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#1 of 48 Old 01-16-2008, 11:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

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#2 of 48 Old 01-16-2008, 11:19 AM
 
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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.
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#3 of 48 Old 01-16-2008, 11:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

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#4 of 48 Old 01-16-2008, 01:58 PM
 
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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.
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#5 of 48 Old 01-16-2008, 02:02 PM
 
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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.
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#6 of 48 Old 01-16-2008, 02:14 PM
 
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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.
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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.
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#7 of 48 Old 01-16-2008, 02:48 PM
 
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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.
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#8 of 48 Old 01-16-2008, 02:55 PM
 
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It sure is to me.

Yack.
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#9 of 48 Old 01-16-2008, 03:15 PM
 
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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.
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#10 of 48 Old 01-16-2008, 03:30 PM
 
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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.
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#11 of 48 Old 01-16-2008, 03:56 PM
 
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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!
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#12 of 48 Old 01-16-2008, 04:06 PM
 
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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.
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#13 of 48 Old 01-16-2008, 04:07 PM
 
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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')

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#14 of 48 Old 01-16-2008, 04:17 PM
 
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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.
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#15 of 48 Old 01-16-2008, 04:34 PM
 
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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.


*********************************

So.... Yeah!

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#16 of 48 Old 01-16-2008, 04:45 PM
 
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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.

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#17 of 48 Old 01-16-2008, 04:50 PM
 
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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.
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#18 of 48 Old 01-16-2008, 05:07 PM
 
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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.


*********************************

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?
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#19 of 48 Old 01-16-2008, 06:01 PM
 
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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...

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#20 of 48 Old 01-16-2008, 06:21 PM
 
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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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#21 of 48 Old 01-16-2008, 06:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LookMommy! View Post
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.
Um... we had a thread awhile ago (a few years back, before I had my son) about whether eating the placenta was kosher or not, and the consensus at the time was that it was probably parve (regardless of the blood).

I can't find the link. There are too many placenta threads here!

I did end up eating a piece of my placenta -- I was bleeding a little heavier than I'd like and it felt like the right response. I didn't plan on it in advance, though I had thought about it, but it felt right in the moment.

It was warm and chewy but not icky. No gag response whatsoever. (And I am a quasi-vegetarian.)
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#22 of 48 Old 01-16-2008, 06:34 PM
 
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#23 of 48 Old 01-16-2008, 06:42 PM
 
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#24 of 48 Old 01-16-2008, 06:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Arwyn View Post
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.
This is not actually true, many prey herbivores (horses, cows, sheep) do not eat their placentas. They just leave them and move away so that predators aren't as likely to find them.

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#25 of 48 Old 01-16-2008, 07:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Jessmcg View Post
This is not actually true, many prey herbivores (horses, cows, sheep) do not eat their placentas. They just leave them and move away so that predators aren't as likely to find them.
This seems to contradict that cows don't eat their placentas

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#26 of 48 Old 01-16-2008, 07:29 PM
 
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Thanks georgia.

I stand corrected:

Quote:
Remember, cows
were not always domesticated and it is a fact that virtually all placental
mammals eat their placenta with the exception of camels, Cetaceans (an
order of aquatic mammals including whales and dolphins), and Pinnipeds
(an order of semi-aquatic mammals including seals and walruses).
According to this source, then, humans are the only non-domesticated placental land mammals that don't practice placentaphagia (unless camels count as non-domesticated?).

I wonder why semi/aquatic mammals don't.
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#27 of 48 Old 01-16-2008, 07:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by georgia View Post
This seems to contradict that cows don't eat their placentas
, hmm

I am really going to look into that one. I can not find anything else about cattle doing that. I even pulled down a couple of my college text books.

I live on a 900 pair working cattle ranch, plus have a small herd of registered show cattle, and my BS is in Animal science, with an emphasis on large animal reproduction. In my experience it is VERY rare to have a cow actually eat the placenta, they will often lick it and clean it off like the calf, but then get the calf up and away from it.

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#28 of 48 Old 01-16-2008, 07:38 PM
 
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Do you think it has to do with domestication? I'm really not trying to be argumentative...I'm honestly curious

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#29 of 48 Old 01-16-2008, 07:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LookMommy! View Post
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.
I really don't know about that. I don't think eating your OWN blood is a kashrut issue. If my finger bleeds and I immediately put it into my mouth to stop the bleeding until I get a cloth, I TOTALLY don't see that as a kashrut issue. I think a very qualified Rabbi would need to be consulted on this one.


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#30 of 48 Old 01-16-2008, 07:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by georgia View Post
Do you think it has to do with domestication? I'm really not trying to be argumentative...I'm honestly curious
Not taken or meant argumentaative .

I was actually thinking about this just now. It would not surprise me at all, that would make sense. It reminds me of when dh went to Scotland 1.5 years ago. Their sheep are not very domesticated and raised totally different and have very different instincts and behaviors. I will ask him tonight if he remembers if they eat their placentas.

ETA:sorry to take this OT, I have a cow info sensor

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