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Eating Placenta = Cannibalism?

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 
So, I was reading this thread about eating placenta; and DP and I were discussing how some people on here think it's gross and some people (especially those who've eaten theirs) say that it's extremely beneficial. I said I don't think I could do it; so DP said "I'll eat it" : .......ok. So he gets into thought for a few seconds, then asks "is that like cannibalism?" ....and, well, I don't know. Is it? You are eating a piece of human being, afterall.

Your thoughts?

ETA: This question is not meant to offend anyone. We were just thinking and wondering.
post #2 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blu Razzberri View Post
So, I was reading this thread about eating placenta; and DP and I were discussing how some people on here think it's gross and some people (especially those who've eaten theirs) say that it's extremely beneficial. I said I don't think I could do it; so DP said "I'll eat it" : .......ok. So he gets into thought for a few seconds, then asks "is that like cannibalism?" ....and, well, I don't know. Is it? You are eating a piece of human being, afterall.

Your thoughts?
Well by definition, yeah, it's cannibalism. But you know, the stigma that goes along with *cannibalism* is a social one. Other cultures don't feel the same way Americans are taught to feel about it so eating the placenta requires stepping outside of your comfort zone and rethinking the origin of cannibalism, I think.

I wouldn't be able to eat it, for the record. It's not a social thing but I have a wicked strong gag reflex and I'd never be able to choke it down. But I am totally cool with other people doing it.
post #3 of 48
Thread Starter 
I just read your response to DP; here's what he said: "it better be cool, 'cause I'm doin' it! ....I'm just gonna run up and take a bit of it as it's comin' out. I want it fresh..."

Whatever floats his boat, I suppose.
post #4 of 48
I read somewhere that ethical vegetarians who still like meat might eat placentas when they're available since that meat doesn't come from hurting any living creature.
post #5 of 48
I don't know, is eating your fingernails or skin cannibalism? Chewing the skin off your lips?

I dunno

Maybe it only counts as cannibalism if you are eating someone else's body parts, not your own. Hmm. Not sure.
post #6 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stinkerbell View Post
Well by definition, yeah, it's cannibalism. But you know, the stigma that goes along with *cannibalism* is a social one.
It is not only social. Many religions also strictly forbid cannibalism.
Quote:
Other cultures don't feel the same way Americans are taught to feel about it...
Which cultures are fine with cannibalism? There are only a rare few which practice(d) it at all, and they do not (or did not, traditionally) eat human flesh as an ordinary source of food, but only as a solemn ritual on rare, ceremonial occasions. The idea that the world was once full of tribes that cooked and ate people regularly comes from cartoons. Cannibalism is a universal taboo.
post #7 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
I read somewhere that ethical vegetarians who still like meat might eat placentas when they're available since that meat doesn't come from hurting any living creature.
Speak for yourselves. Childbirth hurt me pretty darn badly. I definitely suffered thru the process. I will never forget the pain that is for sure.
post #8 of 48
It sure is to me.

Yack.
post #9 of 48
That's a really good question! I hadn't considered that. I guess I think it is. But considering the reported benefits of eating it, if I could have choked mine down I might have. But there's no way I could have. Like a pp I have a very strong gag reflex.
post #10 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamabadger View Post
Which cultures are fine with cannibalism? There are only a rare few which practice(d) it at all, and they do not (or did not, traditionally) eat human flesh as an ordinary source of food, but only as a solemn ritual on rare, ceremonial occasions. The idea that the world was once full of tribes that cooked and ate people regularly comes from cartoons. Cannibalism is a universal taboo.
Not a current culture, but I know in Fiji it used to be OK, as recently as the late 1800's/early 1900's. My IL's lived there for 2 years and brought home lots of "headhunter weapons" as souvenirs. It was even called the "Cannibal Islands" at one time. From what I understand it was an intimidation thing for their enemies during wartime.
post #11 of 48
Just because Fiji was once caleld the "cannibal islands" doesn't mean cannablisim was regularly practiced there. Sure, they kept peoples heads and may have let the rumours presit to freak out enemies. But that doesn't mean that cannabalism is/was ever practiced there on any kind of a regular basis.

And umm... I don't think I could eat my (or anyone elses') placenta... just sounds a bit too... wierd? No offense to anyone who's done it!
post #12 of 48
Interesting question!

I know that plenty of tribal cultures used to eat a piece of a deceased member. Or the heart of their enemy. Now, we've evolved beyond that, and made it illegal. Though, I do think there are some tribal cultures out there who still practice this.

At any rate, I too, consider it a cultural thing. But, I also consider religion to be a cultural thing. So, religions that say "do not eat other people" are merely another reflection of one's cultural norms.

As far as the placenta ... (not to be gross) but kids eat their boogers. Are they little cannibals in disguise? I'm fairly sure most animals - herbivore or carnivore - eat their placenta after birth. It's kind of the "thing to do" in the animal kingdom.

I think cannibalism mainly relates to eating another person's body. So, eating your own is still OK.
post #13 of 48
I dont think its cannabalism at all.
If you ate your poo is that cannabalism? - no.
If you ate a bit of your fingernail/hair/etc is that cannabalism? - no.
If a child ate his own scab is that cannabalism? - no.

Technically its even vegan as its freely given. (if someone else eats your placenta that youve given them)

The defenition of cannabalism is that of eating human flesh -and the placenta isnt acutally flesh (it at least certainly isnt included in the dictionary definition of 'flesh')
post #14 of 48
Yes, I agree. If it is your own body, how can it be cannibalism.

Another person's boarders on it, that's for sure.

But crap, when you kiss someone you are eating their saliva and maybe more (post nasal drip, I don't know, whatever) :Puke

But I don't think eating your own placenta is cannibalism. Same as fingernails, skin, hair, it's all your own tissue.
post #15 of 48
I was really curious (what a question to ponder about on Wednesday afternoon heheheh), and I went on www.dictionary.com...


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Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) - Cite This Source - Share This
can·ni·bal·ism /ˈkænəbəˌlɪzəm/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[kan-uh-buh-liz-uhm] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun
1. the eating of human flesh by another human being.
2. the eating of the flesh of an animal by another animal of its own kind.
3. the ceremonial eating of human flesh or parts of the human body for magical or religious purposes, as to acquire the power or skill of a person recently killed.
4. the act of pecking flesh from a live fowl by a member of the same flock.


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So.... Yeah!
post #16 of 48
It might be considered that way if it is not your own placenta you are eating.
However, since one purpose of the placenta is to nourish another human being you could argue that it isn't cannibalism to continue to use it for that purpose after the birth.

The purpose of a leg, fingernails, or heart is not to nourish another human being.
post #17 of 48

Not kosher

I don't have an answer for the OP, but I will add that it would not be considered kosher, because it contains blood.

Breast milk is kosher and non-dairy for Jews
http://rabbi.bendory.com/docs/baby.php

It is similar to bee honey, which is kosher, although a bee is not.
post #18 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oriole View Post
I was really curious (what a question to ponder about on Wednesday afternoon heheheh), and I went on www.dictionary.com...


*********************************
Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) - Cite This Source - Share This
can·ni·bal·ism /ˈkænəbəˌlɪzəm/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[kan-uh-buh-liz-uhm] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun
1. the eating of human flesh by another human being.
2. the eating of the flesh of an animal by another animal of its own kind.
3. the ceremonial eating of human flesh or parts of the human body for magical or religious purposes, as to acquire the power or skill of a person recently killed.
4. the act of pecking flesh from a live fowl by a member of the same flock.


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So.... Yeah!
flesh /flɛʃ/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[flesh] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun 1. the soft substance of a human or other animal body, consisting of muscle and fat.
2. muscular and fatty tissue.
3. this substance or tissue in animals, viewed as an article of food, usually excluding fish and sometimes fowl; meat.
4. fatness; weight.
5. the body, esp. as distinguished from the spirit or soul: The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.
6. the physical or animal nature of humankind as distinguished from its moral or spiritual nature: the needs of the flesh.


So I had to look up flesh to see if placenta was flesh.... I think by definition it is if you are eating it, right?
post #19 of 48
Yep, cannibalism. I don't have a problem with that, though. (I mean, I'm not recommending 'regular' cannibalism as a dietary choice, but in extreme survival situations, like that plane which crashed in the mountains somewhere, forcing the survivors to eat the deceased passengers to stay alive, I don't see how it's morally wrong. Icky, yes...).

Interesting that most of the dictionary definitions list 'flesh'. I guess that puts fingernail-biting outside the realm of cannibalism. Good to know.

Quote:
Technically its even vegan as its freely given. (if someone else eats your placenta that youve given them)
Are you sure? I can see how a vegan wouldn't have a problem eating placenta for ethical reasons, but I was under the impression that the definition of vegan was 'no animal products', not 'only animal products which are freely given'... which would be a bit of an odd definition, unless you were specifically trying to include placenta-eating. (I mean, how many cows come up and offer you a leg?). The placenta is, biologically speaking, an animal product--so isn't it not vegan?

I'm planning on capsulising mine, for the record. That gag reflex is just too strong...
post #20 of 48
It is vegan, just like milk from the same species, freely given is vegan. The "no animal products" definition of veganism is a dictionary generalization, not the actual definition given by actual vegans (unless they're using shorthand when talking to the clueless).

Humans are the only mammals who don't routinely practice placentaphagia. We're also the only mammals who deny our young colostrum regularly. Self-awareness and cultural mores aren't always beneficial. Debating whether placentaphagia is "cannibalism" is missing the point.
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