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Fetus Feast

Claim:   Photograph shows a man eating a dead baby served at an Asian restaurant.

FALSE

Example:   [Collected via e-mail, 2001]

Oh !! Oh !! How cruel can humans be???
Please finish your meal before open the files....
What u are going to witness here is a fact, don't get scared !" It's Taiwan's hottest food..." In Taiwan, dead babies or fetuses could be bought at $50 to $70 from hospitals to meet the high demand for grilled and barbecued babies ...
What a sad state of affairs!!
Please forward this msg to as many people as u can so it can be seen by the world and someone takes action on the same

Man eating roast 'baby' Man eating roast 'baby'
 

Origins:   One of the downsides of a burgeoning Internet is it fosters the delirious spread of misinformation as revealed fact in the blink of an eye. That was the case in 2001 when widely-circulated photos which showed a large Asian man eating what appeared to be a cooked baby served at a restaurant were taken by many at face value. The pictures were later teamed with the
breathless news that roast fetus was now the hottest dining craze in Taiwan, with outraged e-mails offering the offensive pictures as proof the recipient could view for himself.

The truth proved far less horrifying than the rumor. The photographs shown above were taken seriously by a number of law enforcement agencies who viewed them, and both Scotland Yard and the FBI investigated this matter, trying to determine when and where the pictures were taken and the identities of those appearing in them.

The origins of the images were quickly uncovered: The man in the photographs is Chinese performance artist Zhu Yu, who staged a conceptual shock piece called "Eating People" at a Shanghai arts festival in 2000. Maintaining that "No religion forbids cannibalism, nor can I find any law which prevents us from eating people," Zhu Yu acted out a performance in which he appeared to eat a stillborn or aborted child (likely constructed by placing a doll's head on a duck's carcass) and said that he "took advantage of the space between morality and the law and based my work on it."

The controversial photographs have since been part of a number of art exhibits and caused another stir in 2003 when they were aired on television in the UK as part of the Beijing Swings documentary:
Channel Four has screened a controversial television programme which showed photographs of a man eating a baby. The photographs had been doing the rounds on the internet for some time. but it was the first time they had been aired on terrestrial television in the UK.

Beijing Swings showed colour pictures of Chinese artist Zhu Yu washing a dead stillborn baby in a sink and putting its dismembered parts in his mouth.

Yu, 32, said he had no need to defend himself because "an artist does not give answers". But he conceded he was right "to be scolded" adding that it was his "responsibility" to spark debate about art and morality. He calls the piece "Eating People".
Barbara "cry wolf" Mikkelson

Last updated:   12 November 2013

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Sources:

    Greene, Thomas.   "Dead-Baby Muncher Pics Spawn Police Inquiry."
    The Register.   22 February 2001.

    Greene, Thomas.   "Online Baby Muncher Is an Artist."
    The Register.   23 February 2001.

    Laurance, Jeremy.   "British Police Discover More Child Abuse Horror on Internet."
    The Independent.   21 February 2001.

    Lowy, Joan.   "Reports of Fetus Sales Alarm Congressman."
    Denver Rocky Mountain News.   4 May 1995   (p. A49).

    Sharma, Yojana.   "Chinese Trade in Human Foetuses for Consumption Is Uncovered."
    The Daily Telegraph.   13 April 1995   (International, p. 14).