‘If Armin Meiwes gets off on the insanity degree, I’ll eat my…’ On trial in Germany, cannibal says victim was willing. Meiwes says that being an only child yearning for a younger brother transmuted itself into an obsession with wishing to consume someone to incorporate them into him and bind them to him forever, according to his testimony. He says he got over four hundred responses to an ad he placed seeking someone for “slaughter and consumption.” When he met his victim, they apparently dined on his penis after Meiwes amputated it. Later, his victim was killed and dismembered, and Meiwes consumed various body parts over ensuing months. He was arrested after authorities were alerted to a subsequent ad he placed; buried human remains were found at his home. The case is legally complex, since cannibalism per se is not a crime, and since the victim was seemingly a willing accomplice in his own death.
A reader was reminded loosely of my two essays on apotemnophilia here and here. I share the sense of being challenged about how to conceptualize situations in which people collaborate in their own gruesome mutilation, disfigurement or death for inexplicable reasons. I am in a way more stupified by the four hundred people who responded to Meiwes’ ad than by his depravity.
Related? Victoria Van Dyke is the pseudonym of an artist who describes her work in this way:
My drawings and paintings of the past have been deeply personal and often of a sexual nature. It is only natural that my photography is deeply personal, sexual and sometimes confusing, even to me. I work with models in my photography because I am uncomfortable showing my own body…
I now identify myself as a cannibal, although I have never attacked or eaten anyone, nor do I feel the urge to do so at this time. I simply am a cannibal who due to social restrictions decides not to eat. Much like a vegetarian who decides not to eat meat. This overlap of my eating beliefs with my art is an intriguing one, because I feel it grabs people’s attention, and I like the attention that I get.
Perhaps I am only interested in being a cannibal because of the attention it gives me, but psychologically speaking, if I was ever given the opportunity to eat someone, and get away with it, I would.