My ignorance lead to a shocking discovery a while back as a sister from church explained the practice of placentophagy to me. For the record, this sister was not advocating the practice, she was merely informing me of it. For those who are unaware of placentophagy, the name is somewhat self-explanatory. Placentophagy is the practice of a mother eating the placenta or afterbirth of her child to benefit from the iron, vitamins B6 and B12, as well as the estrogen and progesterone it contains.
The concept of women eating their sickened my stomach. Such a concept seemed beyond disgusting to me, but then again I am not a crunchy person and I’m sure there are lots of practices that would gross me out. I learned that while some women do cook and eat the placenta, the more common practice is to have it turned into a pill to be taken orally. Though taking a pill version certainly seemed less disturbing than eating the placenta, I walked away disturbed by what I had learned.
Now you may be wondering why I am writing about placentophagy on a religious blog and why I would title such a post “Holistic Heathenism.” Surely I am not so closed minded as to feel such a practice is sinful would I?
Though I have tried to blot the concept of placenophagy from my mind, I was reminded of it the other day as I was reading through the book of Deuteronomy. There in the 28th chapter the Bible states,
- “They shall besiege you at all your gates until your high and fortified walls, in which you trust, come down throughout all your land; and they shall besiege you at all your gates throughout all your land which the Lord your God has given you.53 You shall eat the fruit of your own body, the flesh of your sons and your daughters whom the Lord your God has given you, in the siege and desperate straits in which your enemy shall distress you. 54 The sensitive and very refined man among you will be hostile toward his brother, toward the wife of his bosom, and toward the rest of his children whom he leaves behind, 55 so that he will not give any of them the flesh of his children whom he will eat, because he has nothing left in the siege and desperate straits in which your enemy shall distress you at all your gates. 56 The tender and delicate woman among you, who would not venture to set the sole of her foot on the ground because of her delicateness and sensitivity, will refuse[a] to the husband of her bosom, and to her son and her daughter, 57 her placenta which comes out from between her feet and her children whom she bears; for she will eat them secretly for lack of everything in the siege and desperate straits in which your enemy shall distress you at all your gates."
The Lord warned Israel that if she rebelled against Him and forsook Him once she had taken possession of the Promised Land, He would utterly destroy her. In graphic detail God described the punishments He would rain down upon her – even to the point of cannibalism. As God described the acts of cannibalism that would occur, He included a woman eating both her child and her placenta. Such barbarism is shocking to envision, yet God hereby equated to eating of the placenta to the eating of the child! Both acts were extreme measures taken by individuals to avoid repenting and turning to God. God’s description paints a grizzly portrait of the lowest level of depravity to which a soul could sink through sin.
How is it that our society have arrived at a point where we can do by desire what depraved people did while under the most severe forms of punishment? How is it that cannibalism has become acceptable as long as it is for health reasons? Whether coming from the pill box or the crock pot, placentophagy is an abominable practice that should be shunned by all Christians. Just because a practice is deemed “holistic” or has been around for centuries, does not mean it should be practiced by the Lord’s people.
But wait! Deuteronomy 28:57 is in the Old Testament and the Old Testament has passed away! May none of God’s children argue so foolishly. The eating of human flesh defies natural law which is a part of every covenant. May God’s people abstain from all forms of cannibalism and never justify its practice.
Please pray for our nation that it might turn from it’s rebellion and open it’s hear to the Living God.