Cannibalism is technically legal in every state but Idaho. The notion of eating human flesh usually elicits a very natural human disgust. Grave robbing, murder, and the sale of human meat are all unlawful acts, so the case of a man identified simply as Shiny in a recent VICE article is all the more interesting for being a unique instance of legal, completely ethical cannibalism. Shiny invited 10 of his friends over and ate his own foot.
Two years ago, after a horrific car accident, doctors told Shiny he would never be able to walk on his foot again. The medical team decided to amputate it, and Shiny requested he be allowed to keep the foot (which all hospitals must offer due to various religions which require burial of a full body).
Shiny initially had some other plans for what to do with the severed limb. He approached taxidermists, intending to have it stuffed, but none would take it seriously. He thought about having it freeze-dried, but the procedure cost $1,200, more than he was able to swing. But after taking a cast of the foot (for future recreation), he realized he would have to be more creative in his foot-disposal methods.
@VICE https://t.co/QgsI9WSAtC— Cowbell King (@Cowbell King) 1528814039.0
According to Shiny, the process wasn't as disgusting as it sounds?
I had four friends with me at the time, and it was all surreal. We picked it up and were playing with it. It didn't seem like it was a foot. It just seemed like an object, not a piece of a person. There was no emotional connection. I could think, "Yep, that's my foot right there," but there wasn't some deep part of me that felt weirded out by it. In fact, that was the weirdest part, was that it wasn't weird.
@mxvizcaino @VICE https://t.co/lRjFPEpzaq— 🇳🇬 albóndigas con patas (@🇳🇬 albóndigas con patas) 1528817677.0
Then again, he also describes the meat preparation process (stop reading NOW if you're squeamish AT ALL):
Before we cast it, I quickly took a knife from my kitchen and cut a chunk off the top of my shin. The skin was already kind of off from the surgery, leaving a big chunk of muscle exposed. I just took the muscle. I put it in a plastic bag and put it in my freezer.
@fMRI_guy @VICE @voraciousbrain @ChickAndTheDead Omg. My disgust meter just hit overload. Ewwwwwww. https://t.co/db7c72qg3Q— Dr. Kiki Sanford (@Dr. Kiki Sanford) 1528817679.0
Now all Shiny needed was some guests to fill out his dinner party. Fortunately, he and his friends had often talked about the subject of eating human flesh.
I invited 11 people. I said something like, "Remember how we always talked about how, if we ever had the chance to ethically eat human meat, would you do it? Well, I'm calling you on that. We doing this or what?" Ten said yes. I guess we're a weird group.
One of the aforementioned friends was dating a chef who agreed to prepare the foot-meat and serve it to the group (provided he got to partake).
@VICE https://t.co/HemS3sPeL9— Austin Axline (@Austin Axline) 1528815295.0
And how was the foot prepared?
He marinated it overnight and sauteed it with onions, peppers, salt, pepper, and lime juice. Then he served it on corn tortillas with a tomatillo sauce.
@VICE https://t.co/9J66OL8rLS— Kyle Gordon Davis (@Kyle Gordon Davis) 1528813470.0
Though none of us wants to be the one who asks, everybody wants to know...how did it taste?
People think it tastes like pork because in movies we hear it called "long pig." But that term originated in places like Papua New Guinea, where they eat wild boar. They're not eating our big, fat, domesticated pigs that have white meat. Boars don't have white meat. They just don't. I remember eating a heritage pig and it was some of the reddest, most flavorful meat I'd ever had. It was almost like venison. And I think it's more akin to that.
@VICE https://t.co/MWSGvr2LHn— Son Moises-sama 🐺 (@Son Moises-sama 🐺) 1528817739.0
2 years later, looking back on the entire ordeal, Shiny's reasons for eating the foot are surprisingly beautiful:
I went through this whole experience. This was a pivotal transition time. I'm a middle class white boy. I had never had to struggle for anything in my life. I had never been tested properly. I didn't go into the military, I've never been poor or had to struggle for food or housing. I've had it easy and I recognize that. Before the accident, I didn't properly appreciate my life or the people around me.
The outpouring of compassion and empathy I received from my friends and my loved ones really helped me take on the challenge of this big change in my life. So I was taking care of this body part that took care of me for so long. I was paying homage to it and giving it a proper send-off.
At the end of the day, this is the least gruesome instance of cannibalism you're likely to find.
I think you can ethically be a cannibal in certain situations. I don't have some hunger to go hunt people down and gnaw off their faces. This was one experience where I had the chance to do something unique in a healthy and ethical manner. I did it and it was fun and cool, and I have a great story.
H/T - VICE