CAUTION! THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS DISTURBING IMAGES OF DEATH* 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 the instinct to survive kicks in, people will do and eat literally anything and anyone – in some instances even their own children.
Throughout Russian history starvation has not been 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 had 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 flesh and blood. Some families killed their father to eat, mothers consumed their own babies; children left alone for a second on the street were often kidnapped, slaughtered, and devoured. Starvation was so terrible that these people told themselves they had done a good Christian 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. It was even suggested that the people dig up the bones of dead 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 is estimated that between 15 and 45 million people perished during this time; 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 that 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 that change to happen very quickly – within just a 5 year span. The sad part is that he didn’t give a single damn as to what happened to his own people in the meanwhile. This leader stole food from the public, and just let his people starve while his own very 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 – and has since then! 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. It has been reported that one was seriously punished for this atrocity!
In 2012 some credible news sources such as ABC News reported on a new form of cannibalism which came from China. 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, but some reputable news sources reported on it. 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 had 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, some parents resorted to feasting on 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 always feel SO GUILTY when I’m not posting for y’all, like I’m doing something wrong. I know y’all tell me it’s okay, but in my mind it’s not. So I’m going to dig deep and find old posts while I’m sorting out my head. For those of you wondering what’s going on, radiology called me so I have an appointment on the fourth. THE FOURTH! Do you know how long that is to wait when your anxiety is this bad? I’m sure many of you can imagine 💚 but the good news is that I’ll know everything going on at that appointment. I have posted an article to my Patreon, I’m trying so hard to keep posting there weekly. If you’d like to read that, the lowest tier to join is only $3 – but there’s no pressure to join. I do hope that you’re all doing well 💚 I miss talking to y’all! Here’s that link: https://www.patreon.com/Morbidnmacabre
Oh! One more thing! I’m not a history scholar, it interests me, but I’m no pro. Y’all know true crime is my thing. So if I accidentally got a small detail wrong such as a date or something about a war, please don’t shoot me! I always try to be as accurate as possible, I really do.