Just over a week ago, an episode of Naked and Afraid aired that, to me, stood apart from many of the rest. What made this episode particularly fascinating was that a hunter, Adam Young, with quite traditional views on wilderness survival and what’s necessary to survive, had been paired up with a vegetarian, Jaclyn McCaffrey, a woman experienced in primitive living skills, but who did not want to alter her vegetarian lifestyle even with the threat of starvation in the wilderness – at least not originally.
For those of you who aren’t too keen on survival TV, Naked and Afraid is a show where each episode, two new individuals, one man and one woman, are placed together in the wilderness with only one piece of survival gear each, to survive without clothing using only these items and their personal skills alone.
While Naked and Afraid may not be the right show for those looking to learn useful survival techniques straight from their TV set, the show is definitely valuable in that it aptly addresses the mental stresses and frustrations of being in a survival situation. Naked and Afraid raises interesting discussion on what it would feel like to be stranded in the wilderness, with only one other person and very little gear, for a full 21 days. Of course there would be even more stress for an individual lost in the wilderness, as there would be no guarantee of rescue even after 21 days, but the show does give a reasonably good overview of the mental difficulties and stressors that arise in these kinds of situations. As the many episodes of Naked and Afraid seem to suggest, such an experience would involve a hell of a lot of starving and malnutrition: surviving for 21 days in the wilderness is no easy feat.
Jaclyn is a particularly fascinating individual to have been on the show because, while she is stubborn about staying true to her ethical code by resisting meat during her time in the wilderness, she isn’t deluded about this mission being easy. She tries her absolute best to find enough edible vegetation for her and her partner to live off of, as hard as this mission may be.
At one point, when Jaclyn brings back some flowers for the pair to nibble on, Adam asks Jaclyn, “How many calories do you think are in these?” “10,” she responds honestly.
She’s no naive teenager. She knows exactly how dangerous it is for her to continue eating plants alone.
Yet she continues to struggle for her convictions. Unfortunately for her, there isn’t enough edible vegetation around. After refusing a snake, which Adam ends up eating on his own, Jaclyn finds a lizard for Adam to kill for supper. At this point, Jaclyn begins to entertain the possibility of eating meat – and it’s at this point that she finally gives in.
While eating the small lizard, she confides in Adam: “This is the first time I’ve ever experienced killing an animal and cooking and eating it.” Of course she isn’t pleased. Adam does what he can to support her, doing his best to help her feel better about her decision to eat meat under such difficult circumstances: “I’m proud of you.”
Then Jaclyn says the most intelligent and impacting thing that can really be said about such a situation:
You know, when I’m living an abundant life where I have all these choices of what to eat, I’ll choose what I want. But here, I don’t have a choice. I just have to do what’s best for myself right now. We’re in a survival situation.
This quote easily sums up my entire purpose in writing this article.
I’m not a vegan or a vegetarian, nor can I ever see myself being one. That being said, vegans and vegetarians who choose their no-meat lifestyles due to ethical convictions, whether or not we agree with those ethical convictions, should be applauded for sticking to their guns about something they believe in.
But what happens in survival situations, where they will likely have to go back on these ethical decisions or face certain death?
If you believe personal ethics should be the same – no matter what situation you find yourself in, you’re in for one hell of a ride if and/or when things get tough. If you believe that when life gets nasty, you can lax a little on your ethical code purely for the sake of survival, then you’re going to have a bit of an easier time when you do have to make those tough calls in the face of danger or death.
I think stealing is wrong. But I’ll readily admit that if I was in a survival situation, half-starved already, and found an empty cabin in the middle of the woods with a few sandwiches packed away in a picnic basket, I’d take those sandwiches.
Would it be ethically questionable? Yes.
Was it ethically questionable for Jaclyn to eat meat when doing so is against her principles? Yes.
But was it also probably necessary for survival? Again, yes.
In a survival situation, your first and foremost goal is to get through that situation. To make it out alive. Though you have no guarantee of surviving anyway, you have even less of a shot if you aren’t willing to bend to accommodate harsh conditions and circumstances.
You could say Jaclyn gave in to temptation when she ate meat; you could hold it against her that she didn’t stand up to her convictions during a tough time, but I never would. She stood by her ethical choice until she knew it was threatening her very survival. Then she made a call. Her life over her principles: this time.
Where she could, she stood up wholeheartedly for her ideals. Where she could not do so without putting her life in danger, she put her ideals down temporarily. She did so for the sake of sparing her life, for the sake of saving herself.
And in difficult situations like these, I feel Jaclyn’s decision was the right call. She should never be looked down upon for what she did. Nor should others who bend their moral code to survive in these kinds of situations. They should not be judged harshly for choosing their life over their ideals.
Would you set aside your principles if they were threatening your very survival? Do you think a person should be looked down upon if they do something morally questionable in a survival situation?
Not Veggie by Choice says
I’m a vegetarian because meat makes me violently ill, not because I have some moral convictions I need to uphold. What is a person like me supposed to do in a real wilderness survival situation? If I do eat meat, or bugs, or fish, or poultry, I will get diarrhea, headaches and stomach cramps for about 3 days, IF I don’t vomit first: all of these things would guarantee to hasten my death in the wild. I fully recognize how lucky I am to live in a world that caters to different diet choices, but I don’t really have that choice. I can eat some animal products including milk and eggs, but every time I’ve EVER eaten meat of any kind I get sick. So… Seriously… What’s my option? I have been looking for wilderness survival information for vegetarians (I’m sick to death of living the status quo) but it looks like it’s just not realistic. Far as I know the oldest civilization to include a vegetarian diet was China with the introduction of Buddhism, but that required settlement, agriculture and the culmination of certain religious ideals. Genuine wilderness survival as a vegetarian seems to be nearly impossible for humans, unless one could learn to eat grass. Does anyone have any real useable knowledge about how a vegetarian could survive alone in the wild?
Thomas Xavier says
In a wilderness situation, you would most likely die without training and experience- regardless of your dietary restrictions. Berries, nuts and tubers are the default to sustain energy levels in a wilderness survival situation but objectively without agriculture its going to be an issue long-term.
I am vegan now. I made the decision to become vegetarian because i found i couldn’t not kill, so i couldn’t see how i had the right to eat the flesh of something someone else killed. I made the agreement with myself that i would only eat meat, again, if i could kill the animal myself and process it myself.
Thomas Xavier says
I hear you, personally I appreciate where my meat comes from and I don’t pretend it arrives magically in clingfilm ;) That said I am of the mindset that as long as I understand the consequences- I am ok with it. I am relatively picky when it comes to purchasing though, no factory farmed chicken etc.
great article! Bit unsporting though, it was the easiest game of spot the vegan I’ve ever played.
Thomas Xavier says
No doubt. ;)
Yea vegans go out and eat wild plants… pffft high in oxalic acidbitter as hell, you just can’t be bothered to actually try starving out in the wilderness. After a month of no meat you will crave the wonderful nutrients in animal fat, of any specie bugs, fish, or a delicious critter. It’s tough to find that your life sucks because you don’t get nutrients. The vegans i know are sick and angry though they claim their so caring, self righteous pricks. Nothing new Cain went after Abel, all those fruits and veggies. Vegans cannot survive on only wild veggies. Suckers you can’t and if you can, thrive, lets see a video. Most vegans I know are violently angry. It’s a funny thing modern food availability all made up. I’ve done vegan for a year, sucked expensive, no energy to walk miles of wilderness. I don’t buy into it anymore it’s total bs. There are so many things to eat. It’s how much you eat fatty, not what you eat!
you didn’t need to be so disparaging of vegans in your comment. that’s not what this section is for.
Robert Barrett says
I have been a Vegan for 19 years. I am 59 years old and I am not angry. I am grateful to be alive. I chose this lifestyle because the preponderance of evidence clearly shows that our meat producing industry is one of the main culprits in the demise of our planet (global warming, etc). And the manner in which American companies disrespect animals in the processing of meat is really morally reprehensible to me. Further, the consensus of opinion innutrition science tells s pretty clear story: vegetarians and vegans are the longest lived humans.
Finally, though I agree that a Vegan/Vegetarian would find it difficult to survive for a long time in a wilderness survival situation, we as a species will find it hard to survive in the near future if we do not adapt and adopt a more sustainsble way of eating. Animal foods are no longer necessary for survival. And continued reliance on animal based foods will ensure a very bad future for our world.
You do not need to eat meat. I run 20 miles a week, bike 75, and I will gladly meet any of you carnivore/omnivores in a full contact boxing ring any day and put you away! ?
Vegan 6 plus years! says
I can honestly and truthfully say that if I were starving I would not consume any animal. I can say this with honestly because recently I was put in a situation where I was starving myself (unknowingly) and nearly died (having a seizure) at which point I just excepted my fate. I used to be afraid of dying my whole life but when I was having a near death experience, for the first time I was not afraid to die. I closed my eyes and I said goodbye. Since this happened, my whole life has changed. I don’t want to take another life. I am in complete control over my actions now, as before I was not–meaning I had a lot of addictions and tons of obsessions. Since then, I’ve learned to cure all my addictions and have no obsessions other than wanting to live my life to the fullest and not regret my decisions. You can do what you want to, if you are not living the way you dreamed of living then you are currently being controlled by your mind and or society. Take control of yourself but realize that you have zero control over anything else in this world. My thoughts are this: I’m going to die anyway so killing and eating that snake is just not worth it. If it’s my time to go and starvation is the way then I will lay silently and allow myself to enjoy every moment of my last self. I am not greedy, I don’t need to destroy another life to save my own. Btw, I’m pretty sure rabbits in the wild survive without eating meat. I’m hoping we can evolve into not having to filter water and eat vegetation and make it that way. Just a thought. And this whole Naked And Afraid show is just wrong. These people are killing innocent creatures just to prove a point. We don’t need this. Of course if you are alone in the wild and not vegan this is what you will do. We already know this and don’t need to witness it or document it and put it on TV to make a profit. Watching that one girl slaughter a family of birds was sickening, watching others kill and eat a turtle was sad. Who kills a turtle, that is not right. People are selfish. The ones that survive in the end are the ones that were greedy and I wouldn’t want to be left on earth with those kinds of people. The most greedy vicious one is the one that will be left in the end and will die of starvation anyway.. so why not just not be greedy in the first place and we could all die together. Okay, enough about this…I literally could go on and on.
Vegan-Straight Edge-Physical Specimen says
I agree with you. I would do totally the same. Because people need to see this, I think vegans or non vegans, most people would never kill another person in a survival situation, so killing the animal to survive would be really sellfish from a vegan especially. Because this is like saying that animals are the last food of choice (the survival food). But the animals are simply no food at all. I wouldn’t kill anyone in that situation. Those vegans who would try to kill an animal, in a survival situation, I would laugh if one of them would be trying to catch a rabbit to eat and then out of nowhere a crocodile would put this selfish vegan out of his misery and the rabbit just escaped. When it comes to face our own deaths, it’s over, fucking accept it, don’t destroy other lives to save your damm ass. Never forget that you will die one day with a form or another. And that animal you are trying to kill, if he was in your shoes, would maybe not thinking on harming you not even for a second. These that say that they would kill to survive are annoying me so much. And those that say that they kill for example flys and mosquitoes annoy me so much also. In a mosquito or fly situation in the first place you do the prevention wich means not letting them to enter your home by closing the windows, if doesn’t work and you already have a mosquito in your home catch the mosquito and release him, or just forget about him and simply sleep. Many times I successfully catched mosquitoes in the mid air with a bottle of soda and released them alive, and other times I couldn’t catch them and went to sleep and in the next morning my body had not even a bite.
And others would say: and what if it was a snake? Guess what, you do first the prevention be closing the doors and windows, if it didn’t work and you already have a snake in your home, just run grabe a phone and go outside of your home and call the animal protection or something like that, and they come there and they catch the snake with their special abilities and equipment and put it in the bag then they arrive in their car and just release that snake somewhere in the woods really really far from your home. I know some vegans that had been in these situations, and all of them ended safe including those animals.
And in that survival situation as a truly vegan I would choose to die, and never ever kill any animal. But the truth is I don’t think I would die because are there fruits, coconuts,…….. And one time I was in the middle of a shower and I saw a spider, I immediatlley interropted my shower grabbed a glass and put it outside.
And some come with that old one with the lion trying to kill you. To start lions are always in their natural habitats, so if a lion is trying to kill you is because you putted your noise in his habitat which is where you don’t belong, and then guess what, they would try to kill the lion to not be killed first. But the truth is that before they even try, the lion kills them first already. So not only you just invaded the lion’s habitat and he is mad because of that, and now you have the audacity to try to kill him. Animals are naturally sometimes scared by people, I heard that snake fears person most than person fears snake.
I just have compassin for all animals.
So me harming or killing an animal, is just no way at all! Because those who kill the animals, are always with their fucking ego, and immediatelly putting themselves in a more important position than the animals. It seems to me that people are always trying to find their excuses and justifications to harm and kill animals. I respect those vegans who had been in those type of situations and they didn’t kill, but not those who said that they would kill if it was like this and if it was like that. Because those are not real vegans. Human nature is so sad and sick always and always with the desire to harm and kill and find justifications for that. The kindness start on those kids that refuse to eat meat and animal products, and don’t step on insects. Always and always compassion, kindness, and love for all animals is the real meaning of veganism!???
Alison C. says
Beautifully said, Vegan 6 Plus Years. This is exactly how I feel as well. I’ve been offered an 8 day Wilderness Survival Training course by my work, and have (perhaps naïvely) asked if there will be animal killing on the course, because if so, I can’t go ahead with it. My friend said that most surely they would want us to kill squirrels. I thought of a beautiful encounter that I had with a squirrel this summer. Nope, there’s no way I could do that. Her life is not less important than mine. He said “what about insects like grasshoppers?” Nope, I can’t do that either. Every individual who has a life wants to live that life. I live my life by the ethics of ahimsa ~ doing the least harm. So that probably means that I couldn’t survive in the woods here in B.C. Luckily that’s not my life. If it ever comes between the choice of an animal dying or me dying, then it will be me. (And I don’t look badly upon the woman in this tv episode who made the difficult decision to eat a lizard or die. I’m just saying how I feel about myself as an ethical vegan)
I feel there’s a big difference between choosing not to eat, and not having food available. I fast all the time, some times for multiple days, but that’s a choice I make. I have food available, and know that I can eat when I want. It’s not challenging for me at all. Strand me in the middle of nowhere, with no food available, and no way of knowing if I will ever find my way to civilization then not having food for even 1 day becomes scary. It’s no longer a choice. To say that humans don’t need animal products to survive because you’ve been fine is a bit obtuse. We are omnivores, plain and simple. We need nutrients from many different sources in order to, not only thrive, but to survive as a species. Only herbivores can thrive on a NATURAL plant based diet. We are not herbivores. If something happened on earth where all animals, but humans became extinct, just 5000 years ago, before agriculture, we wouldn’t be here today. Our species wouldn’t be able to survive on just plants we could sparsely find seasonally. We are lucky enough to live in a time where we can have access to all types of food year round, and we can manufacture options that include the nutrients we need. We can have supplements and many alternatives, so people can choose to be vegetarian or vegan and live healthy lives. That’s only possible due to our current technologies. I think that’s a great thing. I’m very thankful that we live in a time where someone can choose to be Vegan or Vegetarian and live a healthy life, whether if that’s for their own ethical/moral beliefs, or for other reasons. Maybe YOU could allow yourself to die from malnutrition or starvation, but as a species, if everyone thought like you, and we didn’t have abundant alternatives readily available, we would be doomed as a species. You are lucky enough to live in a country and time, where being Vegan is a viable option. You’re also lucky enough to live in a time where information is widely available. It is very unfortunate that our mass manufacturing process of animal products is so inhumane, how now hunting animals is a sport, and I can totally understand why knowing this information would drive someone to become vegetarian/vegan, but these people need to realize that they are lucky to have the option to become so. They also need to understand that just because they are lucky enough to have this option, doesn’t mean we don’t need animal products to survive. We do. We just now have other alternatives that allow us to get a lot of the same nutrients we are missing from not having animal products. Some people aren’t that lucky to have these options and they wouldn’t survive for long if they didn’t consume animal products. The ability to become vegan or vegetarian is a privilege and people need to understand that. This naked and afraid episode demonstrates that. They would not have been able to survive if that were a real situation and they didn’t have a definitive end they were aware of. They also have access to Dr’s, and if they choose to give up, they can and immediate be given clothes and food. knowing these things allows them to push a little more than they normally would if they didn’t know there was a safety net when they could no longer handle things. I realize this post is nearly 4 years old, and you may not even see this, but I felt compelled to respond. I am currently considering going vegetarian and have been researching it so I’ve been coming across things like this. I’m not considering it for ethical reasons, I’m considering it to see if it helps with a condition I have where my body doesn’t filter uric acid adequately. A lot of meats make your body produce uric acid, especially red meats, but a lot of plants do as well, like spinach and asparagus. So, I have been researching vegetarianism, to see what it would look like for me, and to see if it would allow me to not need to be on a medication for the rest of my life. It has been amazing me to see how many Vegans swear no one needs animal products as a blanket statement and don’t recognize that we do, they are just lucky to have that as an option.
Amazing rely thanks for the read been vegan for 5 years feel great I am angry but I have a family life and its hard.
Bob Ocean says
Please note, I have my tongue in cheek here… (chewing on it, quite tasty actually)
We ALL know there are far too many Humans on the Planet.
The solution is simple, eat the People.. problem solved !
We Veges will be safe, as we are too skinny and chewy to make us not worth the effort.
The truth is, w/ the corn we feed cows, we could prevent a lot of people from starving. Not the mention the land, resources, and environment saved.. I can imagine that in 50 years, a lot of people won’t be able to afford meat and it’s production will be restricted in some countries.
Elise Xavier says
Fair enough actually, especially about the last statement.
Most cows are fed byproducts that humans won’t eat so go nuts.
Logan S says
I very much appreciate this article! I sometimes question what the point of being a vegan is if being a vegan in a survival situation would be impossible. However, when you wrote “I think stealing is wrong. But I’ll readily admit that if I was in a survival situation, half-starved already, and found an empty cabin in the middle of the woods with a few sandwiches packed away in a picnic basket, I’d take those sandwiches” you made me realize that vegans are not the only ones who will have to break their ethical rules when times are tough. This was the last question about being a vegan that I needed to solve and you solved it!
Elise Xavier says
Exactly. I believe morality changes depending on your situation, and I don’t believe anything is wrong from that!
Bob Ocean says
Brad, please don’t think I’m demeaning your comments.
Just that as a fellow vege. who has had to compromise my beliefs, I found it surprisingly easy to justify with a grumbling belly and NO energy to accomplish my goals. I became Vege. whilst serving in the Military, and found it jolly difficult. Rat Packs didn’t cater for my dietary needs.
As you well know, a Vege. meal is NOT just subtracted the Carrion and scoffing the rest. Carnivores take note..
While doing E & E,s it simply was NOT practical.
I HAD to eat ANYTHING that I/we could forage to stay mobile.
By NOT doing so would have compromised my Teammate/s.
Catching & killing critters is simply the quickest/most efficient expenditure of the little energy available.
FATS are the key Carbo. required to move.
If you aren’t mobile, you are not moving towards safety (whatever that may be). In a Hostile Enviro. it is WHEREVER you NEED to get to.
IF you are in a normal society/times and lost/injured, one may very well be better off propping and stopping, whilst awaiting help.
If not skilled this IS the best solution as advised by Search and Rescue services.
Probably not the situation we are contemplating on a Prepper/Survival website unfortunately.
Thanks for all the positive info on this great site Folks.. Appreciated.
I wouldn’t cave. People always say I’d break if I ever found myself in a life or death situation but I can honestly say that I wouldn’t. We need to let go of this obsession with control over our lives. What’s mean’t to be will be. If I’m confronted by a wolf or what-have-you and am put in a bad situation, it is what it is. I guess my obsession is with absolute compassion towards anything with a beating heart. I’d starve before I ever ate animal flesh. Period.
Elise Xavier says
Thanks for your input, Brad! I do think that some would hold true to their ethics, I just happen to believe that number is probably very small by comparison to the number of people who would give in. Human willpower can be very strong indeed, but you’ve got to be resolute in your convictions.
Prime evidence of modern natural selection in progress. Vegan and vegetarianism is a product of a world of over production. The grain and veg industries are every bit as evil as the meat and dairy industries. Deforestation and eco systems destroyed for vast farmland. Mass spraying of Pesticides, destroying so much life. Vegans and vegetarians are like deeply religious people…hypocrites.
How do you think we feed cattle? It boils down to the 2nd law of thermodynamics. You lose energy feeding grain to livestock in the form of body heat, growth, pooping, breathing etc…You would save all that energy if you just ate the crops instead of passing all those nutrients through a cow first. That means you have to grow the crop feed most of it to the cow and make more pesticide, pollutants, increase cancer rates, increase greenhouse gasses, waste food that could feed people. Please google any of the following.
“An old rule of thumb is that it requires 50 bushels of corn to finish an animal for our U.S. desired endpoint (USDA choice grade; USDA yield grade 2 or 3; approximately 28% body fat). There are 56 pounds of corn in a bushel, so you will need around 2,800 pounds of corn to produce an animal that weighs 1,250 to 1,350 pounds. ”
“U.S. could feed 800 million people with grain that livestock eat, Cornell ecologist advises animal scientists”
“80 percent of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest is due to an increase in raising cattle for human consumption.”
Diane Villafane says
True, but this is a survival situation. It takes a year to harvest a crop, providing insects, drought, or flood, etc. don’t decimate it. Best bet is planting tubers. Lots of carbs. But we also need protein. In a survival situation spinach, broccoli, and quinoa would be hard to come by…
That said, our animal “factory farming” is abhorrent, inhumane…
Same here – and I agree with the philosophy of your approach.
Ethics change depending on situation. Everyone who has empathy for the Donner party understands the ethical difference between need and want. It is unthinkable for any of us to participate in an act of cannibalism until we are stranded on a life raft with 12 people and one fat guy who looks more and more like thanksgiving dinner. I think it was stupid of her to try to survive in the wild like that but if she wanted to maintain her ethic she shouldn’t have signed up for the show. The typical vegan ethic is utilitarian, “how can I do the least harm?” with a small side note of “while preserving my own life.” It’s why some hunters brag about how much they respect the animal like the Native Americans. They want to put the action of killing in a light more favorable than “I sat in a tree stand and shot a deer from 25 yards away” The difference being we don’t need to hunt anymore, Native Americans did it for survival and took what they needed not what they wanted for funsies.
The modern world provides the opportunity to cut down or eliminate meat consumption. Every ethical endeavor is simply reduction of a problem, biking to work doesn’t eliminate your carbon footprint, buying fair trade means that the sweat shop worker isn’t getting your business, and eating free range eggs still means that thousands of baby male chickens will be put into a meat grinder alive so we can have an omelet. If anyone is angry reading this I really don’t hate anyone. like I said all ethics are on a sliding scale of reduction from most possible suffering to least possible suffering. I call it the scale of a**hole. this is one ethical endeavor that I think makes a huge difference in reducing your a**hole number. I know I am still an a**hole for having a computer, driving a car with bugs splattered on the windshield, and peeing behind that restaurant. but really veganism tackles animal welfare, world hunger, and pollution so that’s quite a reduction in the a**hole scale
Bob Ocean says
Well put Kyle.
I have been Vegetarian for approx. 30 years.
Yes, I fall off my High Horse occasionally and knaw on a dead animal. I also hunt with a Rifle and Bow occasionally.
Double standards you say? Yep, I’m a realist.
Yes my system sometimes calls out (1x per year?) for Animal protein. I don’t think I’ll go to Hell in a hand cart for it.
Hunting? I love the outdoors and animals (especially roasted over a fire!) Humour..
Yes, those hunting skills NEED to be polished. Only so many can be kept up via Camera stalking.
I also fish occasionally. I live and travel Internationally on my sailboat so also need to keep my gear and skills polished.
Digestive issues? Well yes, my system gets a shock and a little bit loose shall we say. Doesn’t last long, 1x day? and then adjusts. That’s my fill anyway, then back to grazing.
Sure as $h!t need to realistic about life/death. If I get bushed/injured whilst out tramping or kayaking, reality is that I’ll need to eat anything and everything I can kill/scavenge.
If any other Veges. take the time to read this, your reality is that in the scenarios that WE are researching/envisaging as Preppers, YOU will need to reprioritise. PERIOD. Reality sucks, but so does starving…
“Vegetarians are just failed Hunters” as my mate is fond of saying.
Michelle Dunner says
A friend of mine has had periods of vegetarianism on ethical grounds and I fully support her, although I’m not ever likely to emulate her. I thought your point about the practices by some in the meat and dairy industries was well made. An excellent, well-written and considered post.
In regards to the ethics of veganism/vegetarianism. One of the main concerns for “ethical” vegans (as opposed to those who are choosing the lifestyle mostly due to health concerns) is the widespread methods of “production” in the meat & dairy industry. Breeding, conditions in which animals are kept, unnecessary amounts of meat/dairy produced are seen as particularly problematic. In other words, most of the vegans I’ve met and conversed to in depth about their dietary and lifestyle choice problematize meat & dairy industries as opposed to meat consumption per se.
Now, in the scenario referred to in this post there is no exposure to industry or farming. So, generally, as far as the ethics of the situation goes, I doubt most of the sensible vegans or vegetarians will consider it problematic.
Elise Xavier says
Those are actually really good points. Thanks for the comment!
Two days of diarrea isnt fun when youre at home. In the woods it would be pretty horrible and in a survival situation it would be just stupid. You will soil yourself, you will soil your clothes, maybe your camp and gear as well. When or if you come out on the other side what happen if you fall or runinto something and break your skin? Will you get a horrible infection that weakens you even more?
In a survival situation you shouldnt play around, test out theories and experiment. Sitting around with three yards of dental floss and a bent safety pin trying to catch “protein” is a complete waste of time. A grown man needs 2500 calories a day. How many fishes would you need to catch to even “break even”?
These days other people rarely are more than a day or two away. Getting there is what will save you most of the time and what one should focus upon. And, you know, not get into a bad situation to start with. LOL
Elise Xavier says
Well trapping isn’t quite as hard as “sitting around with three yards of dental floss and a bent safety pin” trying to catch a fish out of water. You set it and leave it. There are ways that don’t require calorie loss, or the possibility of risking your health/life further (what hunting for boar, say, would amount to).
If you can get to safety within a day or two, or even a week, great! I’m referring more to survival situations where you’re stranded for longer, and you’ve already tried finding civilization with no real luck. I agree with you on not eating meat if you’re a vegetarian if you’re only out there for a short while, but when it looks like there’s no choice left, after a week or so, but to eat or starve, that’s where I’d ask whether an individual would put down their moral code for the sake of their own survival.
When you havent eaten meat for a couple of years your body stops producing the enzymes needed to digest meat. I found this out the hard way some years ago when I accidentally eat meatfilled ravioli. It hurt like a big dog and was very unpleasant. I would not eat meat in a survival situation. It would actually make things worse.
Elise Xavier says
True, the first few meals will likely be very uncomfortable, but you eventually do regain the ability to process meat – many sources say it takes up to few days or a few meals for your body to get back into it. Short term it will probably hurt (I can’t even imagine how much – must be damn uncomfortable), but if you’re stuck out there a while, long-term: eating the meat will definitely be more beneficial, especially if there’s absolutely not enough vegetation around to sustain you.
How can you say she was aligned with her moral convictions when she put herself in the position?
It ISN’T a survival situation. It’s a survival SIMULATION. And at any moment in time she can go home and eat rice and beans.
Going into a situation where you’ll DEFINITELY starve. No question. And then reacting as though anything else were ever possible doesn’t make her a hero. It makes her dumb at the least and morally corrupt at worst.
What else would you call someone who artificially manipulates a situation to create a false sense of need to bypass their own personal belief system.