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Author Topic: Squeamish Friends  (Read 4057 times)

Offline Tobias

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Squeamish Friends
« on: September 30, 2008, 02:33:09 AM »
I had a good laugh the other night at my friends expense but it got me to thinking.

After an epic two hour workout on the beach, nothing but sandbags, body weight, and crashing waves, which was both of my friends first experience with real exercise, I decided to treat the boys to a hearty meal. We picked up a nice big bird and some fresh veggies from the corner market and i set to work fixing up a feast. It was damn good i must say, nothing like a crispy, juicy, free range, organic bird, but to my surprise neither of my friends would dare to touch the giblets. Live, lungs, kidneys, heart, all the best and most nutritious parts of the animal, and they had viewed it as inedible. Now I couldn't help but chuckle at their horrified faces as I gobbled down the goodies but I had to wounder just how far removed people have become from the act of eating, we are at the point where most people actually have no idea how to feed themselves.

I remember reading something a long time  ago in one of my back woods survival books, i love that stuff by the way, real camping, no propane grills, coolers, or blasted showers to ruin a good escape to nature. Anyway the book gave a lot of examples of both what to do and what to never do, of it one part sticks out clearly, the story of a group of rafters who capsized and were stranded in the back woods. They weren't hurt or stuck in a barren hell, infact they were surrounded by edible grass, fungi, fish, and as any backwoodser can tell you enough grubs and bugs to keep you very plump, never the less they all starved to death, "not for a of lack necessities but for a want of luxuries."

Just something to ponder over

Offline Matt Emery

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Re: Squeamish Friends
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2008, 06:31:33 PM »
Excerpted from Sterling Seagrave's Foreword to Desperate Journeys, Abandoned Souls: True Stories of Castaways and Other Survivors by Edward E. Leslie

After a century of enjoying the roller coaster ride of the Industrial Revolution, we face the bleak prospect of it all ending so suddenly that there's no time to don a life jacket, grab a parachute, or find a pack of matches. The fact that most humans are hopelessly unprepared for the ultimate crisis was driven home for me several years ago when a survey of boating accidents on Chesapeake Bay produced a curious detail: most of the male corpses fished out of the bay over the years had their flies open. The inescapable conclusion reached by the authorities was that all these people met their end while blithely peeing over the side. Their last thought, I'm sure, was astonishment. The next most common emotion (for those who do not die immediately) is a deep, sometimes suicidal melancholy, eventually pushed aside by hunger, panic, and -- in many cases -- temporary insanity...

One fascinating aspect... is the dawning awareness that when survivors get back to civilization, they carefully hide much more than they reveal. For the brutal truth, we have to look for clues between the lines. Some of these stories right more true than others, and it is entertaining to see the lengths to which the scoundrels go to paint themselves in noble hues. One comes away with the nagging suspicion that nice people usually do not survive being stranded, and when they do, it is often through freak accident or divine intervention. The real survivors in this world are few and far between. And if they are the fittest to survive, God help us, indeed...

How many of us, unexpectedly tumbled onto an alien shore, would silently give up the ghost rather than face the reality of drinking iguana urine, chewing up grubs, or gagging down raw turtle liver? Lord Byron's grandfather, shipwrecked in the Straits of Magellan, saw his dog killed and eaten by his shipmates... then became so starved himself that he dug up and devoured the dog's paws. We are all far too removed -- even from the rural farms oof our immediate ancestors and the prosaic hardships they faced -- to know what is really put in sausage meat or scrapple, or how to wring a bird's neck. Our soldiers have to be given months of training in jungle survival to prepare them for only a few days of commando operations in rain forests where barefoot people happily raise babies. It is all in your point of view.

Certainly it helps to be marooned with somebody else, for you can commiserate, quarrel, an feud like newlyweds, and when things really get difficult, you can always eat him, or vice versa... When the going gets tough, the tough get eaten. Cannibalism like so many other customs, is merely a state of mind. Over the centuries famine repeatedly drove Europeans and Asians alike to eat everything, including each other. The culinary genius of the French and the Chinese, working with nothing more than a few spices and a bit of garic, turned famine food into such delicacies as snails, sea slugs, and stewed bats, garnished with larvae, pupae, and spawn -- all, like escargot, under more elegant names. And while doughboys in the trenches of World War I were driven insane by body lice and other vermin, political prisoners, POWs, and castaways savor them in their gruel as if they were herbs from Provence. One culture's famine food is another's caviar.

In the case of survival cannibalism, society seasons its judgments with something akin to garlic by conveniently applying certain criteria: Was the main course already dead of natural causes? If not, was a lottery properly conducted before the murder, and are the culprits suitably pious, making analogies to Holy Communion? In this way, the survivors of a plane crash in the Andes could make a group decision to eat some of their number, and walk away heroes. It is only a short distance from the Andes to Soylent Green.

But what is customary is comforting. Cannibalism is a social affair. Solitary survival is not. Solo survivors are a breed apart. Confronted by extreme solitude, by starvation, an by no prospect of rescue, they do not sit around long pining in self-pity but set about urgent practical matters. In some cases this reveals strength of character, tenacity, and the will to live. In others it reveals only animal cunning and stubbornness. Sensitivity and imagination are terrible disadvantages in the crunch. Unusual among these tales because of its painful and pathetic revelations is the diary of a nameless castaway on Ascension Island. Unlike other classical accounts, in which the survivor returns to civilization to enlarge endlessly on his own ingenuity, this victim was much too sensitive for his own good. He kept a diary frankly revealing his misery, his mistakes, his melancholy, his weakness of character, and his hallucinations. The diary is singularly lacking in excuses. Perhaps because he was overly absorbed in his own failings and inadequacies, his struggle failed, and he diary was found beside his bones.

Written by Dmitry Orlov
"Be true to your biology"

Offline Tony Bondioli

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Re: Squeamish Friends
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2008, 07:30:48 PM »
Great thread, guys.  When it comes down to the question of eating something you'd rather not, or suffering a slow, miserable death by starvation, I am always amazed that people even have to stop and think about their answer.  Your neighbor has a foo-foo dog?  Eat it.  There's a rotten log in the path?  Turn that sucker over and chow down on mealworms.  Don't throw away that fish head; pick it clean.  Wash it all down with a few handfuls of dandelion greens and some fresh rainwater, and keep on keepin' on!  In a survival situation, calories are calories, no matter the source.
RN, B.Sc. Health Promotion and Wellness. Public Health Nurse serving a Great Lakes Native American tribe. Husband and father. Lousy at cards, but with a fair singing voice. Good to have around when the excrement hits the rotating cooling apparatus.

"I worshipped dead men for their strength, forgetting I was strong."  (Vita Sackville-West)

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"Seek not only to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek the things they sought."  (Basho)

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Offline BigKhanz

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Re: Squeamish Friends
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2008, 08:12:55 PM »
You know, when it comes to survival, there is no morality in nature.

Think about that for a second. Humans are the only organism in existence that base their diet on a potential food source's "cuteness". And that even differs from culture to culture. In my travels around the world I've always made every effort to try new foods. Now alot of them I didn't like, but I've never come across a single thing I wouldn't eat if my life was on the line.

And if anyone is wondering, monkey taste just like cat. The best taco I ever had was dog. Dolphin taste terrible, and it's chewy. If you cook it just right, vulture is indistinguishable from eagle...
Guys like me aren't born this way, actually we're not born at all. We're hatched from vulture eggs left in the sun, then raised by Wolves...