My blog is a terrible, terrible thing at the moment. So much ire. So I thought I might lighten the mood a bit and talk about cannibalism.
I loved Alive by Piers Paul Read, and devoured every page with a catch in my throat. I adore true tales of survival, even more so if it involves a crashed aeroplane. Probably the closest I’ve even been to a vaguely life and death situation was being stranded on a flooded mountainside in Morocco with three boys from Balwyn. My tale is small beer, I know.
The best part of reading books like this, is of course casting oneself in the central dramatic role. What would I do if I were stranded in the Andes with the Uruguayan rugby team??
But would I eventually eat human flesh? Or hold out until the last minute, like Liliana Methol? (they used a chunk of broken glass to cut the meat, and dried it on the roof of the plane, Uruguay-style)
What if I was injured? Would I calmly push the intestines back into my stomach like one bloke? Drag myself around on the snow with two broken legs? What if I didn’t have the strength to hike out of there? After many attempts, two men hiked for nine days through the snow, to the Chilean side. I’m shit at hiking. Would I choose to stay in the plane, not knowing whether I’d be rescued?
The snow around the plane was littered with urine, faeces, the blood of dead passengers, fat, bone and gristle. They scraped the fat out of the skin and ate it for energy. They initially didn’t eat the head or genitals, but most eventually turned to them in the end. The lungs were apparently the last body part eaten, and by that stage (about 10 weeks after the crash they were rescued) they had gone rancid.
The Catholic Church issued a statement later on saying that what they’d done was in no way a sin; in fact they had nothing to repent because they’d done nothing but preserve their own lives. If you were freezing and starving to death, would you eat your mates? Normally I’d say ‘In a heartbeat’, but after reading Alive I’m not quite so sure.
*I’m attempting to get in touch with my kreative side again, so be patient.