Mere Survival

Someone I used to know got me to thinking about the wilderness and this whole trend toward subsistance living. There are some shows about it on Discovery and NatGeo. People in Alaska and the Arctic Circle living almost entirely off the bounty of the land. They’ve pretty much shunned our modern world and instead have chosen to live a simpler life.

On the one hand I totally get it. Mass production of meat and food is vile, unclean and morally offensive. They raise their own animals and hunt their meat in the wild. It must be impossible to get a nice salad.

On the other hand it’s so darn cold and remote. You’re not just a hunter. You’re just as much the hunted as well. There are very large predators up there. There must be a certain humility to thinking of oneself as the prey. It’s an interesting perspective for a species all too accustomed to being on the top of the food cahin. But the internet up there probably isn’t so great. I guess they’re too busy surviving to really notice.

Not that we’re not very busy surviving down here in the regular world. Everyone is always surviving. Seldom actually living. I always thought the one good thing about being human was we had the luxury of more than mere survival. Turns out, not so much. Life is tough in these United States. It’s a wonder any of us survive at all.