Eat Me: A Natural and Unnatural History of Cannibalism by Bill Schutt
Overview: Cannibalism. It’s the last, greatest taboo: the stuff of urban legends and ancient myths, airline crashes and Captain Cook. But while we might get a thrill at the thought of the black widow spider’s gruesome mating habits or the tragic fate of the nineteenth-century Donner Party pioneers, today cannibalism belongs to history – or, at the very least, the realm of the weird, the rare and the very far away. Doesn’t it?
Here, zoologist Bill Schutt digs his teeth into the subject to find an answer that is as surprising as it is unsettling. From the plot of Psycho to the ritual of the Eucharist, cannibalism is woven into our history, our culture – even our medicine. And in the natural world, eating your own kind is everything from a survival strategy – practiced by polar bears and hamsters alike – to an evolutionary adaption like that found in sand tiger sharks, who, by the time they are born, will have eaten all but one of their siblings in the womb.