"We have four boxes with which to defend our freedom: the soap box, the ballot box, the jury box and the cartridge box." - Congressman Larry McDonald M.D.
(1 April, 1935 - 1 Sept., 1983)


God Save The Republic

21 November 2010

What Are The Chances

As I have mentioned in past posts, I tend to prepare for the absolute worst situations. I suppose IF something bad does occur, and IF that something is far less severe than what I have prepared for, then perhaps I will have far less to be depressed about on the other end. I really don't have a problem coming out looking like a paranoid whack job as opposed to not coming out alive and well, with my family, should the stinky stuff reach it's full disaster potential. That's why someone coined the phrase, "pray for the best... prepare for the worst."

It's a given that food / water is on the top of the prepper's list of "must haves." I'm really not sure how one becomes certified as an expert on the subject but, there are "experts" who recommend having six months to a full year's worth of food, on hand, for each member of the well prepped prepper's family. Personally, I have concerns that a stockpile that could see you through a full twenty-four months might not be enough. But, in the words of Dennis Miller, "that's just my opinion... I could be wrong."

Of course, many of those "experts" claim that non-preppers will far outnumber preppers, and that there will be a huge conversion from non-preppers to non-preppers gone feral (zombies) prior to a mass starve off / kill off of the weaker members of society, fairly soon after the stinky stuff is firmly thrust into those fickle fan blades of fate.

The question I have about this is; what are the chances that, somewhere along the line, this might bring about the total, or near total, decimation of animal life as we know it? The extinction of pet, farm, game and varmint critters as anything that flies, walks or crawls might well be taken for a meal by the hungry masses. I don't think it's that unreasonable of a question given that a few of those "experts" have suggested the possibility of a semi widespread outbreak of cannibalism might occur. (Forgive me a moment while I chuckle at the thought of Sam Elliott telling us "Long pig... it's what's for supper.")

I have brought up this subject because, not long ago, I became involve in a conversation with a man who remarked he was not all that concerned with long term food storage preps, "because country folks can survive. I can hunt, fish, farm and trap to provide for me and mine." Now I could see that as an original thought; except for the fact that we need to consider the idea that somewhere in the neighborhood of 100,000,000 American gun owners will also be out there hunting the walkers, fliers and crawlers while an unimaginable number of folks will be taking fish by all means necessary and laying waste to crop producing farm lands.

Hunger pangs will quickly over-rule any thoughts of wildlife conservation that could otherwise provide for supplies in the long term. This is especially true when you realize that nearly every critter in North America is edible. Just consider Sylvester Stallone's character in "Demolition Man" continuing to feast on a ratburger, even after learning the source of the meat.

To further drive home my concerns on this issue, let's consider the near total extinction of the North American Bison, Wild Turkey and Elk herds east of the Rockies, which began early in the 19th. century. A little over 150 years later, numbers of each have been brought back from the brink, but still not to the levels they were before that time.

I guess what I'm thinking here is this. After a major "TEOTWAWKI," those of us who make it through to the other side may be force into a vegan lifestyle and where the cost of meat, if any, may command it's weight in platinum. It could be many years before our decedents might enjoy a steak that we today take for granted.

That ratburger is almost starting to sound pretty good about now.



  1. I think there are two "general" possibilities: 1)It will never get that bad, our govenrment will pass out food, our farmers will produce twice as much food as they produce today and yes we will all be poor and sufferring but for the most part we won't starve to death. 2)The collapse is much worse then that and the government cannot function, it's every man for themselves, we eat everything we can get our hands on and people start to die of starvation.

    Lets ignore #1 because if that's the case, no worrys. In the event of #2 I don't see this lasting much more then six months to a year (kinda depends on when it hits. Spring would allow 5-6 months of perfect conditions to survive. If it happened in December, different story.) Most of us could not function in any substantial way after 5 weeks without food. By that I mean we won't be fishing or hunting and if we are even alive we will be just lying there waiting for death. So in a worst case scenerio 6 months after SHTF there will be the living and the dead and a small percentage in between. At that point the pressure on animals and plants will be dramatically reduced and there will be a recovery. Now I realize that is a simplified answer but essentially that is what will happen. Can it get worse from there? Of course it can. There could even be another cycle of the same events. But assuming the worst, which is what we prepare for, when the fan stops slinging there will be far fewer people to harvest food from a country that is the same size and has the same weather etc. At some point you should not need to still have a basement full of freeze dried food in order to survive.

  2. ...interesting line of thoughts...remember tho,no plan survives first contact...and no man is an island,after the great culling,only the "groups/communities" will survive and/or flourish,by whatever measure...nomadic tribes may well be our future,as we follow the seasons and meat...good post Mike...

  3. Mrs. Graybeard and I have talked about this subject, too. We live near a really good source of fish. Actually, several areas of good fishing, but everyone in the area knows how to fish. How long could the population hold up? The people will exhaust the preferred fish species within a few months, I'd bet, and then move on to the less desirable fish (those with many fine bones, or perhaps too strong a taste). I just wonder how long they would last.

    There's also enough citrus and wild fruits to keep you going. Another "how long will this last"?

    Right now we have a pretty good population of doves and squirrels in the neighborhood. You can bet your butt that won't last!

  4. I agree with you Ken. One important point that is glossed over every time this subject is discussed is that most of us would not survive a a true TEOTWAWKI event. When we talk about a die-off or similar terms it is very likely that "we" will be the one's to die-off. The winners of the "lottery" will be the young punks, the lucky, the last one standing, etc. It won't, necessarily, be the one who planned for five years and has everything they need to survive anything. It won't be the nice older couple with two acres and a large garden who can a years supply of food every fall. There is NO plan that guarantees anything and life is not fair. But, having said that we cannot plan for our demise either so we plan to survive.
    I worked with a man who was 14 in 1945 and in the last weeks of the war was drafted by the German SS because he was a "big" kid (6'4'). He was sent to the Russian front and almost immediately overrun in battle and captured. Before they could shoot him, which they did with all SS, he escaped. He walked at night and hid in barns and forests eating what he could find on the way. He got some help from Germans too old to have left their little farms, people wo would die under the advancing Russian army. After a couple of weeks he was picked up by American troops and was saved. It is unlikely he would have survived the initial capture except he was just a kid and the Russians were more eager to kill off the officers and sargents. It was unlikely he would get helped and fed by farmers if he had been long in the tooth but again he was a towheaded young boy. It was unlikely he could have kept moving kept up his strength if he had been 60 or wounded. In many ways it was pure luck not planning or skill. In the days, months and years after the war more Germans and Others living in Eastern European countries faced death and grim existence. There were no stashes of food, no caches, no stones left unturned. Obviously many survived and arguably that is typical and normal regardless of the type of disaster/crisis/SHTF event in history. But nothing predicts survival. Not prepping, not bugging out, not skills, being smarter, nothing. It is mostly chance/luck/serendipity. The ONLY thing I can add is that chance favors the prepared mind.