The Stuff of Life

The Stuff of Life
For those of us who find nature to be both aesthetically beautiful and life-sustaining.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Hunger Rage: How Far Would You Go To Feed Your Family?

Hunger, violence, rage, riots, looting and danger are all locked into an intertwined relationship with one another. Hunger breeds violence and violence breeds hunger. In our fast-food world of excess, it’s difficult to fathom the depths of desperation that severe food or water deprivation would lead to. How many times have you skipped lunch and mentioned to someone that you are starving? But, the truth be told, you were merely hungry or peckish. Starvation is something entirely different. And, unless you have experienced it first hand, you would have no real way of knowing just how far you would go for food and water. The body and the mind are absolutely driven to insist that you find food or water in a way that you must experience to understand.

What we do know is that normally non-violent individuals will quickly resort to violence in the act of gaining food or water supplies. November 8th, 2013 in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most devastating documented typhoons on record, there was a secondary storm that swept across Southeast Asia and the Philippines. This secondary storm was the storm of millions of desperate, starving people. With parts of the Philippines being wiped out by winds in excess of 235 miles per hour, there was little to no food for the survivors. People in mass quantity foraged through remnants for anything edible. Shops, stores, malls, and stands were depleted of all food and beverages rapidly. This hunger and desperation quickly became a catalyst toward violence. In Tacloban, a small city with nearly a quarter of a million inhabitants, they had only about 20 out of nearly 300 law enforcement agents show up for work in the immediate aftermath. There was no other governmental agency, entity or branch working. It became an impossibility to enforce any form of social order or law (Robberies) (Baculina).

The news is peppered with examples of hunger and violence. We have all heard of the string of rioting, looting and shootings that occurred following Hurricane Katrina. In addition, In 2011, a string of robberies was blamed on hunger in Philadelphia. In 2008, after Haiti had been hard hit by multiple hurricanes and tropical storms, the entire population was hungry. There was zero infrastructure, zero food or water supplies, zero social order, zero electricity, zero drinking water, zero public health system. This lack of social order and infrastructure gave way to widespread disease, corruption, violence, tension, riots, slums and hunger rage (Hunger).

Social control and social order is a very fragile entity. All pieces and parts of the concept of the control and order must fit perfectly into place in order for it to be effective. When one piece of our societal system is fractured or broken, the entire facade of what we deem to be order and control can go tumbling down. In a domino effect one falling piece immediately affects the next one and one by one the systems break and fall. In a butterfly effect, the cause of widespread destruction of social order can begin months earlier with an event that may not by itself seem capable of fracturing and devastating an entire social system. But, because social order and social control are built upon a social system with interrelated and interconnecting parts, there is no way but for one event to impact others until the problem grows exponentially.

Reading about what others have done in the face of death from starvation, how far would you go in order to feed yourself or your loved ones? These are questions to ask yourself sooner rather than later. If your answer is that you would do whatever you had to do in order to feed yourself or your family, then why would you not stock pile food, water and supplies in your home and in cache locations now before disaster strikes? Why would you wait for desperate times if you know in your heart that you would do anything in order to eat or drink? If your answer truly is that you would do whatever you needed to do to feed your family, then “whatever you need to do to feed your family” should be to plan ahead and to be prepared.

For further reading:

Baculinao, Eric F. Brinley Bruton And Alexander Smith. NBC News. “Typhoon Haiyan’s Hungry Survivors: We Are Not Looters.” Nov. 12, 2013.

“Robberies Blamed On Hunger.”

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