Cannibalism and Starvation

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Keith and I were watching a documentary last night called Alive in the Andes about a small plane holding 40 odd passengers crashed in the Andes mountain. They had hit some major turbulence and so had veered off course. They went to go in between 2 peaks but a gust of wind hit them and took a wing off and it went downhill from there. Because they were off course they gave the wrong area in their mayday message.

Short end of the story, many of the passengers that had managed to survive died in the next month due to dehydration, hypothermia and starvation. At one point one of the survivors tells the others that they need protein and the only way they could do this was to eat the passengers that had already died. Most of the passengers had been a soccer team that had been going from home to another country to play a game so these were their team mates and parents for some they were talking about. Most said no way they could not do it but one by one they did.

2 of the passengers decided to try and climb to the top of the peaks where they were and figured they would hit the valley and civilization. But what they thought as being Chile on the other side was actually?Ǭ† the entire Andes range and they had to cross that to get to Argentina. It was a long journey and they had taken body parts with them of the dead passengers to sustain them through the journey. They did eventually get rescued but the thought that they had eaten their mates and family members were hard to deal with when they returned to civilization.

Keith and I discussed this at length after the movie wondering if we would or would not. It is easy to say NO WAY we would NEVER do this when we are in the comfort of our living room eating snacks. Keith kept saying he would find other food.. I kept saying but hypothetically if there were no other food around like where these people were, would you. I told him I would not. If it was just him and I and he died I would not. He said I would expect you to to continue on for our family. I said if you died I would have no purpose in living so what would be the point of eating you? It ended up in a stalemate but it made me think what would others do? As Christians would circumstances be different and it would be ok? I mean they are dead already so it is not like we committed murder. I tried finding information on it this morning but haven’t been able to. I have found very strong evidence though that people will say either a strong yes they would or a strong no they would not.. I haven’t found too many that are sitting on the fence.

3 thoughts on “Cannibalism and Starvation

  1. I saw that too.

    They tried to eat wood, paper, etc… but after 60 days, you need to eat something.

    It makes me wonder if the ethical issue is the same as say… accepting a heart transplant from someone who has died. You are using part of another dead human’s body to prolong your life in a life and death situation.

    I would say that them eating their dead is different than voluntarily doing so when there are other options.

    I’m not sure what I would do.

  2. I’d like to say I would not eat another human being, but it’s hard to say what I would do once delirious with starvation.

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