Is cannibalism illegal?

Turns out there are no laws in the U.S. specifically outlawing cannibalism, except in Idaho, which has this statute on the books:

18-5003.  CANNIBALISM DEFINED -- PUNISHMENT. (1) Any person who wilfully ingests the flesh or blood of a human being is guilty of cannibalism.
(2)  It shall be an affirmative defense to a violation of the provisions of this section that the action was taken under extreme life-threatening conditions as the only apparent means of survival.
(3)  Cannibalism is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison not exceeding fourteen (14) years.

What's going on in Idaho that inspired this law? A 2011 article in the Journal of Law and Social Deviance explains:

In Idaho, anthropophagy (called cannibalism by statute) is illegal. The statute makes it an offense to drink human blood or consume human flesh, punishable by up to fourteen years in prison. The law was conceived in 1990 as a response to fears that ritualized practices involving sexual abuse and torture of minors would include anthropophagy. The legislators criminalized the consumption of human blood and flesh out of a concern that children would be sacrificed, eaten, or forced to consume the tissue of murdered or necrotic bodies during ritual practices.

But what about placenta-eating (a practice that's been discussed a number of times here on WU)? Wouldn't the Idaho statute make this practice illegal? Yes, technically it would. But the same article argues that if Idaho ever tried to send anyone to prison for placenta eating (or any other non-harmful, consensual form of cannibalism — ingesting blood, etc.), their statute would probably be ruled unconstitutional as it violates a fundamental "right to privacy."
     Posted By: Alex - Sat May 02, 2015
     Category: Food | Law

If they wanted to push it 'consume' could be forced to include transfusions! It would be a stretch but it wouldn't be the 1st time the law was hijacked to fit a purpose.

Tangent to all this... I was looking into the NYC laws on folding knives a week ago and found that anything up to 4 inches and not a 'gravity knife' was legal but... in recent years the law & order gang have been using this law to bust whomever they felt was in need of a ride up the river that had ANY knife regardless of length of blade spring loaded or not.

It's sorta like the TSA saying I could take my little pocket knife on the plane with me except the blade locks open! Now, seriously, who in their right mind would carry a knife whose blade DIDN'T lock open!?!
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 05/02/15 at 10:19 AM
What about if I cut my finger and suck it?

Expat, there is a law in Britain that was designed to ban switchblades, but the way the law was enacted bans any blade that locks open. Various lawmakers, from both Houses and different parties, agree that the law should be amended, since it didn't enact the law as it was intended, but now, no one dares to put forward an amendment, lest they be branded as soft on violent crime.
Posted by TheCannyScot in Atlanta, GA on 05/02/15 at 11:20 AM
@CannyScot : You might like this place:

I got my OTF switchblade there that is legal for anyone military or law enforcement in my state. I'm sure they won't mind their link being posted.
Posted by BrokeDad in Midwest US on 05/02/15 at 12:58 PM
At least it seems that ingesting a different bodily fluid than blood is still legal?
Posted by BMN on 05/02/15 at 01:48 PM
I guess I have to stay out of Idaho. One of the great joys in my life is eating women.
Posted by Phideaux on 05/02/15 at 02:03 PM
Swallowing is illegal in Idaho? That sucks.
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 05/02/15 at 05:43 PM
Think of all the poor christians in Idaho... They can no longer enjoy the Eucharist.
Posted by Fluffy Bunny Slippers on 05/02/15 at 11:53 PM
So, if I accidentally cut my finger and licked the blood off it, I would technically be guilty of cannibalism in Idaho?
Posted by Fritz G on 05/03/15 at 10:32 AM
Only after the transmutation FBS.😉
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 05/04/15 at 09:42 AM
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