Is it possible to survive as a vegetarian?

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Oct 20, 2015
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DORSET
My question is, is there anywhere in the world you could survive alone as a vegetarian?

Most of survival in most parts of the world seems to pivot around catching animals. :confused:

I'm not against meat eating by the way its just a question as a noobie that I've been pondering :eek:

Thanks for any replies!! :notworthy
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Nov 29, 2004
7,808
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Scotland
"...survive alone as a vegetarian?..."

By survive do you mean after being shipwrecked on a desert island or similar?

The word 'alone' is the killer, if you were part of a community who were either vegetarians or if you didn't mind them not being so then perhaps yes.

There are certainly folks in various parts of the world who don't eat meat, they get by, however it is by being part of community that they can do so.
 

Toddy

Mod
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Jan 21, 2005
36,251
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Define your vegetarian.
Define your area. If it's a known area, or an area with familiar plants and habitats, then that changes things immensely.

Round here, or in a similar area, without farming, yes I'd be hungry, but I'd survive.
Other areas without such biodiversity….unless it had plants/families that I recognised, I'd struggle.

On t'other hand, it's all very well all those 'survival' scenarios talking about trapping/fishing, etc., but the reality is that it all takes time, time to make the equipment, to source the fish/animals, etc., and damned few are capable.

Three minutes without oxygen, three days without water, three weeks without food, and all that.

I think folks would be better focusing on finding potable water and being able to make fire. Fire makes virtually anything organic edible. Even tree inner bark :)

M
 

santaman2000

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Jan 15, 2011
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......On t'other hand, it's all very well all those 'survival' scenarios talking about trapping/fishing, etc., but the reality is that it all takes time, time to make the equipment, to source the fish/animals, etc., and damned few are capable.....

To be honest in most cases you'd be better served to eat the bait.
 

santaman2000

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Jan 15, 2011
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My question is, is there anywhere in the world you could survive alone as a vegetarian?....:notworthy

Like Toddy said, it's possible but more likely in certain areas than others. The closer to the tropics the more the plant life (apart from deserts) The closer to the poles, the more reliant on animal diet. And as she also said, in either case you'd need a thorough knowledge of what is, or is not, edible.
 

Robson Valley

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Nov 24, 2014
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A strict "vegan" diet can get you into a serious nutritional deficiency.
Plants are notoriously poor in the amino acid lysine, which is an essential in human biochemistry.
Dental structure in humans defines us as omnivores. I like it that way.
 

Goatboy

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Jan 31, 2005
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Was watching the documentry about the Living In The Past series the other day; the origional series not the modern one. Unlike modern reality series they were put together for harmony rather than discord. About the only stushie they had though was over the vegitarians in the group and how it put pressure on everyone due to uneven distribution of food. Things like eggs and cheese were tasty compared to a lot of other food but at a premium.
Having been totally broke and relying on foraged foods to a big degree even living rurally I think most would find it hard to live in the UK in modern times. There just isn't the depth of species throughout the year to make it comfortably viable. So saying trapping animals & fishing isn't that easy either. Why I allways say I'd make for a rocky coastline if I had to survive in the UK unless I was going to set up a rudimentry farm.

Sent via smoke-signal from a woodland in Scotland.
 

Toddy

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Dental structure in humans defines us as omnivores. I like it that way.

Actually it defines us as eating 'choice' food. Not purely meat, nor plant. It does (as with our guts) suggest a long preference for cooked food. We are the cooking ape :)
We don't have fangs, we don't have claws, we don't have huge great chewing muscles or ruminant type guts. We don't have the heavy jaws of the gorillas or the dentition of the chimps, but with cooking we can make almost anything organic edible and in doing so it also allows us to obtain the maximum possible value from our food.

Peas and nuts both contain lysine, so do pumpkins seeds and the like, as does seaweed and the mustard and goosefoot families. It's not recorded what the values are for most foraged wild foods though afaik. If someone does have a list I'd love to see it.

Funny isn't it ? all the talk of how difficult is it for vegans to get enough of this that and the other, yet most are very healthy :)

M
 

Wayne

BCUK Welfare Officer
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Dec 7, 2003
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There are no hunter gather tribes that are vegetarian. That should tell you something about the ability for people to survive long term on a purely veggie diet. By veggie i mean eating product that no animal has died to produce. Whether it flys, swims or crawls.

As already posted we have evolved to eat a wide range of flora and fauna.

As the issue to get your 2000 calories per day purely from foraged product would be a massive undertaking requiring a huge track of land.
 

Smyth

Member
Oct 16, 2015
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Only if you were able to grow lentils and other pulses and grains... The combination of some pulses and grains could provide your necessary intake... Sprouting some pulses actually raises their lysine content too... It would be difficult if you wanted to move on though and be nomadic unless you knew where these things grew in abundance and in the wild...
 

British Red

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Dec 30, 2005
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In a survival situation, rejecting available sources of nutrition is only going to lessen your chances. Would it be possible? Of course, but it would be less probable than someone who was prepared to eat meat as well as vegetables. Rejecting survival choices will only ever harm your chances.
 

pteron

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Nov 10, 2003
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Were there ever any vegetarian hunter gatherers? I doubt it, the nutrient and calorie density of animals is just too great to give up. Vegetarianism is really only possible in a modern agrarian culture.

The bioavailability of protein is much higher naturally in animals than plants. Of course, science has been able to establish why that is and it appears that modifying the plants amino acid ratios to reflect those found in animal products makes them more available. That seems like a pretty strong argument that we are animal eaters by nature.
 

Tengu

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Jan 10, 2006
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Chimps of either kind are certainly meat eaters. They are poor hunters, like as not if they learned better they would hunt more.
 

sunndog

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May 23, 2014
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My question is, is there anywhere in the world you could survive alone as a vegetarian?

Most of survival in most parts of the world seems to pivot around catching animals. :confused:

I'm not against meat eating by the way its just a question as a noobie that I've been pondering :eek:

Thanks for any replies!! :notworthy


Depends how long for really. If its indefinately then probably not, depending where in the world you are weather and growing seasons will likely kill you off

For a short time?......many people have
 

dewi

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May 26, 2015
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My question is, is there anywhere in the world you could survive alone as a vegetarian?

Most of survival in most parts of the world seems to pivot around catching animals. :confused:

I'm not against meat eating by the way its just a question as a noobie that I've been pondering :eek:

Thanks for any replies!! :notworthy

Yep, no problem at all... as long as you're not strict about it. You could eat fish, they're not really an animal. And ducks... but they're nearly fish aren't they? And cows, sheep, pigs... anything that lives near water really.

So yep, you should be fine. :)
 

Robson Valley

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Nov 24, 2014
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I guess I made my point obscure = plants are a poor choice for lysine. Sure, it's just one of the 20 common amino acids in protein primary structure.
Using artificial selection methods, geneticists in Mexico some decades ago did manage to breed high-lysine soft corn for the staple tortilla.
That sort of intervention isn't going to happen globally.
Human dentition gives us great versatility. "the cooking ape," thanks for that, Toddy. BR, thanks for the note abut denying one surce of nutrition as the
other might be scarce.
Tonight, I eat "McBride sunshine" = bison.
 

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