Because Cannibalism Is Funny Now

Here’s a news story — and a law commentary — that’s not for the weak of stomach. And it involves babies, so feel free to look away now.

Oklahoma state senator Ralph Shortey, like a lot of other people, thought the idea of testing flavors with an embryonic stem cell line taken from aborted babies was disgusting and immoral. If you want to build an artificial tongue, use your own adult stem cells.

Of course, the argument used again and again is that it doesn’t matter, the babies were dead forty years ago, yadda yadda.

There’s also been an increasing industrial use of human placenta in beauty products. Why people would sell their placentas, or why they think that it’s okay just as long kuru and mad cow disease won’t hurt them if they put it on their face, I don’t know. (Opportunistic diseases do tend to arise from this sort of thing.) I gather a lot of this is actually cow placenta or just lies, but it’s not exactly respectful to our fellow humans. And of course, human body parts long have been used as a “beauty secret” in many cultures. Elizabeth Bathory bathed in blood, but there’s plenty of people today who get regular transfusions from children or young people in the hope of being rejuvenated. There’s a horrible underbelly of people who’ll try anything “scientific”, the same way others will try anything “psychic” or “magical.”

Recently, there’s a lot of at-home culinary use of placenta and breastmilk as health food or as something done for togetherness. Um. Yeah. In the past, no adult would drink breastmilk unless starvation was involved; and if you had more breast milk than baby could consume, you helped out another mother who didn’t have enough. (And there are donation programs for those who don’t want to go full-on foster-nurse.) A human woman generally doesn’t eat her afterbirth like an animal; if she does, it’s usually a sign of serious malnutrition driving her to it. But Japan has introduced <a href="And in Japan, there's a pork placenta drink.”>a pork placenta drink for beauty and weight loss (because pig cell physiology is very close to human) as part of a whole suite of placenta products.

China has always had animal placenta recipes, and now they have human placenta for sale to non-relatives. With sweet potato.

And then, finally, there’s been more and more progress recently on culturing meat and various other animal body parts. You can’t get much more tender than “never set foot on the ground.”

And here’s a lady doctor who as part of a placenta article, informs us that, theoretically, she sees nothing wrong with cannibalism, as long as you’re not actually killing the meat source. And that’s not the first time I’ve seen people say that on the Internet under their real names. (Even though anti-cannibalism is one of the strongest human moral principles, because otherwise we couldn’t live together at all.)

So Mr. Shortey, in the spirit of belt and suspenders, proposed to the Oklahoma Senate a bill to ban using aborted fetal parts in food products in any way. You’d think that this would be a no-brainer; you vote yes and are glad to do so. The same people who hate GMO and love regulations ought to be instantly behind it. But instead, the poor guy is getting ridiculed.

Sigh. In five or ten years, it’s probably going to be advertised as All-Organic! No Chemical Additives! The Perfect Balance of Nutrition for Every Body! And it won’t be funny then.

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