Why can't humans eat human flesh? Besides morality and ethics, it's all because of this virus

2022-07-26 16:49:00

In a late night, you can't sleep, I don't know if your mind will think of a problem----

What is the taste of human flesh?

After all, as a species naturally fond of eating meat, human beings can almost eat it all, whether it is flying in the sky, running on the ground or swimming in the sea.

But sometimes, when we see the historical records about the famine years, the content of thrillers, or see some news reports, our minds will always recall various problems about human flesh.

All kinds of records about cannibalism in the world have never been interrupted

For example, the legend of the drought in those days, the yizilei incident, once made many people shudder.

In addition, some residents of the Ganges River in northern India who believe in special religions, crazy so-called performance artists, hosts who try to taste human flesh with their own meat in order to attract attention, and psychopathic murderers

They have also appeared to eat human flesh in recent decades, and some people even described human flesh as fibrous tissue similar to chicken and beef.

Turning to historical records, the most famous "cannibalism incident" in modern times is the famous 1972 air crash.

At that time, a flight carrying the Uruguayan football team was supposed to fly from Uruguay to Chile to participate in the game, but it encountered turbulence on the way, resulting in the plane deviating from the route and finally being unfortunately loaded into the Andes,

At that time, 16 people died on the spot. The remaining survivors had no food supply, so they had to think of a decision beyond the bottom line - to eat the bodies of their dead comrades in arms, so as to obtain energy to get out of the Andes mountains.

These crazy practices are stirring up our nerves and challenging our moral bottom line, and will never be accepted by us.

After all, the reason why human beings can stand at the top of the food chain and evolve our unique civilization is that human beings have absolute civilization, emotion and intelligence. Although we are social animals, we have ethical and legal constraints.

If morality and ethics are put aside, can human flesh be eaten?

In fact, besides fear, the most important reason why humans don't eat human flesh is that it may kill you.

The fore people in Papua New Guinea have been cannibals since ancient times. They firmly believe that eating humans can continue the power of the former.

But soon, this unethical tradition brought terrible consequences. In the 1950s, these ethnic groups began to have a series of strange symptoms - trembling limbs, joint pain, slurred speech, and involuntary laughter.

With the continuous deterioration of their condition, these ethnic groups began to have difficulty in muscle coordination and swallowing. Within a year, they had lost their physical autonomy, and finally lay in bed, unable to eat and died.

These strange diseases have attracted the attention of scientist wt brown. Through his investigation, he found that from 1957 to 1960, a total of 1000 people died of this disease, which peaked in 1957. 60% of them occurred in women and children, while only 2% of men.

For this reason, he called this disease --- kuru disease.

Where does this disease come from? Is it cursed?

Later, scientist Michael Alpers found that these cannibals generally eat people, mainly the parts that the men of the cannibals choose to eat first (usually the body parts), while women and children eat the human brain.

He found that the symptoms of kuru disease were similar to mad cow disease and CJD, so he suspected that the cell mutation caused by prion protein, once mutated, would lead to the degeneration of normal PUEN protein and brain degeneration.

(tissue section of kuru patient)

So after testing, the scientists took a small brain allocated at the memorial ceremony back to the orangutan in the laboratory for experiments, and found that the orangutan whose body was injected with human brain by him soon developed symptoms similar to kuru's disease,

Through the final experimental results, it was found that kuru disease was caused by a virus that could invade the nervous system, and this virus was finally confirmed to be a protein molecule called "prion".

(prion structure)

What is prion?

Strictly speaking, prion is not a virus. It has no DNA or RNA, so it cannot replicate itself. But although it is only a protein molecule, it also has the infectivity and pathogenicity of conventional viruses.

This virus will threaten the brain and central nervous system of mammals and human body, cause the degeneration and death of brain cells, and finally be replaced by vacuoles and become spongy. Once infected, the death rate will reach 100%.

This virus also has strong resistance, which can not only be diagnosed accurately in medicine, but also can not stop the spread of the virus in time, the human immune system can not detect it in time, and gastric acid and protease can not digest and destroy it.

Therefore, once infected with prions, it can really be said to be an incurable disease.

(PrPC protein is a normal protein in human body)

The cannibals mentioned above used the bodies of infected people, resulting in virus infection. Now this custom has been abolished, and these cannibals have no new infected people. Until today, the patients have almost completely disappeared.

However, it is worth noting that mad cow disease and mad sheep disease will still infect prions through animals, so if humans unfortunately eat prion infected food, they will inevitably be infected.

So this is why we always emphasize the sentence ----- to prevent diseases from entering the mouth, never eat game!


【1】Mathews J.D,Burnet F.M. THE CHANGING FACE OF KURU: An Analysis of Pedigrees Collected by R. M. Glasse and Shirley Glasse and of Recent Census Data[J]. The Lancet,1965,285(7396).

【2】LEGAC P,ARQUIE E. [POSSIBLE ROLE OF RICKETTSIA ORIENTALIS IN THE ETIOLOGY OF "KURU" IN NEW GUINEA AND THE ISLAND OF GUAM].[J]. Bulletin de la Societe de pathologie exotique et de ses filiales,1963,56.

【2】LEGAC P,ARQUIE E. [POSSIBLE ROLE OF RICKETTSIA ORIENTALIS IN THE ETIOLOGY OF "KURU" IN NEW GUINEA AND THE ISLAND OF GUAM].[J]. Bulletin de la Societe de pathologie exotique et de ses filiales,1963,56.

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