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#56255 - 12/17/05 10:07 AM psychological barriers
Chisel Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 12/05/05
Posts: 1154
I was going through a few sites showing survival stuff. A drawing showed a snare lifiting a squirrel high by the neck.

How can I say this.
I ... didnt think I could do it.

Hanging the squirrel, or any other game for that matter... and then skinning the critter.

I have seen a few video clips before for some solideir or trainees skinng LIVE rabbits. <img src="/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" /> I felt baaaad , real bad.

So, my question to the experts here. Do you think that hunger alone would take care of this in a survival situation ?? Or do you think that I have a weakness that needs to be cured BEFORE I find myself in a survival situation ??

Right now , I can read and learn about surviving, and can equip myself with supplies and gadgets, and condition my body to improve my physical endurance ..etc. But skinng an animal is a bit outside the range of my psychological setup.

Whats your thoughts on this ???

#56256 - 12/17/05 10:56 AM Re: psychological barriers
M_a_x Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/16/02
Posts: 995
Loc: Germany
Skinning animals while they are still alive is barbaric. Period. There is no real need to do it.
If you canīt kill, gut and dress an animal this is a weakness that needs to be dealt with before you are in a survival situation.
You could try and find someone to show the howtos in real life. Before you attempt to do so you may have to work on your mindset. You could also aquire the skills to procure food that isn't beyond your psycological limits. The latter may be the way to go for you.
For short time survival some people doubt that food is that important after all.
If it isnīt broken, it doesnīt have enough features yet.

#56257 - 12/17/05 11:39 AM Re: psychological barriers
norad45 Offline

Registered: 07/01/04
Posts: 1506
Max is right. Not only is it unnecessary and barbaric, it's downright stupid and dangerous. Critters carry all sorts of nasty things like tularemia. It isn't wise to offer them a chance to bite or scratch you.

His advice to find your psychological limit is sound also. It sounds like maybe your main objection is to the killing rather than the gutting/skinning. I'm not sure what to suggest here other than maybe starting out by catching and cleaning some fish if you haven't ever done it before. Only you can determine if you can move on from there to small game and birds.

Regards, Vince

#56258 - 12/17/05 03:35 PM Re: psychological barriers
Chisel Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 12/05/05
Posts: 1154
Yes, I think I have to start with fish.

I remember reading about eating "anything" in survival situations. It said that some may even eat monkeys. Anyways, the point that I still remember is that after skinning a monkey someone felt like it was a "baby" that was in the pot. <img src="/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" /> ! And so the author suggested cutting it to pieces to lose the "identity" and make it into merely chunks of meat.

Remebering that isnt really helpful !!! I would stockpile another mountain of beans and canned soup.

#56259 - 12/17/05 04:10 PM Re: psychological barriers
Jackpine_Savage Offline

Registered: 08/02/05
Posts: 73
Loc: Minnesota
Do you have any problems eating what others have processed? It may be helpful to just start out at a wild game feed and taste the various game animals that have been cooked and are ready to eat. That may help getting over the idea of what you are eating. Then try fish and when you are comfortable with them then try birds, like grouse or what ever you can hunt in your area.

I would not start with small four legged critters as they tend to look like a pet or worse a small human. Larger animals don't look human and they are easier, if more work to gut and skin, as they have more room to grab etc. However there is a lot more insides to deal with.

You will have to either get used to, or put up with the smell of guts. In my oppinion Grouse smell worse than deer or anything else I have dealt with. But the taste is more than worth the effort.

Take care and Stay Safe.
It's a Jungle out there.

#56260 - 12/17/05 06:00 PM Re: psychological barriers
benjammin Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4018
Loc: Anchorage AK
Trying to dress a live animal is nonsense. I don't understand the motivation behind it. I would recommend dispatching the beastie before preparing it for the pot.

In answer to your question, yes, hunger will go a long ways towards overcoming your mindset. Take for example the Donner party. These were pious, highly moral, God fearing people. The idea of cannibalisim was as unappealing to them as blaspheming the holy spirit, and yet when faced with certain doom, they overcame their mental barriers and ate the dead friends and family they'd been so closely socialized with. How hard was that!!!

If you are a meat eater, my suggestion is to see if you can visit with a butcher that processes carcasses. If you take things in reverse order (there's the sausage, which came from the scrap tub, which came from the trimmed meat, which came from the quarter, which came from the side, which came from the dressed whole, etc). You take it one step at a time going backwards like that, and eventually the sight of a dead animal is not so repulsive. The two biggest hurdles to get past are seeing the dead animal getting dressed, and seeing the live animal getting dead. Suffocating or strangling an animal is not the most humane way to dispatch, but in a survival situation is likely the most effective way at procuring food on the hoof, or paw. It does take a conscious effort to make the leap, but once you get past it a few times, it shouldn't be cause for concern. The main thing is to always respect the kill, regardless of the method. When I go hunting or fishing, or out to the field to harvest livestock, I always thank God and the animal whose life I took for providing me with the sustenance I need. If you are religious, then you should understand that God gave us these plants and animals for our benefit, but that we are to be good stewards nonetheless. If you have no faith, then you should at least accept that all life here on earth is connected, and that respecting the kill is a responsible and ethical act, even in a survival situation.

My upbringing fairly requires that I go out and kill animals and eat them. For me, it is a question of ethics that I use my natural talents to provide for myself, both indirectly (vis-a-vis my job) and by doing the deed with my own two hands. I've also done my tour in the slaughterhouse, and raised pets that were subsequently sold off as food for someone else. I don't think this hardens your spirit, unless you haven't come to terms with the reality of your existence yet, in which case spending some time doing without a belly full of food will help get you over the esoteric hump and back to what life is all about. Cannibalism is perhaps going too far, more an indication of "dumbass" than of dealing with reality.

For some, survival is having their world turned upside down. For others, it is just an unplanned adventure.

I prefer the latter.

The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

#56261 - 12/17/05 06:03 PM Re: psychological barriers
xbanker Offline

Registered: 04/21/05
Posts: 484
Loc: Anthem, AZ USA
IMO, there?s no way to fully assess your personal limits until you?re in a true life-and-death survival situation. There are countless stories of survival in which individuals performed acts that previously would have been unthinkable to them ? many having to do with food.

We?ve all read stories of people lost a sea, floating for days/weeks/months in a life raft, who end up eating raw fish, turtles, birds, seaweed etc. All stuff we might not normally order off the menu in a fine restaurant if given a choice. <img src="/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Then there?s the most extreme examples: The legendary Donner Party. For our non-American friends who might not know the story, the Donner Party was a group of emigrants heading west to California (~25 people when it hit the fan), who became trapped in the Sierra Nevada mountains during the winter of 1846-47. Nearly half of the party died, and some resorted to eating their dead in an effort to survive.

Or the Uruguayan soccer team: Chile, 1972, when 16 members survived for ~70 days after their airliner crashed in the Andes Mountains. Survivors resorted to cannibalism to stay alive.

My point is that the survival instinct can be pretty strong, especially when it comes to food, and frequently allows people to do things they wouldn't do in a million years under everyday circumstances. And just as often, people don't cross that invisible line.

You might read, if you haven?t already, the book Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why, by Laurence Gonzales. It?s been mentioned several times on the forum (and Doug?s mini-review is on the ETS site). It discusses the psychological aspects of survival.

Edit: Benjammin, what does that say about us, that we mention the Donner party within 3 minutes of one another? <img src="/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />

Edited by xbanker (12/17/05 06:07 PM)
"Things that have never happened before happen all the time." — Scott Sagan, The Limits of Safety

#56262 - 12/17/05 07:19 PM Re: psychological barriers
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
Forgive me if I laugh at all the replies uh, rendered. <img src="/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> Inhibitions are a GOOD thing. Social constraints in the form of cultural taboos, codified laws etc. insure cohesivness and stability in a society. I often tell my vegan friends how insensitive they are to the screams of carrots being ripped from the ground ( hand cupped to ear, horrified look on my face " oh the agony, pain,pain,pain") Butchering live anmals is some pathological conditioning to desensitise soldiers to even greater acts of cruelty. We all do things in mass or with peers our individual conscious would never allow: Me Lai, Dachau, driving in 5 PM L.A. traffic or voting. You may also consider ritualising any butchering within your own religous tradition. Indians ( aka native americans or whatever is PC this week) always thanked the spirit of the animal they hunted and treated the body with near reverence in handling. I explained to a vegan once on a excavation in Wyoming how buffalo to plains indians was equal to taking communion in Christianity. She tried it! ( the buffalo, not communion <img src="/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" />)

Edited by Chris Kavanaugh (12/17/05 07:21 PM)

#56263 - 12/17/05 11:39 PM Re: psychological barriers
wildcard163 Offline

Registered: 09/04/05
Posts: 417
Loc: Illinois
Start with fishing, it's cheaper to get started, and there's a longer season. If you can handle cleaning a fish, get a hunting license, once you've successfully cleaned a few rabbits and squirrels, look into trapping. Some folks just can't handle taking a life, any life, for their own sustenance, if that's the case, get REAL good at plant foraging, and find yourself a partner that doesn't mind playing the butcher to your farmer. While I don't make judgements about folks that can't kill their own food (there are a lot more of them out there than many realize), I can't help but wonder, where do you think the steaks, chops, and burger come from? Good luck, and remember, if you eat what you kill, you're only following nature's plan... enjoy being at the top of the food chain.


#56264 - 12/18/05 12:37 AM Re: psychological barriers
bubbajoe Offline

Registered: 10/29/05
Posts: 72
Loc: PA. USA
It's funny I had this conversation with one of the guys that helps me on the farm with the horses. He asked me if I could kill and eat one of our horses if I had to. Some of our show horses are worth a few bucks. I replied , If it means my family will survive. I'd do just about anything. Yes I could kill and butcher one of the horses.
Put in the right situation ,or I should say survival situation , I think we would surprise ourselves what we are capable of doing.
Not to change the subject. it got me thinking and I'm starting to look at different sources of food. Edible wild plants. Its something to look at. If you can't kill an animal. look at alternative sources of food

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