Is being a vegetarian possible in survival situations - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 04-03-2016, 08:34 PM
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Lightbulb Is being a vegetarian possible in survival situations

I always wonder this!
Yeah it's a small chance that you would ever be placed into a situation like that but it can still happen
here in australia.. if you go out into the bush.. there's nothing. nothing that I've seen.
it's hard to know what is poisonous and what is not if you get lucky and find some vegetation.
So for ethical vegans and vegetarians
what would you do?
do you think your instincts to eat would take over?

I'm a vegan by the way.
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#2 Old 04-03-2016, 09:50 PM
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If somehow I were in a survival situation I am pretty sure I would do whatever I needed to to survive. I think most people would, even the ones that say they'd rather die after a week or two without food.

If you're interested in this I would suggest looking up what wild edibles you have around. I found out that I am actually surrounded by wild grains, roots, berries, all sorts of things that I could eat. I am sure food would be a concern where I live but the biggest thing would be shelter.

There are ways to test plants you don't know for edibility as well.
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#3 Old 04-03-2016, 10:10 PM
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yes, have you seen the show naked and afraid, there are a few select episodes where one of the survivalists is a vegan or vegetarian, they survived staying true to their beliefs and diet.
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#4 Old 04-04-2016, 01:05 AM
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Look up bush tucker. Australia is filled with plant foods, thats how aborigines survived.
In many 'survival situations' its certainly possible, but it naturally depends on the situation. If anyone gets near the possibility of a survival situation they should learn what local plants are edible. I can identify over thirty edible plants in my region, most people I know could only identify two or three. The squirrels, dogs, and our few deer would be hunted in the first weeks and then the omnis would go hungry while I'd still be eating.

Another useful survival tactic is not panicking if there is no food. Most cases of starvation are purely in the mind. Generally humans can go a month before even reaching the very beginning of starvation, death takes 70 to 90 days.
Gandhi repeatedly fasted on nothing but water for 21 days at a time and he never once reached the beginning of starvation.
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#5 Old 04-04-2016, 01:56 AM
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Only on the north or south pole I would die. And in the desert. If there is a plant, I survive.

My usual answer: I have never heard a convincing reason to eat meat.
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#6 Old 04-04-2016, 02:40 AM
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Where I live, in the wild areas, there are berries, mushrooms, dandelion leaves, wild rice (grows wild in certain lakes and streams up here), pine nuts, and chestnuts to name a few foods.

If one is planning to go on a wilderness trip, it is a very wise idea to prepare ahead in every way possible. This would include knowing what kinds of wild plants are available in the wild there, and weather patterns/conditions, terrain, etc. Maps are crucial, and compass skills, and the ability to start fire with what nature has to offer. You also have to consider encounters with wildlife in the area, and the possibility of your food being taken. I have done some Boundary Waters Canoe area Wilderness (BWCA) trips in NE Minnesota, six in all so far (my partner also did two solo trips). We go about ten to twenty miles into the BWCA via canoe and camp for a week. We prepare well in advance and pack our food in "bear barrels" that are hard and have complicated locks on them and can be hung high from a tree. We bring ropes and pulleys for this. Yes we still have encountered bears in camp and moose. Thankfully they did not take our food, and yes a bear can still get through a "bear barrel". This is why we never go more than a day's paddle/portage from our vehicle. There are no trails or roads in the BWCA, aside from small portage trails between lakes. You carry everything in yourself, so you learn to pack light and stick to essentials.

There have been a handful of lost wilderness campers up here in the BWCA and Canadian Quetico park that extends beyond the BWCA. A few of them survived weeks of being out there with nothing, and they didn't have time to hunt animals, nor the tools. They ate plants they were familiar with, but most of their time was spent figuring out how to keep warm, find shelter (in trees etc), and navigate the wilderness. Another smart idea is to make sure people know where you are going, how long, etc. Exact details.

My partner and I had one situation in 2006 where we were heading out of the BWCA and came on a storm. We still had three large lakes between us and our vehicle, and plenty of wilderness to navigate. It was early May and still cool and we didn't see more than two other parties the entire week we were out there. The temperature dropped into the low 40s F that day and the wind kicked up the waves and it started sleeting while we were paddling. The white caps on the lakes became too dangerous to navigate safely and the water too frigid to risk tipping, so we had to wait it out in a makeshift camp on a smaller lake. We had only brought enough extra food for one more night, and only one more night of our meds etc. The next day it was still stormy but thankfully not as fierce or wet and we were able to get out, but it was a good lesson for us to be more prepared next time.
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#7 Old 04-04-2016, 05:51 AM
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It is difficult, but not impossible. As far as my logic goes, as a vegetarian , to survive in the wild , you will need to know how to climb trees , know which fruits and nuts can be edible and non toxic to a human being . Also, you cannot be a picky eater (you have already opted for vegetarianism, and that's picky enough in the wild).
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#8 Old 04-04-2016, 06:07 PM
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I'd make sure I have my velvet bag of polyhedral dice, and my cloak of invisibility.
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#9 Old 04-04-2016, 07:30 PM
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If I recall the history of Andean plane crashes and such, in extreme survival situations they get to deal with the ethical dilemma of whether or not to eat other people. Yet we never see that as somehow invalidating the belief that cannibalism is generally frowned upon.

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#10 Old 05-17-2016, 03:52 AM
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If where you need to survive you can pick things up like berries and mushrooms then I believe it would be perfect and you would be able to survive no problem with that however you would have to be lucky enough to be at a place where you could find all that if not it would be really hard to survive and you may have to resort to other means. When it comes down to survival though I believe you will do what it takes.
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#11 Old 05-17-2016, 07:58 AM
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I'd be interested to see if I could kill an animal in a life or death situation. In my head now I genuinely don't think I could do it, I'd rather die.


And meat eaters says we have a natural instinct to eat meat...
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#12 Old 05-17-2016, 03:46 PM
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If death from starvation occurred a few days after the last meal, then yes- many of us would die before eating meat.
Thats not what happens tho. Starvation lasts months. Literally, when people stop consuming anything but water most drop dead in the 65-100 day window. Thats a lot of time to think, a lot of time to fear, and a lot of time to rationalize actions you would never normally do.
Just read about the colonial times in america. People didnt stop at just eating their boots- they ate human feces, animal feces, each other, anything to survive.

I dont want to eat meat, but if I go 60 days without food just to be safe I recommend you keep your arms well out of reach of my teeth
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#13 Old 05-18-2016, 02:57 AM
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So how many people here have ever been in a survival situation in the wild? Pretty slim chance of ending up in one.

This topic drives me crazy because people have asked me this so many times. It isn't like there are steaks hanging from trees and no vegetation. Jeesh.
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#14 Old 05-18-2016, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveW View Post
I'd be interested to see if I could kill an animal in a life or death situation. In my head now I genuinely don't think I could do it, I'd rather die.


And meat eaters says we have a natural instinct to eat meat...
I could certainly kill fish or insects for eating after 3 days without much food. I'm a vegetarian (failed plant-based), mostly ethical. I'm not against the killing but against the absurd way we now breed most of the animals. Just to say that ethical veg* doesn't necessarily mean "no killing".

Quote:
Originally Posted by LedBoots View Post
So how many people here have ever been in a survival situation in the wild? Pretty slim chance of ending up in one.

This topic drives me crazy because people have asked me this so many times. It isn't like there are steaks hanging from trees and no vegetation. Jeesh.
It is sometimes nice to hear the question from a vegan because here we know it is not just provocation. It's a fair thing that when omnis learn we don't eat meat they wonder why it is important to eat it. Why it might save their life. So they wonder about extreme situations. Just like I could ask somebody who never does sport what they would do if they have to escape from an extreme situation I picked in a random movie. It's being a jerk but the question comes so easily...


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Bon appétit !
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