) not to eat his deceased wife's body?
While destruction of the dead bodies is forbidden in many countries, organ transplants (this is the apparent destruction of the dead body) is considered an exception to this rule. Then, what about eating the beloved one's dead body?
Photo: Zushi Coast, Kanagawa
Related post: Is it cruel to kill animals?
-- M.Morioka www.lifestudies.org