Oh, how those titillating headlines can get you in trouble. The Christian Science Monitor ran a story on Sept. 23 titled “Why Do People Want to Eat Babies? Science Explains.” Which prompted the article’s author on Sept. 24 to clarify that eating babies was not meant to be taken literally, and, in fact, the Monitor is on the record of being totally against the idea:
Based on responses to this story, I should probably make something absolutely clear: You should never attempt to actually eat a baby.
The headline, subhead, and lead to this story are not meant be taken seriously. Together they are, in the parlance of journalism, “the thing that gets people to read the article.”
There is never any excuse to harm a child. The impulse that I described in this article does not take the form of an urge to literally bite, chew, and digest a small infant.
Rather, in my experience at least, it arises in utterances such as, “Your baby is so cute I could just eat him all up!” and in behaviors such as placing the baby’s toes against the lips and repeatedly uttering the syllable “nom,” in an attempt to elicit a giggle from the baby.
I realize now that such phrases and actions are not actually very common. Or normal.
Still, I hope that you will not only stand firm with me in refraining from infant cannibalism, but that you will also urge your friends, family members, and neighbors to do the same.
Eoin O’Carroll, September 24, 2013
So to summarize: baby carrots, OK, baby babies, not OK.