HFM 148 | Cannibalism in History

August 22, 2016



It is the most gruesome activity that a human can do. It is the most ancient of taboos. Stories of the Donner Party, Jamestown, and the Franklin Expedition make for ghost stories today.

But the real question is not why cannibalism occurs in humans. It is why it doesn’t occur.

Eating dead humans has clear benefits. Like cows, chickens, turkeys, and other animals that we love to feast on, humans are made of meat.  Shoving all that tasty meat in a hole in the ground during a  funeral ceremony is a terrible waste of resources. For the majority of humans’ time on Earth those resources could have made the difference between life and death.

Learn more about why cannibalism doesn’t happen in this episode and the few surprising ways that it does.


This episode is brought to you by Hillsdale College. They would like to invite you to learn more about the incredible life of this fascinating man — one of the greatest leaders and statesmen of our time: Winston Churchill.

You can get exclusive access to this new free online course studying the life of Churchill by going to Hillsdale.edu/h5m and signing up today.

Almost a million people have taken Hillsdale’s renowned courses like Constitution 101,  American Heritage. As a history fan, you won’t want to miss this one.

Get exclusive access to Hillsdale College’s new course on Winston Churchill right now. Go to Hillsdale.edu/h5m and sign up today.

About Michael Rank

Michael writes history books on dictators, the Middle East, and insane rulers, not necessarily in that order. He lives somewhere between Europe and Asia (literally)

View all posts by Michael Rank

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