Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Cannibalism at Sea

For the past two weeks, as I've been posting the photos of my home office, I've also read a number of books. The most compelling was probably Nathaniel Philbrick's National Award-Winning, Into the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex. It's a great book, recounting the story of the sinking of the Essex in the early 1800's, a story that became, in part, the basis for Melville's, Moby Dick.

Most intriguing, however, is the fact that several of the sailors were consumed at sea, and this was without a BBQ grill or a cooking pot.

In point of fact, several of the survivors wrote narratives about the cannabalism in the boats, so it is well documented and created quite a stir at the time.

Which leads me to wonder: under what circumstances, if any, would I be compelled to consume another person? The early Christians were accused of being cannibals (Jesus: "This is my body, this is my blood"), but, of course, we don't consider the implications, usually.

I've come to the conclusion that I simply couldn't consume human flesh. I think I have the willpower to resist someone's liver or large intestine. I'd rather starve to death.

But when it comes to donuts . . . well, that's another matter entirely!


Mark W said...

Stephen King would eat you alive.

gary65000 said...

I've read a number of books recently too. Probably 4 or 5 in the last 6 years. One was 'Into the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex' I have to concur with your opinion on this book. 'Sea of Glory' is good also, written by the same guy.