Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

People are eating old, rancid meat to get high

Some pieces of raw (but not rancid, sorry) meat.
Some pieces of raw (but not rancid, sorry) meat.
Photo: Sean Gallup (Getty Images)

Imagine a Venn diagram. On one side, there are people who adopt weird diets based on junk science and biological factors rendered irrelevant by evolution and the advent of electricity; on the other side, there are people who ingest materials not intended for human consumption, like Tide pods and cottage cheese. Another group has emerged in the middle to form an unholy union between the two: People who eat old, rancid raw meat to get high. It’s called “high meat,” according to Vice, and while the concept sounds like a quintessential American response to the ongoing criminalization of all the good drugs, this lunacy is actually an international affair. When asked to explain herself, a woman from the Netherlands who posts about her high meat exploits on YouTube under the name “KasumiKriss” (hell, this is hell) told Vice that she was inspired by the fermentation process used by Inuit people to preserve fish, and believes that high meat has “beneficial effects to your gut microbiome,” like probiotics. Ah yes, the old GOOP defense.

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“KasumiKriss” acknowledged the lack of scientific evidence to support her claim that eating gross, goopy old meat is somehow preferable to just eating some probiotic gummies every morning. Bonkers as it is, what she’s describing is more along the lines of fermentation—a somewhat controlled process in which additives are used to preserve various meats and vegetables. Fermentation is utilized by cultures all over the world: there are the more familiar applications, like kimchi and dry-aged beef; there are also places in certain parts of Scandinavia where fish and fish eggs are fermented to an extent outsiders would consider “rotten,” but are enjoyed locally as a traditional delicacy. And that’s cool!

But we are not talking about any of that. We are talking about people who are letting raw meat rot for days, weeks, or months, and eating it to get high. Not because of a cultural tradition. Not because it tastes good. Not for any reason other than “it might get me high.” That’s right: These weirdos are risking their actual lives with a game of DIY science project roulette in which a piece of rotten meat may or may not get them high—unless you’re a microbiologist or bacteriologist, it’s impossible to actually know because there are millions of strains of bacteria (many of which have yet to be classified/discovered!), and the people out here making “high meat” have no clue what kind they’re going to get. They may hallucinate or, as some claim, feel a sense of “euphoria”—probably the same way most of us feel when we do something we’re not supposed to do. Have these people ever tried shoplifting?

High meat is a total crapshoot, often in the most literal sense because that’s what happens when you eat food that has gone bad. For however much “good” bacteria “KasumiKriss” thinks she’s getting, there’s just as much of a chance that she’s consuming the bad kind. You know, the poopy kind. The kind that results in keeping your butt on the toilet and your head in a trashcan for no less than six hours.

Which brings us to the visual evidence. Look, no one wants this, but here’s what’s about to happen: there are going to be some tweets. In those tweets will be some photos. You can scroll away. You can close the window. Or, you can stare into the abyss and confront the horrifying truth we’re all too scared to admit—that there is no depth to human depravity. There is no limit to what we are willing to put ourselves through for the sake of funsies.

This is truly the most effective pro-drug propaganda we have ever seen. An even more effective piece of propaganda? This actual footage of a guy eating raw beef that’s a year old.