Is Cannibalism Legal?

The word cannibalism implies that one would have to murder the subject before consuming their flesh, which is obviously illegal. However, in the same way that organ donors give up kidneys, would it not be perfectly legal for a person to have a limb amputated purely for the purpose of it being consumed by another individual? Of course, they would have to sign an indemnity contract beforehand. Are there any laws against this? What are the legal implications of such a trade?

What about having your own limb amputated and eating that?

Is that ManBeef site for real? >< I sure hope not

clonestyle-no, rest assured it’s satire.

Apparently, none of you have read Stephen King’s short story, “Survivor Type”…
You can find it in the anthology Skeleton Crew.

Snopes tells us this:


I can only speak for my home state of Colorado, but here, because of an incident in the 1800s, cannibalism is indeed illegal.

A man named Alfred E. Packer signed on as a guide for some prospectors near the mountain community of Lake City. While he and his prospectors were in the high country, a snow storm came up. When Packer returned to civilization, he was the only member of his party to come out of the wilderness alive and he was a couple of pounds heavier. He initially claimed he had become separated from the other men of the group and survived on nuts and berries for four weeks or so. Later, however, he ended up confessing to dining on his compatriots and went to trial.

From that trial came the judge’s classic line of, “There were only six Republicans in this county last year and you ate four of them!” History has reported the judge was a Republican.

When the legislature heard that rumors suggested that Packer may have dined on his fellows, the state legislature (controled by Republicans at the time) passed a law against cannibalism. Packer was convicted of cannibalism and served about 10 years. He ended up serving so little time because the case was overturned because the law had not been in effect when he created the first “lunch bunch”.

It might be noted that the main eating place at the University of Colorado has since been named the Alfred E. Packer Grill.

If this is true, the law would have been unconstitutional if applied to Packer. The Constitution specifically forbids ex post facto laws. In other words, the law has to be on the books before the crime is committed.

bmerton, you might have given a country. Laws vary by country. One thing is they can’t be sure the human meat is free of disease. One can, of course, eat their own nails & snot & skin & Etc. does that count?