Here’s something to chew on…

Published: April 8, 2011

How can one justify the need to eat another human?

“The supple, soft touch of his skin against my coarse, scaly fingers. Caressing his plump, rosy cheeks I get a whiff of his gripe-watered breath, lips dribbling with saliva. I stare, yearn, hypnotised for days just simply touching his seductive skin.

I held out for six years, three months, two days and 19 hours, but my lust got the better of me and I was helpless against my desire to feel his crimson blood against my starved lips.

Starting with a nail, a finger, I enjoyed him piece by piece, every square inch of his youthful arm.

Our desire is no different from every carnal need of humans, like the need to be loved. We are shunned for our needs because they do not fit into the framework of conventional society. Why must everything be explained?”

The Aztecs had their religious rituals. The Caribbean tribes justified their lust for human flesh by terming it a tribal practice, but how does that make it relatively more acceptable?

Is it because they hid behind the facade of cultural and religious norms?

At the end of the day, all forms of cannibalism are about the undeniable need for human flesh. And those who indulge in this desire are called mentally deranged, sick, even victims of poverty, and so on.

Jeffrey Dahmer, the American serial killer who mutilated his victims for sexual gratification, was also considered to be psychologically unstable. However, it is imperative to see that he was a rank outsider in a society that places a premium on conformity. This is not to say that what he did was right but that perhaps, what drove him to do it should have been better understood.

Similarly, the brothers who have been arrested in a village near Sargodha in Lahore did not try to justify their act of cannibalism.

Once caught by the police, they admitted to not only desecrating graves but also feeding on the flesh of one of their wives and two children. Of course, that is when the story started receiving increasing media attention, but again no effort has been made to understand what would drive two men to do something like this.

Perhaps some things are very hard to explain, let alone understand.

Rida Sakina

Rida Sakina

A sub-editor on the Karachi pages of The Express Tribune.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.