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The point at which an entire family was doomed was when its last mobile member became too weak to queue for rations.  Heads of households — usually mothers — were thus faced with a heartbreaking dilemma: whether to eat more food themselves, so as to stay on their feet, or whether to give more to the family’s sickest member — usually a grandparent or child — and risk the lives of all. 

For this reason…

The Russian language makes the morally vital distinction between trupoyedstvo — ‘corpse-eating’ — and lyudoyedstvo — ‘person-eating’, or murder for cannibalism.

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