Survival for Omnivores, Vegetarians, and Vegans

In true SurvivalCache fashion, we are looking at a topic that we are almost positive has never been covered before on a survivalist website….”Survival for Vegans”.   Of course the only person that could tackle this topic is the legend…Captain Bart.

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A Request

In the comments of an earlier article we were asked to consider the Vegan survivalist.  I have beenSurvival Gardening doing some study into the special problems faced by Vegans; this is the result.  First, I am not a practicing Vegetarian or Vegan so if I have made any mistakes or presented an insult it is from ignorance, not animosity.  Second, I also have not addressed firearms.  That topic is adequately covered elsewhere and does not need repeating here.  Please feel free to correct any errors that you may discover.

Finally, before we begin, some working definitions:

1) A dietary Vegan does not eat or consume animal products in their diet but may use animal products in other parts of their lives.  Leather shoes might be an example.

2) An Ethical Vegan will use no animal byproducts of any kind.  Only plant-based products are consumed in any phase of living.  Cotton clothes but no wool for example.

3) Vegetarians are typically less strict about animal byproducts than a Vegan but consume food that is mostly plant based.  Some Vegetarians eat cheese, honey and other such items.  Others will also eat fish or eggs but no meat.

I will address Vegans as I see them encompassing the problems of the Vegetarians as well.  At first Survival Gardeningglance the problems of surviving for a Vegan are not so different that the rest of us.  Initially, Vegans will need to draw from their store of supplies.  The stores may be more difficult to obtain since not all bulk supplies are Vegan friendly.  Many bulk supplies, while not containing animal products, are not ‘certified’ Vegan.  For some foods, like whole wheat, this is probably not an issue, for others, it may be.  Freeze dried fruits, bulk grains, and vegetables like potato flakes would all fit into the diet.

TVP is a source of protein that can be used to supply equivalent nutrition to animal protein.  With this and items like peanut butter, peanut or canola oil, powdered potatoes, etc., a year or more of food can be stockpiled for use. Plant milk and meat substitutes complete the picture.

‘Trail food’ can be obtained easily enough.  The Omnivore may go after jerky or some honey-based Survival Gardeningbar.  The Vegan can go for a fruit and nut (no honey) trail mix or bars like the ‘Bora Bora’ bars which have a great taste, provide calories, and are Vegan friendly.  As a diabetic I carry them as an emergency food source.

The difficulty begins with the recognition that a Vegan diet may be deficient in necessary vitamins and minerals.  While we all must be aware of our dietary needs, Vegans must be very careful to get enough iron, B12, fatty acids, omega-3 and so on.  In a SHTF scenario with its associated stress this is even more critical.  When the foods don’t contain these elements, supplements must be provided or alternate foods sought.  This need expands the requirements of the larder to provide for these items.  The standard caution of eating the foods you plan to survive on applies so that your body is accustomed to the foods you will be eating.

Areas of Concern

A main concern for the Vegan is what happens when the larder begins to empty.  Not every climate or location is conducive to growing the variety of foods a Vegan needs.  Mushrooms are a good protein source but must be started before SHTF.   Soy, rice, peanuts and such may need more acres of land than available for sufficient food. Potatoes are a good crop once you learn how to grow them.  A system like ‘square foot gardening’ is useful for small areas.  This system allows for some needed variety in the menu.  The point is that where an Omnivore may go take game or fish if needed, the Vegan must plan a garden ahead for all needs and be able to grow those items themselves.

An additional problem in long-term survival is the reluctance to use animal products in even Survival Gardeningnon-food ways.  Some items may become unobtainable once the industrial infrastructure begins to dissolve.  Living on a self sufficient farm is a goal for most of us, for the Vegan it can become necessary unless they are willing to relax their objection to animal by-products that are not used in food items. In climates where cotton doesn’t grow wool may be the only option for clothing. Bio-diesel can be made from waste vegetable oil but it requires preparation now so that the capability exists after SHTF.  The same issues apply to candles.  If bee’s wax is off limits, how are you planning to make candles for light?  Oil lamps will work but just how many acres do you have in peanuts or olives?

Even more so than for the Omnivore, a Vegan must take a hard look at their life style and determine realistic numbers for how much of various things they use.  If they do not live in an area where they can produce their own foods and clothing, then stockpiling is the only answer.  Surviving SHTF is possible; surviving TEOTWAWKI will be extremely difficult without living in an area where Vegan sustaining farming is possible or you have access to vast amounts of wild plants that you can forage.

Photos by:
Chiot’s Run



Joel Jefferson
Written by Joel Jefferson

Joel is one of the original founders of SurvivalCache.com. After college, he joined the USMC where he served as an (0302) Marine Infantry Officer. Joel is an avid outdoorsman and spends much of his free time in the mountains. Joel’s hobby is researching survival gear & weapons as well as prepping. Read his full interview here. Read more of Joel's articles.

107 thoughts on “Survival for Omnivores, Vegetarians, and Vegans”

  1. When SHTF happens, all you hungry vegans stay away from my squirrels and rabbits. To paraphrase a French empress………"Let them eat snake."

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    • Joe,
      It looks to me like TEOTWAWKI will be a lot more difficult for Vegans. For TSHTF, they simply have to be a lot more careful about their preparations. It will be harder for them to fill gaps in their preps in real time. Not impossible but the planning needs to be very complete. It is also essential for all of us, but for Vegans even more so, to dry run their preps to make sure they've covered the basis.

      Reply
  2. I just saw a news report of a French couple who is being charged with child abuse for the death of their child. She was a nursing mother and a vegan. Because she didn't make sure that her vitamin and mineral intake was good enough, her milk did not provide sufficient nutrients to keep her child alive.
    That is the allegation of the prosecutor. Don't know how it will play out but it does emphasize the critical need for supplements and a fully balanced diet. It is critical for all, but for Vegans it is especially critical to monitor their intake. fuller story at http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2011/03/29

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    • In no way could someone who trumpets having "binged on eggs and dairy at every opportunity" be said to have had a vegan diet. Her illness is tragic, but her "anecdotal evidence" is based on smoke & mirrors.

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    • She's kind of an idiot. I've been a vegan for over 30 years, and I know many vegans who have been so similarly or longer lengths of time, and even more vegetarians, and most of us are very healthy. Compared to the general pop, we tend to be "super-healthy". Potato Chips and Soda is a vegan diet, just not a good vegan diet. And everyone is different, so just like one medication might work great for one person, it will make another ill, or have very bad side-effects. Basically people need to use their brains and be minimally self-aware. There is a lot of stupid, ignorant, and asinine, "information" out there about veganism and vegetarianism, and 99% of it is wrong.

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      • Right..I'm a vegan too and I'm very healthy. True, people that are ignorant of the facts of being vegan, well, you know, hahaaa

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  3. Nicely done CaptBart. Personally, I don't think that a vegan lifestyle is very realistic in a TEOTWAWKI situation, but I have been proven wrong in the past and I wish all the vegans who are prepping the best of luck. Some options do exist which could be considered by everyone, not just vegans, for sustainable consistent protein sources which they can grow themselves. Mushrooms, as you mentioned are an option. Not necessarily the white, button, or crimini (portobello) mushrooms we are familiar with, I have read about different fungi which can be farmed with minimal effort and infrastructure. The particular fungi I am referring to is called "Quorn", it is common in processed vegan foods and from what I understand there are plans to release "home gardens" for growing the fungi to the general public in the works. This might be something for folks to investigate further.

    Reply
    • Chefbear58,
      I went looking for the Quorn home gardens and found several posts indicating that some folks have bad allergic reactions to it. If you are going to make this, or any new to you food, a part of your survival stores, you must try it out first, before TSHTF. You don't want to find out that you are allergic to Soy after you've spent $500 stockpiling it or worse yet, after TSHTF and you have no medical help and no fall back position. If it works for you, great, but try it before you need it.

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      • I haven't heard of the allergic reactions! It's kind of odd, because there are literally hundreds of vegan/vegetarian food products that use it. Although it is heavily processed in those products, I wonder if that makes a difference…
        I am going to have to investigate this further, (not because I care either way… I eat "rabbit food"… does the garnish on my steak count?!) But out of sheer curiosity! Seriously though, EVERYONE should try EVERYTHING they plan to rely on in an emergency, whether that's a flashlight for the 30min power-outage… or TEOTWAWKI as a result of [insert you particular "flavor" of disaster]. ALWAYS MAKE SURE – it works/you know how to use it/you can use it safely!/you will eat it/it won't kill you or someone else for a stupid reason (known food alergies are a stupid reason!)

        Thanks for the heads-up CaptBart!
        Now to see if I can squeeze in more research between homework/cooking for the church/writing papers/rockfish "trophy season"/cooking for my girl (trying to spoil her completely rotten!

        Reply
    • There are some very questionable issues with the "Quorn" products. My memory isn't good enough to recite them off hand, but I had a good, long conversation about Quorn with someone I know and trust and who is very knowledgeable about such things, and I've decided to stay away from the products. I'm sure you can find the issues noted online with a web search. • As for the vegan lifestyle being "realistic" in a TEOTWAWKI situation, is would call it "difficult" instead… maybe even "challenging" is a better word. It's something I am concerned about, and think about, and try to come up with solutions and such. I would most-likely end up becoming an ovo-lacto vegetarian in that situation, hopefully never having to revert to forced omnivorism. As for using animal products and by-products for clothes and such, I won't live long enough to have to worry about that.

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  4. I've been an ovo-lacto vegetarian – I eat eggs and dairy – for 26 years. My wife has been a vegetarian and an on again – off again vegan for probably about 28 years. I'm 6 ft. and about 230 lbs. and people are always shocked when I tell them I'm vegetarian. I think my biggest issue in a SHTF situation will be finding enough beer. But seriously, my wife and I are in agreement – in a SHTF scenario squirrels, rabbits, birds, and anything else is on the menu. And I've got my 10/22 and my Mossberg 500 to make sure of it.

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    • Dave,
      It seems to me that the vegetarian may be able to get by without much more stress than us omnivores. Especially if you can add either fish or fowl to the diet, you are in good shape. Eggs and diary are a big jump in your food supply, chickens and goats can give both while also providing wool and feathers for other uses. Even leaving out mammals as a food source, the other uses are critical and make things easier.

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  5. The base line problem with any of the variants on a "vegetarian" diet is that quite simply that's not what we're adapted to eat. That doesn't mean that one is automatically doomed to failure if they try, but it is so much easier to make sure that one is getting all of the trace vitamins, minerals and proteins that one needs in a relatively "civilized" situation. Once that civilized support network breaks down, the practicing vegetarian may not be able to get all of the various different things that they need to balance/round out their diet and health issues could arise through time as a result of various dietary deficiencies.

    Also, depending on where one lives, any sort of vegetarian diet may be just about impossible once the network of civilization breaks apart. If you're far enough north the growing season may simply be too short to grow what you need to get the appropriate nutrients in one's diet. While Inuit/Eskimo populations have been able to survive successfully for centuries on a diet that was almost pure meat, that was also because in the climate where they lived there was essentially no other choice for food. Vegetarians would have rapidly starved to death or been forced to change their dietary preferences.

    It is significant that most of the areas where vegetarian dietary preferences are common, such as India, are places where agriculture can be practiced easily and where civilizations have existed for thousands of years. As one moves away from areas like that to areas where agriculture is marginal at best and that can be described charitably as "unsettled" then vegetarianism becomes a much less viable option. Finally, if one has to "bug out" and attempt to live off the land, then not eating meat is going to put one at a significant disadvantage when it comes to making the best use of the food resources that are present in the environment.

    Obviously different people will choose a vegetarian diet for different reasons, and some people will take it a lot more seriously than others. As a result there will be people that this comment will not apply to, and I am not trying to be offensive here. Nevertheless, my advice would be that one should not let a dietary preference that one may have adopted simply because it seemed to be a good idea at the time become something that could interfere with their ability to stay alive in a nasty survival situation.

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    • I think you have a good grasp of the issue. Dietary choices based on religious and moral grounds run deep and violating those choices will be tough if not impossible. Given that, I think that there is a limited climatic area where vegans, and ethical vegans in particular, can survive. The vegetarian who can consume fish or fowl expands the survival range to almost as large as for the omnivore. It isn't just the food products but it is also clothes, shelter, storage, medicine (some meds use animal products – forbidden to an ethical vegan) and many other things. I tried not to be discouraging but I think a vegan must be in a self sustaining community or have a huge larder to make it through a major event.

      Reply
    • You are, simply, wrong.
      What you state are common myths and misconceptions. (and ignorance, etc. — sometimes willful ignorance, self-destructive behaviors, etc.)

      We are not "adapted" to eat anything (except, in a sense, unnaturally speaking when it comes to animal flesh). People who consume animal flesh do so because they are FORCED omnivores (sometimes "self-forced"), NOT natural, true omnivores.

      Forced by (mix and match):
      1) what our parents 'teach' us
      2) what our schools / government 'educate' us about food
      3) what our personal and/or general culture tells us we should eat
      4) what our greater societ/y/ies suggest/s we eat
      5) mass marketing advertising (TV, radio, print, etc., including actual propaganda from the National Cattlemen's Association, the National Dairy Council, and literally hundreds of other orgs and lobbyists)
      6) peer pressure from family, relatives, friends, schoolmates, co-workers, etc.
      7) our own personal ignorance, cluelessness, (unnatural) wants and desires, etc.
      8) sometimes what our religions command that we eat
      9) probably other "unnatural" things / reasons / whatever

      The REALITY is:
      1) human teeth are more like a horse's or cow's or other TRUE herbivore than any true omnivore, much less carnivore
      2) our so-called "canine teeth" are very obviously NOT true canine teeth — they are mistakingly called that because, if we had true canine teeth, that is where they would be located — true canine teeth extend WELL above and below the other teeth as we see in true omnivores and carnivores, like dogs, cats, bears, etc…
      3) the length of our intestines compared to our body trunk size, and other animals, puts us in the extreme herbivore category
      4) our stomach acids are very dilute, like most herbivores, and especially compared to omnivores and carnivores, who have very acidic fluids to digest flesh — that is why when vegetarians (OR ANYONE who has stopped consuming flesh for a few months or so) accidentally consumes animal flesh, or even beef or chicken broth as an ingredient, they get stomach cramps and diarrhea, because their stomachs are not used to trying to digest the unnatural complex meat proteins :: here's a clue: if you don't eat something, and then you eat it and get sick, you shouldn't be eating that thing in the first place (supposed simple and self-evident common sense)
      5) TRUE omnivores and carnivores can eat as much animal flesh and 'products' as they want, and they will basically never get high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, obesity, osteoporosis, and all of the many other diseases, syndromes, illnesses, etc., that human animals get by eating a modicum (or more) of the unnatural food source that is animal flesh (and products and by-products)
      6) based on simple, objective human biology and physiology, we are TRUE herbivores by pretty much any and all definitions and descriptions

      There is more to it than all that, but that should suffice for any minimally intelligent person to figure out what the true reality of the situation is. It not only has the "ring of truth to it", it is obviously, to the point of being self-evident, logically and reasonably true if you are able to objectively accept and understand what is really going on as pertains the various issues involved in what we eat, choose to eat, why we do that, etc….

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      • Pity the poor Inuit. If what VeganBill has to say bears any resemblance to the truth at all they would have died out millennia ago. But perhaps I am wrong. Perhaps VeganBill has discovered the Inuit secret of how to grow plants on arctic ice flows. I doubt it though. Until then I suppose that the Inuit when pressed will survive as they always have done. By eating mostly meat with what vegetable matter they take in being from the stomach contents of their prey.

        Also, VeganBill does not understand that humans have made a basic shift in their method of adaptation. While humans do adapt physically to their environment, for the past several hundred thousand years (if not longer) , humans have also been adapting *culturally* to their environment. What this means is that most people, unlike VeganBill who apparently does everything with his hands and teeth, use *tools* to do what they need to get done. Thus humans who enjoy eating meat don't need the dentition of a stereotypical carnivore in order to do so. They will use a spear, club or whatever is handy to kill the animal. Then they will quite simply get a knife and cut the meat up into bite sized chunks, thus avoiding the need for canines that can be used to kill prey and the other assorted hallmarks of carnivorous dentition.

        The bottom line is that if VeganBill chooses to practice a Vegan lifestyle, more power to him. But when SHTF and civilization collapses, there will be areas on this globe where Vegan is NOT a practical solution to the problem of how to survive. Hopefully VeganBill will not find himself in that sort of situation. Otherwise he would end up being forced to make a choice between being Vegan and starving to death.

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        • The Inuit are (afaik) the only group who actually DIE from Osteoporosis, because of the high-fat diet they consume. Beside the point that using an (one) extreme to make an argument is very weak.

          Just because you CAN do something does not mean you SHOULD do something. So, again, it is a weak argument to suggest that being ABLE to engage in acts of UNNECESSARY violence (or anything similar, like crapping in your well) in no way justifies or excuses those actions. Unnecessary violence is ALWAYS wrong. Period.

          And humans do have to PROCESS animal flesh to make it "fit" for consumption. By letting it ROT ("cure"), chopping, grinding, and pounding it, using chemicals on it, cooking it, etc. And even then it is not truly fit for human consumption.

          TRUE omnivores can consume very rotten animal flesh (and they enjoy the smell) because their intestines are very short, as well as the high acidity of the gastrointestinal fluids. When human animals consume flesh, it starts rotting very quickly, and sits in your intestines rotting, which is why humans get stomach cancer and other diseases. (and rotting flesh to humans smells terrible)

          MANY people in SHTF/TEOTWAWKI scenarios and situations will "revert" to cannibalism. You can get few people to agree that that behavior is "okay". But, flesh is flesh, so long pork is an option. Just make sure you cook it well-done.

          There are worse things than dying. But some people will literally do ANYTHING to survive 5 more seconds. They would even take the food from your baby's mouth. It's difficult to say how anyone will actually act and react until they are put in an extreme situation. Some will do better, but many/most will do much, much worse.

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          • This is the last time I am going to respond to this thread. This is, after all, the survival cache web page. It is not the promotion/refutation of silly Vegan propaganda web page. For the record, so everybody will know of my background, I have an M.A. in Physical Anthropology. In other words I am a human evolutionary biologist. A lot of what I have been stating has been not only my *professional* opinion but also pretty much a condensation of what the standard material available in the field says.

            [quote="VeganBill"]
            The Inuit are (afaik) the only group who actually DIE from Osteoporosis, because of the high-fat diet they consume. Beside the point that using an (one) extreme to make an argument is very weak.
            [/quote]

            There are several things to point out here. The first is that regardless of where you live, what you eat, and what level of technology you employ to do whatever it is you do, you're going to eventually die of something. Osteoporosis is a disease that likely isn't going to be a factor for somebody until they have hit their 40's and if they are in a culture which stresses early marriages are likely a grandparent by that time. So, the traditional Inuit diet and culture will give people a lifespan long enough to permit the formation of stable, viable communities which can last indefinitely in their environment.

            Depending on exactly where in the Arctic a Vegan showed up and what time of year it was it is possible that their refusal to wear clothes made from animal fur may give them a life expectancy which could be measured in hours if not minutes. I have it on good authority from people who live up there that the heavy cold weather clothing which is commonly available down in the "Lower 48" simply is not up to the task.

            I had also pointed out previously that the main source of plant material in a traditional Inuit diet was the stomach contents of their prey. VeganBill has studiously ignored that little factoid. One wonders why. Well, I will proceed to enlighten those who are not in the know. You see, the plants which grow up in the Arctic use a form of cellulose that the "herbivorous" human digestive system can't break down. So for the Inuit to eat the plants themselves would do no good. The material would pass through their digestive system with no effect. However, if they retrieve the plant material from the stomach of a *true* herbivore (like a caribou) then the animal's digestive enzymes will have broken the cellulose down and the human digestive system can handle it from there.

            Last but not least, sometimes using an extreme example is the only way you can even begin to get through to somebody who is trying as hard as they possibly can to blind themselves to reality.

            [quote="VeganBill"]
            And humans do have to PROCESS animal flesh to make it "fit" for consumption. By letting it ROT ("cure"), chopping, grinding, and pounding it, using chemicals on it, cooking it, etc. And even then it is not truly fit for human consumption.
            [/quote]

            Obviously VeganBill is attempting to score points as a "true believer" here, but in so doing he is also displaying the extent to which he is willfully blinding himself to reality. The unstated presupposition that his entire argument hangs on is that physiological/biological adaptation is the only adaptation which counts. For any other animal on the entire face of the planet that would be true. However, "humans" (specifically Homo Sapiens Sapiens and our ancestors along our evolutionary chain) have an alternative to physiological/biological adaptation. They can employ CULTURAL adaptation. In those areas where it is possible to employ it, cultural adaptation trumps physiological/biological adaptation. The very things that humans do, which VeganBill is specifically arguing "don't count", are what humans have been successfully doing for upwards of 2.6 million years. These are the CULTURAL adaptations which permit us to use an omnivorous diet and have in fact made us the not only the most successful omnivores to currently live on the planet (in terms of range of distribution, absolute numbers, etc.) but also possibly the most successful omnivores to have ever existed on this planet. Given that we have been able to make a successful CULTURAL adaptation, a physiological/biological adaptation IS NOT NECESSARY. Thus our lack of a "TRUE omnivore's" short digestive tract is no more proof that we can't be omnivores than our lack of wings proves that we will never fly.

            In summation, if you want to employ a Vegan/vegetarian diet, fine. There are areas where that can work and work well. But there are even more areas where it won't. Anthropological studies indicate that Vegan/vegetarian diets are essentially unknown outside of relatively modern state based cultures which practice agriculture. In every other case I am aware of people are using an omnivorous diet. And doing well enough that they can live to see their grandchildren and enjoy a stable/viable culture. That's not propaganda, that's based on the best information available in the most relevant field of study to this question to date.

          • • "It is not the promotion/refutation of silly Vegan propaganda web page."

            Pffttt.

            • "…you're going to eventually die of something." (and the rest)

            Jesus. Glib much?

            As for his "professional credentials", I would point out that he is dangerously wandering into the area of Argument from Authority, but most people can't Logical Fallacy their way out of a wet paper bag, so I won't. ;o)

            At least he basically made my point for me that people should NOT be living in the Arctic or similar areas.

            And his "argument" is flawed from the start. For example, just because you CAN "adapt" culturally, does not make it a good, necessary, "proper", decent, condoned, etc… People justify and rationalize MANY things via "culture", from sexism, to racism, to speciesism, to any number of ungodly horrible, violent, terrible, and similarly bad things. That is not an "excuse" for "bad behaviors".

            If he wants to speak (near-) completely "academically", or whatever, then that's one thing, as an objective observer, student of the human condition, etc., but you DO NOT get to mix your apples and oranges and turn this into a fruity salad and pretend it is a tofu steak dinner and "true reality" (in the sense of what it SHOULD be, not what it is — talk about willfully blinding oneself).

            • "Given that we have been able to make a successful CULTURAL adaptation, a physiological/biological adaptation IS NOT NECESSARY."

            That's just absolute unfettered bullshit. I seriously can't believe he even went there. (as well as his concluding remark — obviously he should stick to anthropology and refrain from "argument")

            And as for his final remark: Here's a CLUE: The "vegan lifestyle" is "essentially unknown outside of relatively modern state" BECAUSE it is NEW, and we are evolving. (just like we don't guillotine people, or put them in dungeons for not being able to pay their bills, or enslave them, etc., etc., etc., anymore) It's called progress. (for the better, especially the betterment of all) Your "anthropology", like most sciences, is behind the times, and has, as yet, to catch up to modern times. Eventually it will.

          • VeganBill, you are awesome and well educated! Can you lead me to any vegan survivalist, preppers web pages? Thanks!

          • Nothing specific. But a web search for "survivalist vegan OR vegetarian" (or whatever you want like that) gives quite a few links on the subject. You can also use "prepper" or "prepping" or "survival" instead of "survivalist", etc. • Wise survival foods are vegetarian (meat-free), which is cool. I tried a couple of those and they were pretty good, too. When I can afford to, I will order some of those. I also order from Emergency Essentials. But most of the sources seem to have veg(etari)an options. • I don't sweat it all too much, because I have guns and am a very good shot. ;o) (among similar issues that would need to be known and implemented) I've thought about trying to get on one of those prepping RealiTV shows as an example of "Scavenger Prepping". On the face of that, it doesn't sound very "nice", but the reality is that in SHTF / TEOTWAWKI scenarios, there will be a HUGE number of (for lack of more precise and descriptive terms) "lowlifes" who will "come out of the woodwork" (some/many of who are survivalists / preppers), and they are ALL fair game. It's like having your own personal grocery outlet store and warehouse store at your fingertips. "Nice" people have no worries from me. I do so enjoy a target-rich environment. ;o)

    • I am a vegan for medical reasons. I develop inflammations in different parts of my body (like where I broke a bone in my foot-go figure!). I was first put on a vegetarian diet, which really helped but did not clear it all up. Eating eggs, butter & cheeses kept some of it going. So then, I was placed on a raw vegan diet (80% raw, 20% cooked) and that was a huge help. I lost 30 pounds in two months and have discovered many delicious recipes You can look online for raw recipes. There are many, many of them, and many good raw recipe books that are available. I have been on this diet for about three years now. I backslid from the raw part for awhile and although I was still eating vegan, most of it was cooked and a lot of it was processed. I didn't feel as well as I did when I kept to the guidelines. Once in a very great while I "cheat" by eating a bit of meat. If i do it several days in a row (like at Thanksgiving time, etc), I can feel the inflammation returning in various parts of my body.

      For survival benefits for Vegans, sprouting whatever seeds you have for greens is a great way to eat, and dried beans keep for a very long time if they are stored correctly. They make good sources of proteins for anyone, vegetarian or not. Home gardens are beneficial for all of us, omnivores or not.

      Reply
    • There are thousands of people starving to death around the world, who are NOT attacking and eating the domestic animals, nor humans living around them.

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  6. I was once quoted as saying, "I'm not vegetarian because I love animals. It's because I hate vegetables and they deserve to die."
    This was many years and many cheeseburgers ago.

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  7. No offense to anybody , but every vegan I’ve ever met looks gaunt or stricken with HIV . Dont know about the rest of you guys but in a survival situation I’d turn into Andrew Zimern lol .

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    • I'm 6'1" and 245 pounds, my wife is 5'9" 160 lbs and my 10 year old son is 5' 100 lbs! We do not look "gaunt" or stricken with HIV" and we have all been vegans for 10 years. And the truth is most non meat eating people don't eat it because our society has turned a traditional food into a drug filled item.

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    • No so, you are biased, there are quite a few Olympic althletes with world records who were or are vegetarians! Most folks don't believe it when they find I am a veggie, lol, less illnesses and for shorter duration. Go to a local veg restruarant and take a 2nd look, healthy vibrant alert energetic people. Now in all walks of life are exttremists, but health reasons were mine to switch. NOt missing "PINK Slime or BSE(Mad Cow Disease"!!! or E> Coli.

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      • You still stand a good chance of getting E. Coli even if you don't eat meat. http://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/outbreaks.html
        8 of 15 cases listed here are from non-meat products (including cheese, cookie dough and frozen pizza).
        So, statistically, there is no advantage. I might even consider there to be a greater likelihood as vegetables, especially greens and sprouts are not going to be cooked the way meat is. A condition that would probably be amplified in a SHTF scenario.

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        • That's just dumb. Those are all processed foods. Most vegans are more intelligent than to eat that garbage. Enjoy your cancer.

          Reply
          • Did you even read the linked page?
            The point is that you can get E. Coli from other sources than just meat, and according to that page from the CDC more than 1/2 comes from non-meat food items, processed or not, as you so graciously point out.

            Just today (8/20/12) there was (another) recall of Romaine Lettuce for possible E. Coli contamination. I'm pretty sure there are a lot of highly intelligent Vegans who like to eat Romaine Lettuce. Probably a lot of obnoxious, self-righteous Vegans who eat it, too. Maybe one of them will get a bad case of the runs.

          • Too bad E. Coli contamination of vegetal food is a bi-product of the factory farming of MEAT. Many of these farms are contaminated through the ground water by nearby cattle farms, or through contaminated manure. (for fertilizer, see compost) Eliminate the factory farming of meat, and you will very nearly eliminate E Coli in fruits and vegetables.

            Additionally, as several others pointed out, vegans and vegetarians are often neither gaunt nor under nourished. As a type 1 diabetic who practically reversed my neuropathy and increasing blood sugars with a predominately vegan diet (some occasional eggs and cheese), my blood sugars are better than most non-diabetics and my blood protein levels are on the HIGH side of normal. Ultimately, in a SHTF situation, your health is one of your most important resources and endangering that through improperly cooked or contaminated meats is just not smart.

    • Your bias and bigotry are showing. And/or you haven't met that many vegans or vegetarians. (kind of like saying, "I have one black friend")

      The truth is similar to what we USED to think a "healthy" person used to look like: someone with a deep, dark, rich-brown tan. Of course, we now know that that is actually unhealthy in the extreme.

      Similarly, one of the reasons why there is an obesity pandemic in the United States is because of the animal flesh-based diet that most Americans consume. (and other animal flesh-based diet illnesses and diseases are also on the rise, like gout, cardiac-pulmonary, osteoporosis, most cancers, etc.)

      Reply
  8. One thing to remember is depending on the amount to time one has been “off meat” , there may be adverse reactions to suddenly eating meat.

    My wife is a lacto-ovo vegatarian and mistakenly eaten some chilli that had meat in it. Within hours she was throwing up violently. We have prepared for SHTF food needs but long term I think she will have many more days throwing up u til her body can process the meat she is forced to eat.

    Reply
    • Spec,
      well said, sir. This applies, more or less, to any dietary change. Going from our 'normal' diet to eating whole grains tend to cause a laxative (to put it delicately) effect for any one. I have known observant Jews who got physically ill when they accidentally ate pork. That said, for all of us, but especially for the Vegetarian and Vegan it is critically important to plan an extended transition period from pure Vegan to a modified dietary plan. Those like the lacto-ovo vegetarian may have an easier time provided they can handle the physiological impact but it will be difficult for all.
      Again, realistically – being brutally honest – look at your needs; decide what you will give up to survive and plan accordingly.

      Reply
  9. Good point about the body . People liberated from the camps in WW2 had to be carefully monitored for feeding . Giving them too much food would literally kill them until their bodies could be readjusted .

    Reply
  10. Read THE CHINA STUDY — 30+ year study on how diet affects health. Very informative.
    In a SHTF situation all those critters that you folks plan on subsisting on will be gone in very short order. Even larger game will be depleted in a short period of time. If you don't plan to grow your own food (or raise your own livestock) then you will be in a bad way after your stockpiled food runs out. Planning to live on wild game alone is not a very good plan.
    It's a given that your dietary habits would change drastically in survival situation. I would have no problem eating just about anything if it came down to it and, yes, I have plenty of guns and ammo stock piled along with everything else. However, I think stockpiling seeds is the most important thing. Gardens will be very, very important when cheap food goes away.

    Reply
    • Nash,
      the human population didn't begin to grow large until we started farming. Hunter – gatherer cultures must move often and the larger the population, the more often the move. The dietary vegan who can use animal products (not to eat, but for other uses) can use things like wool and honey which increases their chance of success. The ethical vegan who does not use any animal product for any purpose may not be able to exist outside of a very narrow climate range. They have to grow everything – it can probably be done in a 'vegan community' where enough acreage is under cultivation to provide all needs (cotton, peanuts, soy, etc.) but it will take planning. I would urge our vegan readers to investigate the vegan organizations and see if there are any other preppers there. TSHTF is doable if you plan and prepare properly. TEOTWAWKI will be a lot tougher.

      Reply
      • Stockpile what you eat everyday and you'll be good for the short term. In a TEOTWAWKI situation all the usual labels (vegetarian, vegan, carnivore, republican, democrat…) will be meaningless anyway, and each of us will do (and eat) whatever it takes to get by. I've seem vegetarians turn to meat eating again in short order when they didn't have any other option, and I'm talking just over a weekend outing! There are far too many of us now to go back to a hunter-gatherer culture. We're going to to have to successfully grow a variety of crops in short order to be successful in TEOTWAWKI. Just about everyone, including city dwellers, can scratch out a garden and start to feed themselves, if they store seeds anyway. Raising livestock is a bit more problematic.

        Reply
    • Yeah. People believe the myth that "all you have to do is go up in the mountains and you can survive on wild game and such".

      ALL of those people will die in short order. (NOTE to those who are thinking this will be one of your "survival tactics")

      The problem is that, almost literally, every location in the United States (and most other locations around the world) is/are already HIGHLY overpopulated, usually in the extreme, not to mention the influx of "city folk" in TEOTWAWKI scenarios, and the local vegetation and animal populations will not be able to sustain them.

      Like the stores who will be out of food in about a week or so, probably less than longer in most locations, so the wild game and other edibles will also be devastated in short order in remote locations. (probably a month, or a couple or a few months, or so, at most, in most areas)

      And then EVERYONE starves.

      MANY of those will turn to cannibalism. Because people tend to go a little crazy when they, or their loved ones, especially their "special" children, are starving.

      And when it comes right down to it, flesh is flesh.

      That's why we call it "long pork".

      (you know, like when serial killers start out killing small animals (cats, dogs, etc.), and then larger animals ("hunting"), which is more or less "legal", before they start killing human animals)

      Reply
  11. Pigs are one of the best animals to raise . They require little space , will eat almost anything and reproduce very fast ! That is why the Spanish seeded them in the Caribbean colonies . Islands have limited space and resources and pigs were the perfect answer for reliable meat .

    Reply
    • T.Rapier,
      The pig has become so successful in the US that it is a major nuisance, sometimes a danger, to large parts of North America. Feral Hogs have attacked people in many, if not most, southern states and do major property damage. They can be eaten but they are not easily killed and are very dangerous if trapped or cornered. As a kid I once spent several hours (seemed like days) up a tree after I found out that a .22 hollow point is the wrong ammo for a large feral hog. He spent quite a bit of time walking all over my rifle, dropped to allow expeditious tree climbing, expressing his displeasure at the loud noise and sting of the bullet.
      They do have disease issues as do bear and other predators but if the meat is cooked correctly, they do provide protein and other products.

      Reply
      • "they are not easily killed and are very dangerous if trapped or cornered"
        Hogs, especially boars, have an extended shoulder plate that works like a shield over several of the vital organs it sits directly over the "kill zone" (covers the majority of the heart and lungs), which makes it difficult to deliver a clean/quick kill. The way around it, is to try and hit them at an angle sort-of behind and broadside so that you miss the bone-plate and hit the vital organs (best way if using a bow); use a high powered rifle which can smash through the plate and hit the organs, hit it from the front (difficult shot, they usually keep their head down so you are likely to hit the face, like the jaw bone, before your shot can get near the chest/breast; Some folks have had success "pig-stickin", using a knife to dispatch the hog, usually use dogs to help wear down the hod and hold them for the finishing blow; you could always gut-shot them, but I try to avoid it at all costs, because it is not quick/clean and I pride myself on being an ethical hunter (I know some reading this article will not understand what I mean by that!); you could pull a head shot, but again they have thick, dense skulls, so you would need a pretty high powered firearm.

        "They do have disease issues as do bear and other predators but if the meat is cooked correctly"
        The most common is trichinosis, it can be prevented by cooking the meat to 170F throughout. The best way to assure this and still keep an edible finished product is to slow-roast -OR- braise the meat. Wild pig also makes EXCELLENT bacon/ham, which is fairly easy to do once you learn the technique.

        Reply
        • Chefbear58,
          You may well be the 'answer man' I've been looking for. Not trying to put you on the spot, but does 'jerking' meat take care of the microscopic nasties like trichinosis? I have not seen it addressed in the articles on making jerky and I'd hate to have to do the experiment for real. Any light you could shed on the subject would be appreciated. I'm looking into 'shelf stable' foods. The westerners used smoking and jerking (about the same process in the meat but different processes and tastes – I think) to create long shelf life protein sources. I have been wondering how safe that is.

          Reply
          • Trichinosis is caused by a type of worm, curing does not necessarily kill off those types of critters. Jerking as its known here in the US (application of a spice blend or marinade to meat) does not do anything of consequence other than add flavor. The traditional method you refer to, involves the same application of a rub and marinade, but is also smoked, usually over open coals with damp wood over it. The traditional method is sufficient to kill off most food born pathogens. The key for long term storage would be to reduce the water content as much as possible. If you can get a water activity close to about .85% (think crisp cooked bacon) it should extend the shelf life dramatically and create an environment where things like salmonella and campylobacter will not like.

            But to explain it properly, I would need pages, and pages… Plus I am heading out to take a mid-term exam for homeland security class so I will have to cut it short.. sorry

  12. i have been a vegetarian for 20 years, and a healthy one for about 12 of them (it took me a while to learn about nutrition). some key things for a vegan/vegetarian to keep in their larder are:
    – peanut butter
    – beans (canned and dry) and rice
    – brewer's yeast (full of B vitamins, plus lots of other good stuff)
    i have also recently begun dehydrating my own food, which i am storing int he freezer. ideally, i would like to get a vacuum sealer for long-term storage, but for now i must make do with what i have. as other readers have said, i plan on re-introducing meat into my diet when/if it becomes necessary.
    and for all you die-hard carnivores, don't forget that veggies are also vital for your nutrition. get a good book on wild harvesting and know how to identify edible plants.

    Reply
    • leaf eater,
      well said and it sounds like you have a good plan. I had not thought of brewers yeast for vitamins. Good idea. The more 'shelf stable' our stores the better off we are – refrigeration can quickly become a memory post TSHTF.

      Reply
    • I saw a video on youtube where a guy was storing dry goods with Mylar bags, oxygen absorbers, and an iron. As long as you get all of the air out the bags the food should be good for years. I did a Google search and easily found the bags and absorbers at reasonable prices. The guy in the video said to avoid the cheaper Chinese made oxygen absorbers. I believe the video was posted by envirosponsible (sp?).

      Reply
      • Dave,
        I'm on uncertain ground here, so if I'm off base I trust our more knowledgeable readers will correct me. I am under the impression that the key is to remove oxygen; the other components of our air (mostly nitrogen) don't really matter. That can be done in any number of ways, including displacing the oxygen with another gas. Carbon dioxide is fairly easy to create and being heavier than normal air with its oxygen, displaces it in a container. The absorbers are easier to use but there are low tech methods to do the same thing if needed. Or at least I think that is true.

        Reply
        • I don't know the science behind it as far as how various gases in the air react to perishables. The oxygen absorbers appear to vacuum pack the food in the Mylar bags, so by removing all ,(or nearly all) of the air you've got your bases covered. I know that plastic is more porous so air penetrates it much quicker reducing the shelf life – so Mylar is better. The absorber is a tab you drop into the bag just before you seal it with the iron, so I would say it is fairly easy and low tech. I haven't tried it yet but I'm planning to soon. I'm looking for good ways to store food that don't require a lot of equipment that are effective and not too expensive. This looks like it might be a good system. Also, you can use large bags for the food stored at home and smaller bags for your cars, your GHB, and your BOB. If people have other good ideas I'm certainly open for suggestions.

          Reply
          • Absolutely true – plastic is not an oxygen barrier. That is why our 5 gallon pails are lined with Mylar bags. A block of dry ice setting in a tray (to protect the food from freezing) can be set on top of the stored item and allowed to sublimate (dry ice doesn't melt to a liquid – it sublimates directly to CO2). Once it's gone, the O2 content of the pail is essentially zero so the bag can be sealed to keep out air and the the pail sealed to protect the bag. Extends the shelf life substantially. Of course O2 absorber packs are easier and just as effective.

  13. I've been vegan for 4.5 years now and got into prepping nearly a year ago and it can be tough to find processed survival foods that are vegan, but I think the best thing for anyone is to really try to store what you eat/eat what you store. I definitely agree, peanut butter, beans, rice are super important to stock up on, as well as pasta. There are even some good vegan mac cheese alternatives (check out Roads End Organics in Vermont). They're all vegan which is also good for anyone that has any dairy allergies (and many are nut and soy free too).

    Reply
  14. P.S.
    Try to stock up on vitamins also, a multi-vitamin is great for anyone (vegan or not) as we most likely won't be getting as much nutrition as usual and will be under stress. From my own research I would highly suggest extra vitamin C and D. Studies have shown that many people (omnivores, vegetarians and vegans), especially up north where I am, are vitamin D deficient and don't get enough from their diet or sunlight, and low D levels have been linked to all sorts of bad stuff. Plus, if the SHTF scenario is a nuclear disaster and we're bugging in some place, we definitely will not be getting the vitamin D we need. veganhealth [dot] org and naturalnews [dot] com are good sites for more info on this.

    Reply
    • Thank you for providing the links. My inexperience with the vegan/vegetarian life style left this post a little shy on references. I appreciate your contributions.

      Reply
  15. I am a vegetarian and have been since I was 5 years old out of compassion. I am now a healthy fit 59 year old and not obese, like a lot of humans in our Country. I will choose to go when the end comes. I will never eat meat. As humans, not as one person that commented, do not have canines like carnivorous creatures, which means we were not meant to slaughter animals, fowl or fish. I choose not to live with the present Government that will survive, they have been working on survival for many years and don't want their control on my life any longer. The crazies and the Government are the things to be scared of!

    Reply
    • You said you are a vegetarian. I have no argument with someone who chooses not to eat meat for ethical or moral reasons. I don't understand the reasoning but the decision is yours and I have no right to try to change that opinion unless it impacts my survival chances. As a vegetarian, should you choose to store supplies to enable your survival, it would be slightly different than my stores but not by that much. You might use more TVP, Bean, and Soy than me but I'll have fish and fowl. The most difficulty will be for the ethical vegan who chooses not to use ANY animal product for any purpose. This choice is for ethical reasons. I won't belittle their beliefs; if held strongly it may mean they don't survive but the choice is theirs. There is a vegan network that has grown up in the last 2 decades or so and there may well be suitable choices for clothing, medicine, etc post TEOTWAWKI. I wish them well and I pray none of us find out just how good or bad our preparations have been.

      Reply
    • Humans don't have canines? Are you serious? Have you ever looked at your own teeth? Wow.

      If we were meant to eat nothing but vegetables, we would have a mouth full of molars. Like a real herbivore. We have incisors and canines for a reason.

      Now I'm not disrespecting your decision to be a vegetarian, but please, do not say such ridiculous things.

      Reply
      • Simpsonian, you're clearly right. We do have canines at the third tooth position from center. What I think never unhealthy is suggesting is that compared to other carnivorous species, our canines shouldn't be referred to as such because they're not specialized for gripping and tearing at live flesh. When compared to carnivores like dogs and predatory cats, the purpose of their canines becomes apparent as does our canines' inferiority.

        The truth is that we wouldn't necessarily have all molars if we were herbivores. Many rodents, including rabbits and guinea pigs, are herbivores but have over-sized incisors for cutting their food and molars to grind it with. The difference between herbivores and carnivores lies mainly in their digestive systems as a whole.

        Carnivores tend to have smooth and short digestive tracts relative to their body size. This allows for the food to go through the system without need of fiber and quickly. Omnivores have bumpy and quite long digestive tracts. The bumps make food stay longer in the system and get more thoroughly absorbed but require fiber to help move it along. The saliva of the two classes are also at different extremes, carnivores having acidic saliva and herbivores, alkaline.

        There's debate on where we fall but our characteristics are much more similar to those of herbivores when considering digestive tract length and acidity/alkalinity of our saliva. However, clearly we live satisfactory lives as omnivores. Seems like personal lifestyle is the only thing that determines what we truely are.

        Reply
  16. THE CHINA STUDY has been quite completely discredited. Read it here: http://rawfoodsos.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/min
    Warning not an easy read!
    It's true. You can only be a vegitarian/vegan if it's convenient. An just thinkof the carbon footprint shipping all thos out of season fruits and vegitables in from all over the world.
    When a vegan is hungry, I don't suppose they'll starve to death eating that chunk of Elk.
    It's interesting. I have neices that are twins. One is hard core love all animals vegan. Ther other loves a good steak. The vegan one looks pale and is physically weak. The meat eater has a healthy glow and is quit strong for her size.
    As for me, I'm a meat eater from grass-fed cows and drink raw unpasturized milk from cows and goats rasied on pasture. I'm 50 and quite fit.

    Reply
    • Not sure that the China Study has been completely discredited because of this one critique. The woman is simply splitting hairs over a few of his assertions and doesn't in any way prove wrong the 30+ years of data that is behind this book.
      Most vegetarians (and non-vegetarians these days) are trying to eat local food as much as possible. It's called the slow food movement and it's about improving our health (and the health of the planet) by reducing how far food travels form farm to our plates.
      I know more pale unhealthy meat eaters than I do vegetarians. I have two brothers who eat meat — one has a pacemaker and can barely walk around the block, and my younger brother has a head of gray hair and a list of ailments a mile long. I, on the other hand, am still going strong as ever at 48. With the same genetic background and same upbringing how do you explain this other than by the fact that I've been a veg-head for 25 years? I'd guess that your vegetarian niece is probably eating the Standard American Diet(SAD), just minus the meat.
      In a survival situation I'd have to problem at all eating Elk, bear, squirrel, dog, cat, rat, etc. if it kept me alive. I choose to eat this way to lessen my footprint on this earth and to lengthen my time here. Why waste gallons of water and pounds of feed to produce one pound of meat, when you can just eat the vegetable (cutting out the middleman) and save all those resources?

      Reply
    • If we (vegetarians/vegans) were to eat a chunk of elk for survival reasons, we'd have to start off slowly, or we'd get really sick, and would be worse off than when we started. I'm sorry about your one niece not looking so healthy. Honestly, a good vegan or vegetarian diet is quite healthy, as a rule. But, you have to choose healthy foods, like fresh veggies, dark green leafy veggies, beans, lentils, etc. A diet of crackers and pop is vegan, for example,

      Reply
  17. CaptBart
    Ya I watched a show on how bad the pig plague is in some parts of the country …. pretty scary , seems like they are asian or russian boars let loose to interbreed with the native population . Here in Arizona , the climate puts a damper on expansion of a lot of pests ( sept coyotes ) only good one is a dead one .

    Reply
    • In VA we have similar situation, I live in central VA where the states wild pig problem is unknown to the average person, because you just don't see them around here (YET!). However, in south-eastern VA it is just short of over-run! I actually know a couple guys who have left their 9-5 jobs in order to "get paid to hunt!", they are hired by the state/county to shoot, dress, skin, and process any wild pigs they come across. The meat goes to local food banks/homeless shelters, the guts get cooked off, mixed with rice are then taken to the local animal shelter. I am not sure what they do with the hides, but knowing these boys they are getting put to use.

      Reply
      • Georgia is overrun with wild boar. We can hunt them virtually anytime. They are listed as a nuisance. They can cause thousands of dollars in property damage to a farm overnight.
        Check out hogzilla on the internet. He was killed outside Oscilla, GA. MONSTER HOG!

        Reply
        • I've seen "hog-zilla" from what I heard from a friend of the family who is a biologist for the state of VA, the remains indicate that it was a wild hog that was trapped young and then penned and fed constantly to get 'im to that size!

          Reply
    • Chef and Wolfie,
      Thanks for the advise guys. I'm afraid I've never harvested wild boar/pig. I wonder how many of our "I'll hunt for what I need" survivalist have ever had to butcher a large game animal. I helped a relative some decades ago and did not enjoy it. It is not something most of us think about. Similar cautions for parasites on the smaller animals. Fleas on a squirrel can carry deadly bacteria – I'd hate to be killed by my lunch!

      Reply
      • Another bit of advise when hunting ANY animal…
        If there appears to be any unusual behavior or appearance to the animal it is better to not utilize the meat. As much as I HATE to say it, but for the health of other animals it may still be necessary to kill/"cull" the animal. A SERIOUS problem around here (western VA, in the mountains near WV and TN) is a disease called CWD (Chronic wasting disease). It's sort-of like "mad-cow disease", except it effects deer and elk species. The infected deer only usually display signs of the disease in the latter stages and include, inability to walk correctly, does not flee from predators and humans, inability to run/walk in a straight line, excessive drooling, cloudy eyes, coat that appears "mangy", and aggressiveness (deer are typically not aggressive under normal circumstances, so this would be considered under "odd/unusual behavior")there may be other symptoms but you get the point. This is a disease which will spread through a population fairly quickly, so "culling" animals that show signs of it is VERY important to maintain the population. Looking for similar signs should be part of EVERY hunters routine before harvesting an animal!!!

        **AS A SIDE NOTE- if you happen to see animals that exhibit signs of disease during your outdoor excursions, you should contact your local Game Warden's -OR- Conservation Police and report the species, signs they were showing, the time, date (if you cannot report it the same day), how many animals are suspected of being sick and the direction it appeared to be going**

        I wholeheartedly agree with the use of gloves during field-dressing, Personally, I use the disposable gloves that extend to the upper arm (below the shoulder joint), I also "wash up" using an alcohol based hand-sanitizer before and after gutting the animal. I usually carry an extra quart or 2 of water, which I use to wash out the cavity of big game after field-dressing, it is especially useful if you happen to puncture the colon or bladder (the contents could foul the meat). Mixing in a little disinfectant such as vinegar is even better for preventing food-born illness down the road.

        As far as processing game, almost all quadrupeds are anatomically similar, meaning that the process for cleaning, skinning and butchering are almost exactly the same. If you can process a deer without much problem, then you should be able to handle just about anything on 4-legs… INCLUDING- steers (beef), sheep (domesticated or wild), elk, moose, antelope, bears, pigs/boars, and even animals such as dogs/cats (domesticated/wild even big-cats {cougar, not your friends mom… sorry bad joke! and wolves/coyotes}).

        Simple precautions such as- gloves; securing the closures on your clothing (zipper on coat/pants) to keep pests like fleas/ticks out; I do this, but have been told it is excessive… duct-tape the ends of your sleeves i.e. wrists over coat/gloves, ankle over pants/boots; This will give you an extra layer of protection against crawling, disease carrying insects/pests; wash your hands thoroughly after handling your quarry; smaller game can be shaken/brushed off, which sounds stupid, BUT it might knock off a few pests if they are present; smaller game can be placed in a plastic bag to seal any would-be infectious pests inside, you can deal with them at home by dipping the game (I do it with squirrels/rabbits) in a 5gal bucket of hot water mixed with some salt and vinegar, if it doesn't kill them, it will certainly make them want to find a new home… make sure that's not you!

        Reply
        • I forgot to mention that there are other types of parasites which cannot be seen looking at a squirrel with the skin still on it. I don't know what the real name for them is, but I have always heard them called "weevils", they look similar to a grub, and live between the skin and the membrane that covers the muscular structure of the squirrel. They are typically found in the squirrels during the warmer months of the year. I don't know what this parasitic creature does, but I know a few folks who will just cut them out and keep the meat, PERSONALLY I don't like the idea of possibly being infected by a bug that wants to "set up shop" under my skin! If I find "weevils", I take the carcass and place it in an area where I find signs of coyotes or cougars, that way the "lil' fella" didn't loose it's life just to rot in the woods! There may be other types of parasitic creatures similar to these nasty lookin' things in your area, it may be worthwhile for you to investigate similar problems with wild game in your area.

          ** It is also important to note that the "weevils" seem to die-off, or at least drastically reduce in number, once the first HEAVY frost occurs. I have never found one in a squirrel after the first good frost of the year.**

          Reply
          • Chef,
            Great information, sir. I learned to burn the hair off of small rodents to kill fleas, ticks and other parasites. Ruins the hide but prevents the infections. Those long 'snake tongs' make a good tool for handling small game at a distance.

            By the way, I hope the mid-terms went well.

  18. Okay men, read the Men’s Health Article about soy estrogen. In a post apocalyptic world the last thing you need is to increase your female hormone intake. Personally, I want to stay strong.
    Most of the indigenous people around the planet are vegetarians most of the time. Unless you raise herds or can catch a lot of fish where you live you will find yourself in a similar situation. It’s amazing what they ate but they survived. Of course they weren’t 6’4” either.

    Reply
  19. I volunteered to help a professor on an archeological dig last year. We saw evidence of how a Californian nomadic group lived by moving from different areas following food supplies. Up to the pinion pines, down to a lake for fly larva, out to a valley for game, obsidian gathering… It was remarkable how far they traveled. No horses, all on foot. Carrying their young, weapons and skins. I would wager that most people wouldn’t survive a week of their lifestyle. Their petroglyphs showed the progression from spears to spears with a lever to bows… They lived a truly remarkable existence.

    Reply
  20. Dear Captain Bart,

    Thank you so much for your informative article on vegan survival. I have been a vegan for 9 years and am very interested in prepping for when SHTF. Here are some things I have learned.

    I have had no trouble getting together a 3 month supply of vegan -friendly shelf-stable foods. There are many canned chili, soup, and bean and rice dishes that are easy. I also have a windowbox garden for greens and store canned and frozen greens. Many freeze dried camping food companies like Backpackers Pantry have totally vegan entrees like Pad Thai, Louisiana Red Beans and Rice, and Chana Masala. There are also ready to eat indian food dishes in mylar pouches available in the ethnic foods aisle at many grocery stores. These paired with a ready to eat rice pouch make an extremely filling meal.

    As far as vitamins, I do keep a bottle of B12 tablets with my 3 month supply. However, most adult vegans can go for a very extended period of time without suffering ill effects from not supplementing this vitamin. It is the only vitamin not readily available in a vegan diet, although some less-easily absorbed b12 can be obtained from nutritional yeast, home brewed kombucha, and fermented foods. B12 would really only be a concern for a very long term survival situation.

    As far as using animal products, it is currently possible to find human trash almost anywhere in the world. Since it takes plastic so long to decompose, I imagine I will be able to scavange synthetic materials well into the future.

    I really appreciate the blog post. I will say though that I'm disappointed that so many readers posted so many ill-informed responses. I expected preppers and survivalists to be more of the researching type. I am especially disappointed that preppers who are so often stereotyped and marginalized in the mainstream media would stereotype and marginalize another group. Kudos to Captain Bart for his open mind.

    Reply
    • M.M.K.,
      Thank you for your kind words. You are also quite correct about human trash. If you live near a medium or larger human population, finding synthetics will probably be possible for a very long time.

      Reply
  21. (DISCLAIMER: NOT trying to be combative to ANYBODY here)

    Unless your Bug-Out Location is isolated from any kind of urban/suburban area and you already have animals, hunting may not pay-out well in a long-term situation. (Fishing might pay longer) Get ready to eat what you can grow, after all the cans of beef stew run out.

    If you are of European ancestry, and not of "noble" lineage, great-x7- grandpa and grandma ate barley bread, turnips, cabbage and onions, with, just, maybe, a poached rabbit or deer, a couple times a year. Sounds pretty much like a basically-vegetarian diet to me . You have to be ready to deal.

    If, on the other hand, you won't nail and eat that fat, juicy squirrel that has been raiding your garden, for ethical or dietary reasons, you might starve as well.

    Sometimes, "but I won't do that" kinda falls away under bad circumstances.

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    • wyzyrdap,
      those of us with Irish or German in our blood lines have this incredible craving for all things potato. Go figure. You are right, for generations most folks did subsist on agriculture, not hunting. Even our hunter/gather forebears gather what plants they could. Your points are well taken.

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  22. You know, for the sake of vegans out there, its great that this site isn't super-right wing like most survivalist sites are. Otherwise, this page would just be be "F*ck off" Repeated hundreds of times.

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  23. Wouldn't this article be better written by an actual vegan? This article seems to have very little research/planning involved and is straight from the mouth…keys of an omni. It is equivalent to a christian sailor talking about the ups and downs of if a jewish person were to sail the seas. In short; you really do not know enough about veganism to write an article for vegans. Veganism is far more sustainable than meat eating…perhaps you should open your mind some more and accept that there are clothing sources for vegans other than cotton and protein sources other than peanuts/soy which I hardly touch as a vegan because they really arn't all that healthy.

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    • I am a 14 year vegan and while many of the comments I read on this article were the kind of closed-minded things I expected, I was pleasantly surprised with the article itself. So many survivalist pages push vegans away and make fun of them while this guy wrote in a way that welcomes us. I guess your comment proves that the people who divide exist on both sides. That's a shame. You could have just said thanks for the article and here is a little more information that may help the readers or to consider if writing similar in the future.

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  24. It's so nice to see an article regarding vegan prepping! Overall, we veggies have found the survival/prepping community to be.. uhh…not so nice to us. It seems like every forum thread regarding veg prepping that I've found always ends up with someone insulting the poster and trying to argue the ethics of the veg diet, or claiming vegans kill their children. Many people seem to think that when vegetarians are involved, somehow the basic rules of politeness and decency go right out the window… *sigh*. There is a stereotype that vegans are all leftwing hippie passivists, but let me assure you..there's plenty of us that aren't! My prized possession is my new M-1.

    As wyzyrdap pointed out, many areas will be hunted out quickly, and If TSHTF, no one I know will have access to a cow. But I could make you some rockin cheese from your stash of dried soybeans… or pine nuts, pecans, almonds, walnuts, or macadamias, if you have access. I could make you yogurt, mac and cheese, veggie burgers/dogs, and lots of other tasty dishes with easily prepped items. We are experts at making tasty food with limited supplies. We have much to contribute, so please be kind!

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  25. Ok, Thanks! That’s pretty much what i’ve been doing:) I’ve been looking thru a field guide to edible wild plants from 1977 that my mom gave me today. It is very helpful and descriptive. I was amazed in how many edible wild and domestic plants are on our little two acres!

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  26. First time I ever read a survival blog, I was just google-ing for a veggie-friendly survival training… great site, and yes, I'm veggie, but I don't feal offended by those who aren't or don't understand it 🙂

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  27. Thank you for this article, and the helpful comments! We are new to the idea of prepping but our oldest son is (life threateningly) allergic to dairy, eggs, and all mammal meats. Thankfully he can eat poultry meat, fish and shell fish, but it has been difficult to find items that don't contain some sort of dried powdered milk or beef product, etc. This helps me think of some new ideas, especially things like canned turkey chili, etc.

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  28. People always have the right to chose how they want to live or die. If you try to survive on the fly as a vegan you simply chose to die while standing by your convictions. I can respect that. What bothers me is that too often they make the decision for their kids too. Living as a Vegan is HARD work. If you try to take it on the run it just isn't workable. Peanut butter and beans don't grow in the forest and there are almost no vegetable based proteins in the dead of winter. If you plant a garden it is going to attract a lot of unwanted attention for all sorts of critters and people. Also I assume that if you won't eat them because of moral convictions that you also aren't going to protect your garden from them. I'm a gardener and let me tell you it is almost impossible to raise much more than just a few salads if you don't keep the critters at bay. Deer can wipe out a 12 acre pea patch in ONE night! Coons will get your corn. Rabbits and squirrels love everything and will haul your tomatoes off as fast as you can grow them if you don't step in.

    Being Vegan means that you need to bug IN. You can't run far and then wait for the next harvest to eat. People eat cow and sheep because they eat grass and make it into something we can digest. We would starve to death eating only grass. Being vegan is mostly about not wanting to face the true fact that things must die so that we can live. What do you recon happened to the critters that lived in the woods that were cleared to make fields to plant the peanuts in?

    Don't take it personally. I wouldn't eat any sort of meat that I wasn't willing to kill and butcher myself either. Lots of meat eaters couldn't catch and kill and butcher their own animals and eat it then either. I guess I'm a little like the Native Americans. I respect and honor their sacrifices and only kill what I will eat or to protect my gardens. You gave up meat…I gave up sport hunting just for the sake of horns years ago. We have some common ground.

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  29. loved the article, i am a omnivore my wife is a vegetarian, in a real shtf scenario living a vegetarian or vegan life style has many advantages and it is worth the time investment to learn how to do it right.

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  30. While vegans may eat 'cleaner' there are still things missing from their diet and thus they must take vitamins (B-12) and minerals as well. It's not a complete diet for our bodies. Also, people are right about animals being hunted out and thus people will be forced into foraging plants UNLESS they have already set up for such a thing. We have rabbits, and they multiply like…well… rabbits. We also have chickens which will give both eggs and meat. I want to get some pigs as well, not many but a couple.

    There is a half truth that eating ONLY rabbits causes a problem because they have no fat. This is true with wild rabbits but not so for domesticated rabbits. Rabbits can have a litter every month and they can have (in my experience) as many as 10 in the litter. Those are ready for harvest in aprox. 4 months. With 2 pairs you'd have most of the meat you need for the month. This eliminates the need to hunt (though we are rural enough with a small enough population that the deer and especially wild hogs, overrun us. We'll just have to get together to make sure they aren't over hunted.

    In a SHTF situation, food will not be wasted as it is today because you really do not know where your next meal is coming from (at least for the vast majority of the population.) And if you don't already know how to garden, an emergency is NOT the time to start since there is a learning curve. You could starve before you get the hang of it. Best to start yesterday while you can still supplement with store bought.

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  31. You would actually be surprised that if need be, veganism doesn't mean don't eat meat. It means to lessen animal suffering where can be REASONABLY possible. Even though I am vegan and I love animals; if it comes down to me and my family or an animal. The animal will lose. But, that being said I have taught myself how to live and THRIVE on plants. I can plant, I know how to forage, I know what is edible and how to cook them. I can make any meat eaters toes curl with veg. I think at the end of the day, those that adapt in situations will survive. Those who don't will be thinned out with the rest of the herd.

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  32. Thank you so much for this article, I appreciate it just on the basis of reviewing a wide variety of things. There have been a few different comments/replies that I really appreciated reading:
    – all of us must MOST LIKELY came from non-noble stock, therefore did not consume *that* much meat
    – lentils (that made me laugh out loud)
    – anyone who started their comment to be thoughtful and inclusive

    Our understanding of nutrition science is in its infancy, relatively speaking; there's a LOT we don't understand, and our analysis by separating/compartmentalizing "nutrients" and "minerals" doesn't know that much about the benefits of the WHOLE food when consumed. From experience, when not feeling properly "nutrient-ed" EAT MORE GREENS. And beans.

    Micro-biome, anyone? How much your health rests on the foundation in your gut organs and their population of beneficial bacteria. And then how that affects your cognitive/psychological ability. So, long term, don't stock up on probiotics – FERMENT!

    As a vegan, I really appreciate any conversation that happens that doesn't put me into a box (too soft, too naive, too much of an ideologue, even assuming veganism is just wrong). Many people eating an omnivorous diet (apparently, the majority of our country), aren't healthy. Any eating scheme takes awareness. And, any lifestyle take exercise, too. I think we all agree that in a SHTF situation, we'll all be making some changes to our current way of life. Will I eat fish? Bird? Rodent? Larger animal? Bugs? Probably. I just don't think humans need *that* much to survive. But, if you need to eat, you need to eat. For now, with ability and access to alternatives, I choose veganism. For the future, I choose open mindedness.

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