Can there ever be peace between ghouls and humans?
“We need to stop fighting and start talking. Because when it comes to the state of the world you can’t point your finger at ghouls or humans.” - Ken Kaneki
Episode eight of Tokyo Ghoul does a wonderful job of showing how the hurt on both sides propels needless violence forward into a vicious cycle of devastation. Since Kaneki knows what it’s like to be both a human and a ghoul, he can see the cycle that the others seem to miss entirely. But is it even possible for this cycle to end? Kaneki sure seemed like he believed it possible in this episode.
“How are we to live by your rules if our bodies won’t let us?” – Touka Kirishima
The biggest issue with Kaneki’s "why can’t we be friends" argument is the simple fact that ghouls have to eat humans to survive and humans take offense to that. Ending the violence and talking isn’t going to work. But what if humans were to work with ghouls instead of against them? How would humans and ghouls come up with a living arrangement that results in the fewest deaths?
“What’s wrong with wanting to live?” – Touka Kirishima
The key to saving human lives is an in-depth study of the inner workings of ghouls. If we know why ghouls can only eat one thing then maybe we can find a way to change it or find a substitute to feed ghouls. But it could take years if not centuries to develop a replacement for human flesh. Until then we would have to face some rather unpleasant realities if we are to feed ghouls without killing people.
1. Surrendering Our Dead
Ghouls would have to get by on as little food as possible since even a small ghoul population could prove difficult to feed. To keep ghouls fed and sane, humans would have to willingly give them all of our corpses. This would include the bodies of murder and suicide victims, deceased children, and grandma’s wrinkled body when she finally joins grandpa.
2. Ghoul Feedings For The Death Sentence
Here is one area where ghouls would be useful. Why bother housing murderers and rapists when we could just throw their worthless existences to the ghouls? It would save a ghoul from having to kill someone innocent and give the ghoul community a slice of meat that’s not all wrinkled.
3. China Style Regulation of Ghoul Population
Telling ghouls they can only have one child might seem unfair and racist, but it's in the best interests of both sides that the ghoul population stays manageable. One person a month might not seem like a lot, but with a sizable population of ghouls, that could quickly wipe out the human race. And the "no killing humans" rule would make it difficult to keep the current ghoul population alive, let alone a growing one.
“Ghouls and the world... they just don’t mix.” – Hinami Fueguchi
While this new way of life could save lives, we wouldn’t do so without strong protests. Both ghouls and humans would have issues with their new way of life and several groups would continue to cause trouble no matter what the benefits.
1. Religious Groups & Certain Cultures
Several religions and various cultures around the world have strict rules for how the dead are to be treated. Following these rules is of the utmost importance to these select groups and none of these rules include consuming the corpse. If countries like the US were to work with ghouls, they’d have to break their religious freedom laws to feed them.
2. The Gourmets
With their refined palates and high standards, wrinkly old grandma’s corpse won’t satisfy them. Keeping ghouls like Tsukiyama (aka Gourmet) from killing their own select victims will be a difficult task. Plus, even if we find a substitute for human flesh, they might still reject it like a meat lover rejects a tofu steak.
Handing over the remains of a loved one is something that no human will like, but the thought of handing over a child’s corpse is sickening. Humans will be strongly against this reality. But what’s worse, feeding a child’s corpse to a ghoul or killing someone else to feed a ghoul's belly?
4. Those Against the Death Penalty
Even without the ghouls, there are people for and against using death as a punishment. The threat to humanity might be grim, but that won’t stop people from wanting to abolish the death penalty. But should a rapist or a murderer sit in a cell when their carcass could stop or prevent a ghoul's killing spree?
We already know that some ghouls view humans the same as we view pigs and cows. We also know that most humans believe that ghouls lack human emotion and therefore have no real hearts. If we were to create a world where ghouls and humans live together peacefully, we’d need to find a way to break down these beliefs. Sadly, eliminating racism is a task easier said than done.
“Just like humans we can choose a different path all together.” – Ken Kaneki
Thus far we’ve only gone over the harsh realities and problems that occur when living with ghouls instead of fighting them. But if humanity were to stop the war, there would have to be something to gain from working with ghouls. Otherwise, why bother?
1. Ghoul Soldiers
Why send humans to fight wars when ghouls are better fighters and have advanced healing abilities? This could save countless lives and give the more violent ghouls a productive outlet. We could also use the peaceful ghouls in our police forces. Imagine having a detective on a murder case that could recognize a killer's scent?
2. Fight Fire With Fire
Until all ghouls view humans as friends and not food, we will still have a few that prefer hunting their dinner. While the CCG stand up reasonably well, imagine the CCG investigators teaming up with the peaceful ghouls like Touka or Yoshimura to take down the problem ghouls.
3. An End to the Cycle (Sort of)
Kaneki has a point. Ghouls and humans aren’t that different from one another and killing each other only causes more hurt. By working with ghouls, we give them a way to live without needing to kill innocent victims. Otherwise ghouls have no choice but to kill or starve to death, which is a choice that none should have to make.
“We have to put an end to the hostility. Stop taking each other’s lives.” – Ken Kaneki
During the first season of Tokyo Ghoul, Ken might be naïve in his belief that the violence between ghouls and humans could ever truly end, but his dream world is not without its benefits.
However, realistically, humans will probably never back down from a fight with a creature that is above them on the food chain. We’re too stubborn for that.