Eat Me (Wellcome Collection) Hardcover – 19 Jan. 2017
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Gripping and often disturbing ... Schutt [has] a rare gift for making biology dramatic. His accounts of family life among invertebrates are hair-raising (John Carey Sunday Times 2017-01-29)
There is plenty to intrigue and entertain. (Frances Larson Observer)
A fascinating and surprisingly fun read ... though laughing at a history of cannibalism can garner you some funny looks on public transport. (Daily Mail)
An interesting book with a lot of fascinating stories. (Spectator)
A delightfully cool-headed voyage ... Schutt takes a modern-day cultural taboo, gently pulls it apart and give is the full scientific treatment. (Jules Howard BBC Wildlife 2017-03-16)
Engaging (Robert Eustace Daily Telegraph 2017-02-25)
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From the animal kingdom to human beings, the author carefully covers everything on the subject, including, spider self-sacrifice, the American pioneers, Mad Cow disease and the spread of Ebola.
Not that I do either, but I had never considered whether biting your nails and eating your nose pickings constituted a form of cannibalism, but he does – and this book has left me certainly wider read and more observant of life.
An enjoyable read - even for the squeamish.
The author says that cannibalism is far from unknown in the animal kingdom. It serves a variety of functions . Polar bear cannibalism has been documented. It has nothing to do with climate change. Schutt says many stories about cannibalism have turned out to be false or grossly exaggerated. One of his aims in this book is to reveal such cases and to examine the possibility that the revulsion at the very mention of cannibalism stems from our culture. Why is it the last taboo?. The author takes us on a surprising and fascinating journey the better to understand the complexity of our natural world and the long history of our species.
Incest is abhorrent but it is not a horror that repels us, as cannibalism does. The author discusses family life among invertebrates. He reveals extraordinary details about black lace-weaver spiders, Australian redbacks. Cannabilsm also is common among, for example fish, chimpanzees, and sharks.
Starvation it is well known, has led to cannibalism throughout history. It took place during the appalling siege of Leningrad after 1941. Lasting over two years, several thousand cases of cannibalism were recorded. However, most involved the eating of dead bodies.
The author asks if there is any record of a human culture that has not condemned cannibalism. The answer is yes, China. Cultural cannibalism has long been a feature of China. He believes this could spread to states in the West. In support of this he discusses the current fad of cooking placenta. He has eaten it and says it is very palatable.
HG Wells talked of survival cannibalism in his book, 'The Time Macine'. Schutt says he believes Wells was right to foresee that in time we would be driven to cannibalism owing to the decline of once fertile lands in China, Syria and Africa, and overpopulation.
Towards the end of his book Schutt reveals that cannibalism has been found to spread a deadly disease called kuru. It is similar to CJD. There have been 177 deaths from the latter so far in Britain. In Papua thousands of the Fore tribe have died as adults, in many cases years after being exposed to kuru via ritual cannibalism.
Cannibalism is no laughing matter but it may not be as uncommon as we think. Professor Schutt has a rare gift for making biology fascinating and dramatic. Some of his examples in this engaging account are hair-raising.
Highly recommended despite its subject.