Anthropophagy (from Greek, anthropos meaning “human being” and phagein meaning “to eat”) is the ingestion of human tissue by a fellow human being. The practice is more popularly referred to as “cannibalism,” which denotes same-species consumption broadly. Taboos against anthropophagy are a human universal, although some societies sanction eating the dead for ritual or medicinal purpose. The practice is also typically less stigmatized where eating one’s fellows is the only available means for survival. Academics debate the practice of anthropophagy in human evolutionary history as evidence of violent and symbolic behaviors, while confessed, alleged, and conspiring cannibals regularly capture the public’s imagination. In recent decades, anthropophagy has additionally surfaced as an issue of public and personal health, a venue for artistic expression, and a symbol ...

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