Cannibalism and anthropophagy in Illuminatia
Fully voluntary cannibalism and anthropophagy refers to a collection of dietary and food production practices in Illuminatia which some people believe provides unique nutritive and culinary benefits in a food system that otherwise relies upon plant-based sustenance production to meet nutritional needs.
Cannibalism allows Illuminatians to ingest protein-dense animal-generated edible tissue without resorting to the highly inefficient and exceedingly undesirable practice of killing non-consenting animals for human consumption—a widely practiced Earthly custom that was eradicated by early Lucidian society.
While the meat plant was specifically engineered to provide all of the measurable nutritional benefits of actual animal flesh while also delivering a flavor and texture comparable to animal-grown meat, some Illuminatians still favor the subtle differences found in the aesthetic and nutritive profile of the flesh of genuine skeletal muscle tissue in fulfilling at least some proportion of their typical meat consumption. Additionally, adherents of some thought traditions practice voluntary cannibalism and anthropophagy for ritualistic reasons generally associated with a professed desire to recycle human flesh in the most efficient and environmentally conscious way possible.
To satiate these carnivorous appetites, various culinary and cultural institutions have been established to facilitate the exchange of consumable flesh harvested from fully-consenting edible human subjects—a commodity generally offered-up either to market or to a more exclusive gastronomic audience upon the subject's natural or otherwise voluntarily-planned demise.
Illuminatian humans are able to consume human meat thanks to the development of a cocktail of artificial enzymes that those wishing to engage in anthropophagy can have administered on a regular basis, allowing the carnivorous consumer to digest human proteins without risking illness or potential damage to the diner's own body.
According to surveys, approximately 4% to 9% of the Illuminatian population engages in anthropophagy at least occasionally. Nearly all of those who engage in the practice self-identify it as a recreational or fully supplementary dietary choice and do not rely upon anthropophagy for any regular or core portion of their diet. Between 7% and 15% of Illuminatians indicate within their Termination of Life planning documentation that they wish to voluntarily contribute their muscular tissue for culinary usage.
In general, Illuminatians find the animal proteins generated by the various assortments of meat plant to be fully satisfactory for everyday dietary needs. Some varieties of locomotive meat plant even provide a texture and mouthfeel that the majority of Illuminatians cannot distinguish from that of cooked animal or human flesh. These plant-generated proteins provide all measurable benefits that earlier humans enjoyed from flesh harvested from formerly living animals. Thanks to the meat plant, Illuminatians are able to maintain a strictly vegan diet while still benefitting from the ingestion of animal proteins generated by these plants.
However, some subcultures, thought traditions, and groups of niche culinary enthusiasts perceive that the meat of a recently-living human provides particular health benefits. Still others prefer the option to engage in occasional anthropophagy based solely on the desirable aesthetic properties of fresh meat harvested from genuine animals. The practice of voluntary cannibalism in Illuminatia provides the only opportunity for engaging in this practice while sparing the continent's natural fauna.
Any person who has reached the age of majority may volunteer any portion of their person to be removed and served to others for culinary purposes. This donation need not necessarily take place after a willing subject's Termination of Life event. Human flesh may only be served to those who have consented to consuming it.