There was a line in 28 Days Later that got me to thinking. Its after the group leaves the city and finds their way to the house controlled by the soldiers. The commanding officer takes Jim (played by Cillian Murphy) into a courtyard where an infected soldier is chained up.
The commanding officer tells the Jim that the infected soldier provides a lot of information. Jim says something along the lines of “what does he tell you?” The commanding officer explains that the infected solider will never raise crops, he will never raise livestock, he will never bake bread, he has no future. And eventually, he will tell me how long the infected take to starve to death.”
This brings up the question, post SHTF, how many people will “have no future”?
- How many people will be unable to raise crops,
- How many people will be unable to raise livestock,
- How many people will be unable to hunt,
- How many people will be unable to bake bread,
- How many people will be able to adapt to a new lifestyle,
I call it “the dog bowl theory” – its when a dog looses its instinct to hunt. Its when a dog walks over to the food bowl, there is no food, so the dog just looks up at the dogs owner and whines. Its like the dog is saying “what am I supposed to do now? There is no food in the bowl.”
A few thousand years ago the dog might have gone hunting and caught a field mouse and ate it – very much like the wild coyotes and foxes do today. But instead of hunting like its wild cousins do, the domesticated dog just looks at its food bowl.
Just as the domesticated dog has lost its ability to hunt, so has man lost our ability to provide for ourselves. No longer do the majority of the people hunt, trap and raise crops. Instead, we just go to the local grocery store and buy our food. In other words, we have become domesticated.
Post SHTF there will be 2 types of people – the people that can do, and the people that can not do. One group will have a future, the other group does not have a future.
The keywords that the commander used were livestock, crops, bake bread. I’am taking the term “bake bread” as a synonym for preparing food. Just because someone raises a crop, does not mean that they will know how to process and store that food.
In some kind of long term – world wide SHTF situation:
Livestock – will provide sources of milk, eggs and meat. With jars and a pressure cooker, its possible to prepare and store the food in jars for years. With a smoker, people can make their own jerky, sausage and smoked meats.
Crops – for a long term survival situation, crops and some kind of survival garden will be essential. But to have a garden, you have to have seeds stockpiled.
How many people know how to grow:
- Snap Beans
Baking Bread – being able to prepare, store and cook the food you have raised or harvested.
It does not do too much good to grow crops if they can not be stored. It great to have food to eat while the plants are producing, but the food crops have to be preserved in one way or another for later usage.
Hunting – with todays grocery stores, most people have lost the knowledge on how to track and harvest wild animals. How many people reading this article even know how to skin an animal? On top of that, how many people have a place to hunt after SHTF.
Even if people do not know how to hunt, raise crops or raise livestock, how many possess a skill that is trade-able? How many people can work metal, preform legal work, can teach children how to read and write, fix a gun, use hand tools, own gardening tools. In other words, can you preform a service that would allow you to trade for items you need?