||Animals in the Wild
by Jim Robertson
Eating the Flesh of Others
Letter in the Seattle Times January
The question on the mind of any
friendly, higher evolved extra-terrestrial visiting Earth during these
days of factory animal farming and it's byproduct, mad cow disease, would
no doubt be: What sort of creatures would force strict plant-eaters--who
would never think of eating meat, let alone cannibalizing--to eat the
flesh of others?
According to "Cannibalism Normal for
Early Humans?" in National Geographic News, April 10, 2003, Homo Sapiens
had a long history of eating each other.
"Genetic markers commonly found in
modern humans all over the world could be evidence that our earliest
ancestors were cannibals, according to new research. Scientists suggest
that even today many of us carry a gene that evolved as protection against
brain diseases that can be spread by eating human flesh." A study of a
recently cannibalistic tribe in New Guinea, where an outbreak of prion
disease similar to mad cow disease was killing upwards of 200 people a
year, found that those few who survived the epidemic had a genetic
resistance to the disease.
But why, for the sake of hedonism or
tradition, risk dementia, death and holes in the head when there are so
many tasty, plant-based products available to replace meat in the diets of
modern human beings?
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