Yet another weird SF fan

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Yet another weird SF fan

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Ambitious People

Some people want to achieve a higher state of being … like being dinner:

If a group of US researchers have their way, lions, cheetahs, elephants and camels could soon roam parts of North America, Nature magazine reports.

The plan, which is called Pleistocene re-wilding, is intended to be a proactive approach to conservation.

The initiative would help endangered African animals while creating jobs, the Cornell University scientists say.

Evidence also suggests, they claim, that "megafauna" can help maintain ecosystems and boost biodiversity.

"If we only have 10 minutes to present this idea, people think we're nuts," said Harry Greene, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Cornell University, US.

After an hour, of course, we not only think they're nuts, we know they're nuts. On the other hand they probably don't realize that listeners backing away slowly while making noises of agreement does not necessarily mean anybody has been convinced.

There is a precedent, of course. Bernd-Jurgen Brandes had a similar ambition:

Armin Meiwes, the German jailed for eight-and-a-half years for eating an acquaintance, advised others not to follow his example.

After years of wrangling over its very existence, anthropologists increasingly concur that cannibalism is a tradition which has spanned both cultures and centuries, although the extent to which it has been practised remains an academic battleground.

General repugnance has met the case of Mr Meiwes, who has confessed to killing and eating a man he met after advertising for someone who wanted to be killed and eaten.


But what distinguishes Mr Meiwes' self-confessed sexual cannibalism from killers such as Fish and Chikatilo, or acts committed by peoples such as the Aztecs or the Congolese rebels, is the ostensibly consensual nature of his act.

Mr Meiwes met the man he was ultimately to eat, 43-year-old Bernd-Jurgen Brandes, in early 2001, after advertising on websites for "young, well-built men aged 18 to 30 to slaughter".

Mr Meiwes told investigators he took Mr Brandes back to his home, where Mr Brandes agreed to have his penis cut off, which Mr Meiwes then flambeed and served up to eat together.

Mr Meiwes says he then killed Mr Brandes with his consent.

But the allegedly consensual nature of the act has done nothing to pacify German disgust.

Come to think of it, I had already blogged about the Dish of the Day (who wanted to be eaten) and male redback spiders (who act like they want to be eaten).

Maybe we can arrange some game preserves for the complex ecosystems with predators and release environmental wackos inside them.


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