We like to think that this type of thing can’t happen in polite society, that cannibalism is something that only so-called uncivilized tribes and macabre serial killers partake in. But history has proven again and again that when humans are starving and survival instincts kick in, people will do and eat literally anything – and anyone.
Throughout Russian history starvation was not an uncommon occurrence, though times were extremely rough in the early 1920’s; this time is known as the great famine. There was a drought, and a Russian civil war started between the Bolshevik Red Army and the White Army. The country was in a state of turmoil; there was no food at all, and 25 million people were starving to death.
It’s said that they began by eating their pets; when they were hungry enough, they turned on their own families. Mothers ate their own babies; children left alone for a second on the street were kidnapped, slaughtered, and eaten. Starvation was so terrible that these people told themselves they had done a good deed as they’d put an end to their victim’s suffering. Humans are good at justifying their behavior, it was okay to eat the dead because they had known and cared for them.
There was no food, no meat to be found, yet somehow you could still find flesh for sale at the market; of course it was human, and people were happy to have it. The government was aware of what was going on, but it doesn’t look like they did much to stop it – cannibalism was seen as a means to survive. They even suggested that the people dig up the bones of animals, and grind them up into a bread substitute. As you can imagine, this caused a good deal of sickness and disease.
Other countries heard of the atrocities going on in Russia and they banded together to send relief. But it wasn’t fast enough, and it’s estimated that up to 10 million people starved to death. It seems that Russia’s people eating problem didn’t end with the war; in 1997 alone there were 30 reported murders involving cannibalism.
From 1958 to 1961 in China there was a great famine due to a drought and the Great Leap Forward; 1966 to 1976 is known as China’s Cultural Revolution. It’s estimated that between 15 and 45 million people perished; because of all the secrecy surrounding this and the fact that starvation was prohibited from being listed on a death certificate, the true numbers aren’t known. So, without getting too political, the country’s leader, Mao Zedong, had decided he wanted to catch up to the western world. The man was absolutely determined that China would be able to compete with industrialized nations, and he wanted the change to happen very quickly – within just a 5 year span. The sad part is that he didn’t give a single damn what happened to his people in the meanwhile. This leader stole food from the public, and just let his people starve while his own large family, including 10 children, lived extremely well.
Cannibalism was rampant. Parents preferred not to kill and eat their own, so the practice of “swapping children to eat” became a thing. It’s just so terrible. There are stories of horrific violence, “There were beheadings, beatings, live burials, stonings, drownings, boilings, group slaughters, disembowellings, digging out hearts, livers, genitals, slicing off flesh, blowing up with dynamite, and more, with no method unused.”. Though the violence seems to have been more about political revenge than starvation, China doesn’t like to admit that cannibalism happened – but it absolutely did! There’s one report of a teacher by the name of Wu Shufang who in 1968 was beaten to death by his own middle school pupils. The kids forced another teacher to rip out their victim’s heart and liver, then they had a barbeque with his flesh.
In 2012 some credible news sources such as ABC News reported on a new form of cannibalism which came from China. Aborted fetuses were being ground up into capsules and used for consumption; this is believed to be a miracle cure all, and it’s said to boost stamina and sexual health. This absolutely sounds like an urban legend or anti abortion propaganda, and I wish it were; more than seventeen thousand of these capsules have been intercepted through the mail.
In the 1980’s, North Korea experienced a terrible famine due to terrible weather, and the fact that Russia demanded immediate payment for past aid. In 1991, the country’s economy failed; from 1994 to 1998 up to 3.5 millions people died – the women and children had it the worst. Cannibalism was rampant; children were told to be careful, and not to go outside alone. Again, there are reports of parents eating their young. There are reports of grave robberies, the dead were dug up for their flesh. The most recent reports of cannibalism in this country are from 2013!
*I found an incredible documentary about this, if anyone’s interested. It’s called “Cannibal: One Man’s Meat (Crime Documentary) | Real Stories”.
I’m SO SORRY the posts are so slow, just have so much going on. I have an appointment with radiology on the 4th and I’ll know for sure what’s going on then. There’s also a new post on the Patreon, if you’re interested; the lowest tier to join is just $3 to join and I try my very best to post an original article there at least one a week – even with all that’s going on. In case you’d like to join, I’ll leave a link. No pressure, please don’t EVER feel pressure from me to join! But since this isn’t a free site, I really need to advertise my Patreon. https://www.patreon.com/Morbidnmacabre