It came up at lunch the other day about the choices that cannibals would make in selecting the people that they ate. I pointed out that cannibals would want to eat vegetarians. Everyone thought that this was very strange but I have a fairly strong argument for this belief.
Cannibals have health concerns like anyone else and as such need to make careful dietary considerations. For reasons of convenience, let us group cannibal food into three general categories. These categories will be vegetarians, omnivores (people who eat vegetables and meat but not human meat) and other cannibals. Of these three, vegetarians should be a cannibals top choice, omnivores the second and other cannibals as a last resort.
Why would a discriminating cannibal want to each vegetarian meat before other types of meat? In reality, the arguments for eating vegetarians are fairly obvious. Just like free-range, corn-fed chickens are the most desired chicken meat for omnivores, vegetarians are naturally healthier, leaner and are less likely to carry life-threatening parasites and diseases that are transmitted through meat. Cannibals have to be extra cautious about this as their food source is 100% parasitically compatible with them – not a factor that normal omnivores have to worry about.
The last type of meat that a cannibal would want to consume is the meat from other cannibals. Cannibals are the most likely category of all meat sources to be carrying a wide array of human to human transmitted parasites and diseases. Many of these diseases are practically isolated to cannibals as they can only easily be transmitted via consumption making cannibal meat extremely dangerous – rather like eating steak tartar made from mad cows.
Probably the hardest thing about cannibals attempting to eat well is that healthy food is harder to catch. Vegetarians are by their very nature more likely to be health conscious and will be more likely to have a regular exercise regimen. These heart healthy, fit individuals will generally be able to outrun and outlast a chase from cannibals who have been eating fatty, disease ridden meat for any length of time. Cannibals will find the most available food source to be of the “couch potato” variety. Any extended “meat of potatoes” diet will surely lead to heart conditions.
In the end it is a struggle for any cannibal in today’s world to maintain a healthy diet. While food sources continue to become more widely available and even though vegetarianism is on the rise cannibals continue to face hostility, armed prey, disease and parasitic pests.