scientists say eating your neighbors could solve global warming


Written by: Quoc Tran

Countless studies in recent decades have pointed to climate change as a very real threat with possibly disastrous effects. Scientists have urged for large scale changes, like switching to renewable energy resources, ending deforestation, and banning single-use plastics. They encourage individual lifestyle alterations, like taking public transport, recycling, and eating less meat. But that’s pretty hard to do. What if instead of going vegetarian, you could go cannibalistic?

A recent study published in the American Journal for Simple Solutions to Climate Change shows that if a majority of the world’s population ate just one human being a year, we would reduce our carbon footprint by over 84 percent. The extensive study surveys nearly five families from around the world (Alabama to Wyoming) about their daily habits, and it tracks figures such as what food they were buying, how much they were driving, how many times they left that bathroom light on all night, and how much trash they were producing. Plugging their data into their computer models, the researchers were able to quantify the global effects of half of this group eating the other, essentially simulating cannibalism in the world population.

Their simulations find that for each family eaten, the positive effects on the environment are drastic. The 80,000+ calories in a human body (and nearly double that for the average American) provides the equivalent of 70 pounds of ground beef. This cuts out the 880 kilograms (10 percent of the carbon footprint of an average American) of carbon dioxide emissions needed to grow, process, package, and transport that much meat from farm to table. That’s the same as driving a single car for over 2,000 miles or buying just over three gallons of almond milk!

The benefits of cannibalism extend far beyond just allowing us to reduce our consumption of meat. The authors of the study highlight the downstream effects on our environment that a dead human would have. Dead humans consume even less animal product than the most stringent of vegans. They don’t drive and always let it mellow if it’s yellow. They’re content with living underground in all natural, self-regulating homes. The study claims that, when dead, an average American can reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by around 100 percent. Dead bodies live carbon-neutral.

Lead author of the paper, Dr. James Chen of the University of Chicago, comments on the additional health benefits of cannibalism, “You’ll get all the calories and macros you need from cannibalism. The human body has all of the vitamins and nutrients that the human body needs. I’m pretty sure that’s how it works, right?”

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