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Im A Humanitarian / Mythology

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  • Older Than Feudalism: Classical Mythology has several examples:
    • The gods had heard such wonderful things about the kitchens of Tantalus that they invited themselves to dinner (they also wanted to give him a chance to redeem himself for the time he'd misbehaved while a guest at a banquet on Olympus). Tantalus found himself a bit short on meat, so he had his son Pelops slaughtered and boiled in a stew. The gods noticed and refused to eat—except for Demeter, who at the time was so overwrought over the kidnapping of her daughter, Persephone that she absentmindedly took a bite out of his shoulder. While dear little Pelops was brought back to life, his shoulder replaced by an ivory one by Demeter, he then went on to spawn the cursed House of Atreides. Tantalus was punished in such a way as to give us the word "tantalizing."
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    • Pelops had twin sons: Atreus and Thyestes. Thyestes was having an affair with Atreus's wife, so as revenge Atreus killed and cooked Thyestes's toddlers and fed them to their own father before stealing the throne of Mycenae (back) and kicking Thyestes out. For more Squick, Thyestes has one more son, Aegisthus, with his own daughter, Pelopia (it was a condition of a prophecy to get revenge...). So then Aegisthus kills Atreus and rules Mycenae with his dad until Atreus's sons come back for their own revenge. These sons are Agamemnon (later killed by Aegisthus and Agamemnon's wife, Clytemnestra) and Menelaus.
    • There's also Philomela, who was raped and had her tongue cut off by her brother-in-law, King Thereus. In revenge, Philomela's sister Queen Procne killed her baby son Ithys and roasted the body, serving it to her rapist asshole of a husband. The three were, according to the myths, turned into birds; Procne became a nightingale (forever calling "Ithys, Ithys"), Thereus became a hawk or owl (calling "Where? Where?"), and Philomela was made into a songless swallow.
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    • And Lycaon, who fed his son (or grandson, depending on version) to the god Zeus and was turned into a wolf as punishment. This is the origin of the word lycanthropy.
      • One version of this myth has it so that it's not own his son/grandson, but that of his cook. Zeus, visting Lycaon in disguise, boasts that he can identify any meat regardless of how it is prepared. Not knowing his guest's true identity, Lycaon decides to really mess with him, and, rather than go with the typical goat, or lamb, or even horse, forces his cook to kill and roast his own son as a meal for Lycaon's boastful guest. For tricking him into eating human flesh, Zeus turns Lycaon into a wolf. Nothing is said of how Zeus treated the cook for his (unwilling) role in the deception, however.
    • In some versions of Athena's birth, Zeus eats her mother to avoid having Hera find out he knocked someone else up. (The lengths which he'll go to to disguise his affairs is just ludicrous sometimes.) He apparently didn't learn the lesson from his father. And in Zeus' case, Athena is born by bursting out of her father's skull. Something that could have been avoided by not eating her mom in the first pace.
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  • And let’s not forget the cyclops Polyphemus, son of Poseidon, who proved to be quite troublesome when Odysseus came to his island. Polyphemus welcomed his guest by devouring some of his crew, forcing Odysseus to take action against him.
  • In the Norse Lay of Atli, Attila the Hun invites his brothers-in-law, one of who is the king of the Burgundians. Attila's wife, their sister, warns them that its a trap to gain their immense wealth, but they come anyway. After an impressive amount of badass from the Burgundian heroes they're killed. In revenge Attila's wife kills her own children the sons of Attila and has him unknowingly use their heads as drinking vessels and eat their hearts. Then depending on what version you read, she either kills him and sets free his dogs and burns down his house, or attempts suicide herself (and fails).
  • Cannibalism was one of the biggest taboos to the First Nation peoples. According to their mythology, if you eat a person, you will turn into a wendigo.
  • Kumiho, the Always Chaotic Evil Korean counterpart of the kitsune, were infamous for this, and sometimes they'd trick the humans they encountered into eating one of their own too. There's at least one story where a Kumiho claims she'll become human herself if she eats enough human livers, though this doesn't seem to be the motivation for most of them.
  • Baba Yaga, a Slavic witch, is sometimes said to use her iron teeth to consume human flesh.
  • According to Adnyamathanha mythology, the sun is a cannibal goddess that roasts people over the fire place. That's the origin of sunlight.
  • Nart Sagas: The Bitch-Witch of the Flying Wagon threatens to eat Warzameg if he loses any of her horses.
  • Nautical folklore holds that pit barbecues were originally meant to cook human flesh. It would seem that humans have a lot of gristle and connective tissue, so we're hard to cook without drying out and getting chewy.


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