In most cultures, the thought of eating people is repugnant. In cases of extreme deprivation or starvation it’s seen as the most extreme step in survival. Would you do it? Or would I? It’s hard to say. In stories like The Road there are some terrifying encounters with cannibals who have decided to turn other survivors into food for their own gains. (I’m basing this on the book not the movie as I haven’t seen the film yet. The book was excellent though.)
And what of the cannibals themselves?
Take a minute to feel for these poor bastards. They are desperate and driven to what they do. The sort of psychological torture they have to endure for the rest of their lives because of an act of desperation is astounding. They must live their lives wracked by the memory and the knowledge that they have committed the one act unacceptable in nearly every corner of the world. And if they had to kill to do it, it’s even worse. When we think of cannibals we think of psychotics like Hannibal Lector or heroic survivors like the football team from Alive. Perhaps they remind us too much of how close we really are to the zombies.