Have You Ever Known Hunger?

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There has been a great deal of discussion on this board about what factors cause a person to "GI," that is, appreciate the potential extreme seriousness of widespread technological breakdown in our JIT world. My own experiences with hunger as a young teen are doubtlessly the ultimate source of my drive to prepare. Learning night after night to be creative with bread, water and that can of sauerkraut in the back of the cupboard (or wax beans, or whatever I could find), taught me the...contentment...of having a stocked pantry. Mom's meager payday meant one thing, and one thing only--food. I'm sure my mom had many other worries, but for a thirteen year-old, little else mattered but food. (Later in the year I lied about my age and got a job at at a Red Lob: the Mother Lode!)

Hunger, as others have written on this forum, is a powerful motivator. Little else matters when you are hungry but the desire for food. Self-enforced fasting, a useful discipline and spiritual compass, is inherently different than being deprived of food unwillingly. The fasting person knows where the next meal lies: in our society, he is surrounded by 'next meal' opportunities. The person who doesn't know where their next meal is coming from is the one who knows real hunger.

How many others on this forum have experienced hunger? Has it shaped your present-day response to Y2K unknowns?

For those still undecided about "stocking up," or for those (like Jenny in a thread below) who are suffering the consequences of massive cognitive dissonance, I would say, do what you know is right, and trust your instincts.

-- Rider (Wake@Dawn's.Smile), December 19, 1999


Man does not live by bread alone.

-- Make Straight Paths (John@Jordan.River), December 19, 1999.

Man does not live by bread alone, nor does he need to see hunger in his sons' eyes.

-- Bob (bob@bob.com), December 19, 1999.

Rider, you hit the nail on the head. I had the unfortunate experience to be hungry for only 1 month, not knowing where my next meal was coming from. I lived that month on potatoes only. I vowed to never be in a situation like that ever again, if It was remotely possible. Today, many years later, I'm sure that experience is the reason I have prepared the best I can for whatever happens. One shouldn't feel foolish for NOT having a bad car accident... even though your seat belt was on.

-- Me2 (Me2@hungry.com), December 19, 1999.

I experienced hunger for several months after a layoff, after paying the bills that I had I had none left over for groceries. I lived of what I could sneak from the restaurant where I had begun working part time.

I learned definitely not to take food on the table, or a job, for granted.

Since I began following y2k events some two years ago I no longer take anything for granted, heat, water, sewer, food, or any of the things that enable the lifestyle we enjoy. I have taken on the responsibility to be self reliant and able to withstand almost anything y2k dishes out.

-- Antennas Up (marshall2@iname.com), December 19, 1999.

I forgot to mention that the restaurant I was sneaking food from was also a Red Lob in VA. I guess you know about their eating policy.

-- Antennas Up (marshall2@iname.com), December 19, 1999.

Aah, the Lob...(Red Lobster, for non-gourmands)...I worked at one in Bradenton, Florida, and was delighted to discover that many elderly customers barely touched their meals. Lug the plates back to the busboy station, and feast to my heart's content. Later, having moved up the ranks to 'fry guy,' I could make my own hush puppies, Commodore's Platters, and special creations without too much difficulty. Imagine my delight the first time I saw an industrial can of sliced almonds! The line guys, all older than me, were heavily into Zappa, but Friday nights they could crank the food out. The manager would get on my case if I couldn't keep up, which always struck me as a hoot since I was only 14. Looking back, it seems almost fun.

-- Rider (Wake@Dawn's.Smile), December 19, 1999.

Going hungry is a horrible non forgetable experience. I will not go into detail, but that in itself has shaped a good part of who I am today.

Prepare, prepare, prepare... I always have tried for a rainy day, retirement etc...

If this turns out to be more than a BITR, many lessons will be learned. Good luck.

-- Rich (Rluck@aol.com), December 19, 1999.

I've had several 3 and 5 day fasts and one 6 day fast.One of hungers most powerful arising is in our social programming of meal times.The time of day seems to have stronger hunger signals than the stomache,at times.Hunger and the metabolic changes as the body slows down offer valuable insights for those inclined to various meditative traditions. Most,however find maintaining productive meditative states to be very difficult in a worldly surrounding. I've never been able to fast in the city,the ubiquitous hard sell of cheaply available insta-yum is very powerful and all alluring when one's not eaten in 29 hours. The kick with long fasts is when is around 3 days with-out eating the metabolism slows down and the body goes into fat burning mode,affording the brain excellent fuel for more insightful meditation.Attachment to food and aversion to hunger are revealed as the same polar cause of suffering(dukka).Everyone should fast to better understand humility and the fragility of life. Fasting insight can temper one for hard times when a positive mental attitude is needed for survival.When one understand's the nature of hunger and what it's like then one need not give in to panicy mindsets that quickly leads to desparation and then finaly violence. Many who have never known real hunger would most likely turn ugly.In a fight one will always fight as one trains.For most americans the training for harcore survival situations is limited to doom and other ultraviolent games.Games that use central motifs of kicking in doors and robbing corpses of amunition. I fear our hyper-stimulated sugar saturated children who've never known hunger or hardship but have no problem aquiring a sight picture at 50 yards. People with full bellies can committ inspiringly destructive and cruel acts upon themselves for no reason. How long will it take for someone desperate with the never before known sensation of hunger makes the violently logical deduction that he/she can take/do any thing he/she wants. Everyone is equal when standing behind a shotgun.Go to Kmart and buy one today.

-- zoobie (zoobiezoob@yahoo.com), December 19, 1999.

I just posted this on the "..losing mind." thread.

"When I was about 7 years old my mother made me gather pig's guts fom a real live cow manure pile. Cooked them. Ate them. Or we would have starved to death. Literally. I'm now retired, but I'm healthier and have more stamina than most 17 year olds. Mentally and physically.<

There was no other food source that we could even steal from!

I only hungered intermittendly. Usually a few hours after up-chucking such delicious food.

Under the threat of severe whipping, with a braided wire strap, by my mother, I also ate bread that was so moldy that it looked like a gray furry animal.

Then many years later:

Mother once cooked, behind a locked door. She told us that she was cooking a rabbit.

It was a cat that she had peeled off the road.

Because of lawyers, we had to eat roadkill, while our father smoked the finest cigars, imbibed in the finest wine and drove a Mercedes.

-- Not Again! (seenit@ww2.com), December 19, 1999.

Going thirsty... and only able to find "semi-drinkable" sulfer water (gag) is worse. Becoming dehydrated... and ill with it... is NOT RECOMMENDED for longer term survival.

Watch your water... #1.

Food... #2.


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), December 19, 1999.

Yes. Hunger in the sense that several periods of abject poverty and deprivation in my adult life left memories of feeding 4 little children on beans and potatoes for months, walking to a store with a collection of old coins and coupons to get a little food, and the packages of 6 "fishcakes" for 39" that served as meat - none of my family, now grown, can look at a "fishcake" to this day. While I worked for peanuts, one of my sons lied about his age and went to work at 14 for Kentucky Fried Chicken, nights. He was allowed to bring home buckets of unsold chicken - heaven. I had a more recent period of living on beans & rice as an old broad, alone, too. I understand the beans & rice syndrome very well. I think past hardships of this nature must make an instant GI of most anyone who understands the possibilities we face - it did of me. It did of my daughter. It does of my sons if they admit it. Maybe we were lucky to have those experiences; they grounded us in reality. I guess, if people have never known want, they can't imagine it very well. I wish they could.

-- Memory (not@thisone.sorry), December 19, 1999.

Have I ever gone hungry? Not really! However, one day while rushing out the door, I grabed the garbage bag and left my lunch on the floor. Only done that twice. The last time was Dec 17, 1999.

-- Mark Hillyard (foster@inreach.com), December 19, 1999.

Yes, almost five year's worth of on-again off-again food supplies. The results are profound, deep, and long-lasting. The experience not only colors y2k, it colors EVERYTHING.

-- Anita Evangelista (ale@townsqr.com), December 19, 1999.

Has anyone here taken a glance at your fellow humans lately...?

We're all FAT. About 20+ pounds worth, average. Some of us WAY more than that.

Given a clean environment, fresh water, & no violence, most of us could manage several weeks w/o food of any kind. Some would be far better off afterwards. Of course the diabetics would drop like flies. Skinny people would die too, but they deserve to die anyway (do I sound bitter?).

Not sure what my point is... just sounding off.

-- just ate (a@huge.meal), December 19, 1999.

Years ago, I had temporarily placed myself in a position where I and my children were totally dependent upon another as "breadwinner." Through circumstances, I found myself in an isolated area in the wilderness in the dead of winter with no food, no money in the bank, no gasoline for the car and an empty heating oil tank. I also had no job in a place where jobs for women are hard to come by.

I never asked, but a neighbor knew my circumstances and dropped by venison from his last fall's hunt and firewood. We made it through that long terrifying month until I found a job. The hardest thing to overcome was the shock. I had to remember just to put one foot before another and always move forward in momentum. Luckily, I had friends who went out of their way to reach for me. It would have been so easy to slip into isolation in shame. I think shock will be the greatest killer if circumstances are bad. Some will not have the heart and the will to adjust to such rapid change in circumstances.

Except for those two years of my life, I have always worked and been self-supportive, as well as the main support of my children. I find it very difficult to depend on anyone else for my basic needs, now, and often find myself taking care of others. Perhaps this is why I prepare. Sort of a Scarlet O'Hara thing......

-- scarlet (scarlet@gonewith.the wind), December 19, 1999.

Yeah it's shaped my present day Y2k response. I have a wife & a 3 year old son. Although it's been a little more than 20 years ago,there was a time(combination stupidity & drugs)that I lived on the streets in cities I didn't know.Have fought someone over a potato. Have gone to the "blood bank" to get $10 for my "donation", just to go and blow it all at a Burger King.No,not again my friend, been there done that. It ain't pretty.

on de rock

-- Walter (on de rock@northrock.bm), December 19, 1999.

Yes I and my family has. We spent some time in South America as volunteer missionaries. On one trip we ran out of food while working in a small village. The locals were sustinence farmers and only had enough for themselves. We had money, but no food locally to buy. We made the last few days on a large bag of oranges that I bought from a couple of local kids. I remember watching my wife cry because she didn't have anything to prepare for our kids. Proved to me that all the money in the world is no good if it means nothing to the locals. We decided early on to put back plenty. I don't ever want to go through that experience again even though now we are prepared for it. I am praying for the BITR. Preparing for much worse.

-- dozerdoctor (dozerdoc@yahoo.com), December 19, 1999.

No, I haven't. But I do remember Scarlett O'Hara in "Gone With the Wind" (a good historical novel, not the clap-trap that goes for reading today - - everyone preparing for Y2K should read it): 'As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again!" Now Scarlett was not an admirable person, but she kept a lot of other people from exper- iencing hunger again, also.

-- Connie Iversen (hive@gte.net), December 19, 1999.

Not Again,

I had a feeling you would show up on this thread. I was looking for the manure pile post and sure as hell. Are you still the sicko you were a few years back?

-- (OY@VEY.com), December 19, 1999.

Hey, "Just Ate"...I'm diabetic and skinny....but I'm strong and tough. I see people like you as a potential food source...you won't spoil as quick and unlike deer and wild game- you aren't as smart nor can you run as fast. Think about that and keep eating....pleeeeaaase keep eating! };-]

As far as going hungry...been there. As a kid, my dad sometimes 'forgot' to come home for several days and I often lived on green beans in a can. A couple of years ago I was homeless...I lived on wild veggies and what little I could get when I was able to find work....Raman soups are a lifesaver and I got a ton stuck back...~G~

-- Satanta (EventHoriz@n.com), December 19, 1999.

There are threads on canabalism in the archives.If you plan on living off of human flesh,PLEASE make sure you cook it well.As tasty as human flesh might be(Edi Amin said people were very salty)it would almost certianly have many active microbes that would make you sick.Make sure you cook the carcass of any person you intend to eat VERY WELL!!

-- zoobie (zoobiezoob@yahoo.com), December 19, 1999.

Many Brits born before about 1952 can remember being hungry. And there have been a couple of times since then as well for some of us. You don't forget--ever. Now I'm diabetic, being hungry is not an inconvenience, health aid, character builder or barrier to overcome--it can kill me. Diabetic medication and a variety of foods are of equal importance, whether for Y2K or any other event that might cause disruption in the supply chain. No matter how small, diabetics--and others requiring medication and special diet--cannot afford to take a chance on disruption.

-- Old Git (anon@spamproblems.com), December 19, 1999.

In response to this thread, I highly recommend reading Sidhartha, by Hermann Hesse. It may help. Although I also recommend having a good stockpile of food. It's a bit late to learn how to fast, how to wait, and how to think at this point.


-- Al K. Lloyd (all@ready.now), December 19, 1999.

To: Just ate

To answer your question,(Do I sound bitter?) My answer is yes.But in what regards, I can't for the sake of me ascertain why. I could speculate that you don't like overweight people, or that based on your remark about skinny people, you could go at least 6 month's without food yourself. Of all the responses to question's on this forum your's is by far the most stupid I have read. Please slap yourself for me since I can't do it myself. Thank's, and have a happy New Year.

-- ~***~ (~***~@earth.ebe), December 19, 1999.


You are a lawyer, aren't you? And a young one? Bless your innocence.


-- Not Again! (seenit@ww2.com), December 19, 1999.


I grew up on the lower east side of Detroit. My Mother was a souse, so she would trade our foodstamps for cash to buy booze. Thus by the middle of most month's we'd run out of food. I'd have to shoplift to eat. It was not a pleasant experience. Having had to live that way for several years is one of the reasons why I've taken prepping so seriously. Most people in this country, even a lot of the lower income ones, do not have a whole lot of experience with hunger...they may very well get a chance to find out just what it's like in a few months.

-- Ludi (ludi@rollin.com), December 19, 1999.

Your stories about your parents make me doubly glad that I have committed to being a good parent as my first priority. Yes, my husband and I almost starved in LA when we first got married, in 1982. We had come to LA with a certain amount of money, it was a recession, and we ran out of money before I got a job. We ate potatoes and hotdogs for about a week before asking my mom for a loan. I also had a friend who gave us a meatloaf. You never forget an experience like that. Or a friend like that. I hope I can be a friend in need.

-- Amy (leoneamy@aol.com), December 19, 1999.

Not again,

No TM, not a lawyer... just a very good sleuth! Have a nice day.

-- (Oy@Vey.com), December 19, 1999.

Hunger? Ranger School in 96'. Dropped almost 35 lbs under forced starvation diet. Sharing One 1500 calorie meal (single MRE) per day between two guys. That was hunger.

-- Billy Boy (Rakkasan@Aol.com), December 20, 1999.

Thanks for all the responses. I think we who have known hunger are all lucky, in that the experience with reality may afford us some protection if we encounter difficulties in two weeks.

The New York Times (official drone of the zeitgeist) had three articles yesterday on Y2K. One was referenced on the forum, wherein DataIntegrity officials said that even firms claiming to be fully remediated are not, in actuality, completely fixed.

The second article was a bathtub weekend piece about people preparing in the burbs, and the author admitted "it would have been easy to laugh at these people in June, but now, as the day approaches, few are willing to entirely dismiss it." It was somewhat sobering in tone.

The third was a glitz piece, interviewing various bubble-head celebs. One author said he was going to throw a party, eat all the food in his house, feed the remains to his dogs, and have a bonfire to "burn slightly used winter clothes." Clueless enough, right? He ended by saying "...and if there is a problem? We'll have each other--my New Year's party will become the Donner party." Terrific intelligence at work there.

So it goes, as the second millenium after the birth of the one claiming to be the messiah draws to a close.

-- Rider (Wake@Dawn's.Smile), December 20, 1999.

Sorry, the Times' piece was about "Data Analysts," not DateIntegrity. Gary North picked it up this am.

-- Rider (Wake@Dawn's.Smile), December 20, 1999.

"Of all the responses to question's on this forum your's is by far the most stupid I have read. Please slap yourself for me since I can't do it myself"

OK, but only if you agree to buy a sense of humor.

-- since you clearly (don't@have.one), December 20, 1999.

Dear Oy,

>I had a feeling you would show up on this thread. I was looking for the manure pile post and sure as hell. Are you still the sicko you were a few years back?<

Has it ever occured to you that only a sicko mind would describe a child in such terms; a child who had to survive on such "food" in order to stay alive?

Take a close look in your mirror. Peer into your eyes. What do you see?

Probably nothing!

-- Not Again! (seenit@ww2.com), December 20, 1999.

This is what a farmer wrote to my successful, yet worthless father:

Very honored Mr. X!

I am in possession of your esteemed writing of 16 Jan., 1947 and have to report with great regret, that in spite of my best intention, it is not possible in this respect to help him, because I, in spite of my pursuit of agriculture, receive food vouchers myself and have only as much to live on as I can get with them. And this is too little to live on, and too much to die on. We don't know anymore what bacon is since the occupation here, because there are no pigs anymore and we receive MONTHLY ONE HUNDRED GRAMS OF FAT PER PERSON. Everything else is taken away from us.

I am very sorry for not being able to help your father, but under the local circumstances it is absolutely not possible because we don't even have enough potatoes to eat ourselves. Should the situation change, I am ready to help.



Now that's hunger! On a massive scale!

-- Not Again! (seenit@ww2.com), December 20, 1999.

Any of you read Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt?

Yep, I have known real hunger, most of my childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood. It has only been since post-college that I have really eaten well (and I look it, too, I seem to have developed a weird need to eat more than I need b/c I am afraid, on some level, I won't have anymore--not OBESE, mind you, just about 20 lbs overweight)

As a child, we ate mac and cheese and beans most nights. We didn't eat lunch. Breakfast might be a banana when we had them. I can remember my recently divorced mother making us hot chocolate for breakfast and telling us, w/tears in her eyes, that hopefully it will make us "feel" full. We thought Kool-Aid was a luxury b/c we rarely ever had the sugar to make it. I was a vegetarian as a child, not by choice.

When my brother was in middle school, he was caught several times stealing food from the cafeteria. I went to his school in leiu of a parent (who was not available) to beg for mercy. How ironic that our adoptive father made WAY too much $ for us to qualify for any free/reduced lunch program.

As a teen, I would eat a bag of fritos and a coke as my food for the entire day, and that was on a GOOD day, b/c it meant I had 70 cents in my pocket (35 for the chips, 35 for the soda). On the really bad days, I would wait until everyone had gone in from lunch (tardy wasn't as bad as starving) and quickly grab a half-eaten sandwich from the garbage cans and wolf it down. I would actually watch kids eating real casually (so noone would notice I was watching them eat) to see who was going to throw away the most.

And we don't even want to go into shoplifting food from stores. Recently, I sent $30 cash in an envelope to the grocery store in my hometown that I took the most food from with an anonymous note explaining the money.

Once, when my brother and I were left alone for several days (it happened many many times), I was 14 and he was 12, he was lucky enough to find a $20 bill in the street. He ran home screaming he was so excited. (We were half-starved--eating moldy bread and anything we could find in the house) We decided to get a pizza--he rode his bike up to the pizza parlor to get it (we would still have about $10 left over) he rode home w/it under his arm like a book. He wasn't thinking. When he got it home, he opened it up and all the toppings were in a big smushy lump on one end of the box. Even the crust had fallen over. We nearly cried. Then we got two forks and dug in. The smushed pizza is our private joke now.

The irony: our "parents" ate out at restaurants nearly every night-- designer clothes, new furniture, and there was me and my brother weighing way less than we should (I remember being in the 10th grade, 5'7" tall, and weighing 110 pounds, medium frame--a friend once accused me of being dyslexic), and wearing shoes with holes in them. Our mother was mentally ill and our father was/is an alcoholic.

I remember those days well. Anita is right--it colors everything.

In college, none of us could afford much. We knew one girl that could actually buy cold cereal and HAMBURGER meat! I lived on Ramen Noodles, 35 packages for a dollar!

-- preparing (preparing@home.com), December 20, 1999.

Wow, I never knew soo many experienced hunger!!! To me it is shocking. When we live in the land of 'plenty'. But, I can be added to this list. Age 13, mom single parented us. We lived one week on melba toast she stole from the tavern she worked at. To this day, I wont eat melba toast. I also have been 'addicted' to grocery shopping since I came of age. Always having too much. But, one thing it taught me was to 'share'. If I know of others without, I give. I cant help it. For any of us who know the 'pangs' of true hunger, it is an experience you NEVER forget. It will be hard to not share, it is all I know, but, I am concerned for my children, I dont ever want them to experience that. It is comforting to know, although I thought we had it bad, we still had shelter, running water and friends, and thank the Lord we had a grandmom. When we had nothing, we used to go there but never did we tell her we had no food, bless her, she just 'knew' and always had food to eat. Thanks all for sharing.

-- consumer (shh@aol.com), December 21, 1999.

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