SMOKE: Man-Eating, Inc
Originally published: 9 January 2004
I've never been a big fan of cannibals, I'll be honest.
Not that they have vast fan networks and thousands of panty-throwing female groupies or anything anyway, but I just wanted to be clear where I stand on the issue.
What weirds me out more than the cannibals themselves, though, are the folks who want to be eaten by them. There's serious childhood trauma going on there, because watching some mad German stuffing his face with your genitals has got to rate right up there in the nutty tree.
Armin Meiwes - the Cannibal of Rotenburg - is currently on trial for eating a fellow German, Bernd Brandes, after Brandes answered his Internet advertisement for someone willing to be eaten.
Incredibly, observers of the trial are saying that after four weeks - in which two "truckloads" of emails and letters, 3800 photographs, Internet chat transcripts, videos and a host of other evidence have been seized and presented - the trial is starting to swing in Meiwes' favour.
According to an article published in The Australian the prosecution have to prove that Meiwes murdered and ate Brandes for sexual motives, and the evidence presented so far shows his motives were completely non-sexual.
The guy simply loves the taste of freshly-slaughtered humans and his Internet chat transcripts show that he was completely disinterested in killing - it was just the fresh meat he was after.
He had an Internet buddy called Joerg with whom he had a massive amount of correspondence on the subject of cannibalism and it became clear through the transcripts that they both felt they were "on the edge of something of global significance".
Meiwes told Joerg that cannibalism could be used as the ultimate development aid: "We could solve the problem of over-population and famine at a stroke."
A good point, actually - both problems could well be solved if we all just started eating each other. Fortunately most of us are not that whacked.
Meiwes has bragged of an international cannibal network of over 800 people and claims he has been in contact with at least 400 of them. Police have only found evidence of contact with 200 so far, including an American who was looking for a victim to chop into three segments and then dine on, and a German who wanted to be eaten around the table on Russian Orthodox Christmas.
It's pretty clear - there are a whole lot of people out there who either fancy eating others or who want to be eaten.
During one chat session alone with Joerg, Meiwes received a dozen messages from people responding to his advert for a young man to eat. He eventually chose Brandes and the rest - along with Brandes - is now history.
Distasteful as I find cannibalism I have to side with Meiwes on this one. It was a consensual act, they both wanted to do it. They both achieved the desired result and both were happy with it.
There was a guy before Brandes who met with Meiwes at his apartment, but before the feast could begin he got cold feet and suddenly realised that someone was about to actually eat him - his fantasy obviously could not be carried further into reality.
Meiwes let him go - he didn't tie him up or give him sleeping drugs or in any way force himself on the guy, which would indicate that everything he did was with consent in mind.
When Brandes consented and presented himself for sacrifice he ate him - as both had agreed to do.
What consenting adults do behind closed doors - as long as it hurts nobody else - should be their choice. If they want to thrash each other, get into scatology, dress up as babies, nurses, prostitutes, secretaries or maids, or eat each other - then let them do it. We all only have one shot at life - whatever makes you happy.
Of course - none of these supposed cannibals can be very happy, so a little psychiatry wouldn't go amiss. We all want the Big Internet Monster to be exposed and shamed and burned at the stake - monsters make our life so much more interesting.
But in truth what Meiwes needs is a good shrink rather than a lifetime in prison, and perhaps a personal chef to make him all sorts of tasty things like spaghetti bolognaise, pizza and carrot cake, and maybe he'll get over his craving for human flesh.
Since nobody is born a cannibal I am fascinated to know what event would transpire in your life to first arouse your curiosity in the subject, but more importantly to make you become a firm devotee of cannibalism.
Don't serial killers, people interested in faeces, barnyard sex-lovers and cannibals wake up in the morning, take a look in the mirror, and ask: "Oi - aren't you just a little bit weird, mate?"
When fishing around in the dead guy's gut for the last pieces of dripping entrails, don't you question your sanity just a leetle bit?
I reckon it could all be a lot easier. Kick back in your apartment, watch some telly, have a smoke, nibble on some lemon creams - not the most exciting existence to be sure, but it has its merits.
It certainly beats the hell out of carving up some weirdo who you've never met and madly tucking into his raw bits.
All Smoked Out,