Vegan Diet?

I’ve had this thought bouncing around in my head for a week now and I’m curious to hear reader’s take on it.

Would it be easier to prep for a vegan diet? It’s an odd thought, I know.  I had a friend recently convert, and I heard an interesting piece on the radio about the rising numbers of vegans. Some are vegan for medical reasons. Some are vegan for ethical reasons. I’ve certainly never been tempted to give up meat, but I do admit, meat is trickier to store than the vegetables are.  Freezing meat leaves you reliant on electricity for 6-12 months out of the year, (depending on where you live.) Drying it is doable, but not every piece of meat is suitable for drying.  I’ve never canned meat, but I’ve been told it loses a lot of it’s nutritional value in the process and during storage.  It is an interesting thought to give up on trying to store meat and just store more of the grains and legumes, which store really well.  Some B12 supplements would have to be stored too, and I don’ t know what the storage life of those are.  And then the carnivore in me says, “Screw that! Let’s just raise some rabbits!”

Is it possible some people could be forced to vegan diets during TEOTWAWKI? Short answer, no. Wild game can augment diets. There are lots of people near bodies of water with fish or shellfish. There are people like me living in areas with more farm animals than people, I don’t expect there’s any event that would see me short on meat.  Some animals, like cows, can get to markets without the need for conveyance or roads, it’s just that we’re out of practice doing it.  It would take something truly catastrophic before anyone would let beef just die somewhere without trying to walk it to a market to sell.

It’s quite likely that eating less meat will become more common as energy prices rise and populations do too. It’s quite likely, if you’re anything like me, your food storage is a little lighter on meat than it is grains and beans and vegetables. I try to fit in meatless meals every week or so, just so everyone has those in their dietary  memory and any shift to storage foods and less meat won’t come as a shock to anyone’s system.  By meatless meals, I’m talking about the endless variety of rice and bean dishes, not some weird tofu-meat-substitute-patty. Although, sometimes in summer our meatless meal is a salad meal.  Anyone else do meatless meals? Any vegan preppers out there? Who’s thinking seriously about that rabbit raising comment? :-D

– Calamity Jane


58 comments… add one
  • j.r. guerra in s. tx. January 3, 2013, 7:19 am

    I can definitely see meat shortages occuring if an economic crisis occurs. During droughts, many herds require supplemental feeding and should the transportation system go down, I can see a major ‘herd thinning’ be required. That or lose the entire herd to starvation.

    My wife owns a 2.5 acre pasture. It is divided into 3 separate equal sized parcels with fencing, so that they can be grazed down in rotation. She has two cows and as long as normal rainfall occurs – no problems – plenty of food.

    Part of the pasture became infected with a noxious weed that the cows refused to eat. It choked out the buffle grass and reduced the amount of food where it existed. We pulled it out and then mowed it – it came back. So after considering a goat (dog packs would kill it we thought), we chose a donkey instead. It ate that weed with no problem – its history now, theoretically.

    But there are now three animals, and especially now with drought occurring, supplemental feeding is required by us. There is only so much the land can support, after that it is slow starvation unless intervention occurs.

    • Odd Questioner January 3, 2013, 12:06 pm

      This is going to sound odd (go figure), but maybe we as survivalists should be re-defining the term ‘livestock’?

      Post-collapse, my idea of ‘livestock’ includes things like pigeon, squirrel, hare, moles, raccoon, and snake.

      Growing up in the Ozarks, I had no end to the amount of stuff that wound up as meat – from crawdads and raccoon, to rabbit, squirrel, you-name it. Some nights we ate what I happened to shoot – not out of necessity, but as a lesson to be taught and (initially) a celebration of accomplishment. (This probably explains why I never shot at opossum, crow, or the neighbor’s cats. :) )

      Nearly all of it tasted just fine, and I noticed no real problem with eating any of it. Funny thing was, beef and pork were considered a weekly special thing, and not everyday fare.

      Because of this, I would strongly suggest keeping a couple of pellet rifles around and as many pellets as you can store. If you get good at using them, you don’t have to worry so much about going vegan, you know?

  • GW January 3, 2013, 8:13 am

    My major “beef” with vegan would be getting enough calcium…no milk, cheese, or yogurt. Also if you’re going true vegan. Forget about honey, eggs, leather, fur, etc…

    I would think that in a TEOTWAWKI situation you would want to have all resources available for use and not limit yourself.

    That being said, going vegetarian may make some sense. Considering the additional resources it takes to produce animals for meat. (Animals will need fresh clean water, food/forage at least during the winter when pastures are not suitable, medical supplies to treat injuries and illness, shelter, protection from predators.) It may not be feasible to provide those to livestock at the risk of diminishing your supplies for your family.

    • Odd Questioner January 3, 2013, 7:34 pm

      You do realize some smartass would recommend grinding seashells to powder and make calcium tablets out of that, right?

      (come to think of it, that may not be a bad idea if you live where you can get hold of such things…)

      • Vicky January 14, 2013, 2:15 am

        We furnish oyster shell to our chickens and they do well on it. I guess you could pulverize shells for human consumption and it might be a lifesaver.

        For the poster who mentioned Nutria (I can’t find the post, now) it’s a dish that is eaten in Louisiana. My sister-in-law used to make it, smothered, and I could tell from a block away what was on the stove. It smells absolutely God-Awful and I could never rise about the foul odor. May I suggest Groundhog as a more palatable meat? They are supposed to be among the cleanest of wild game and we’re awash in them. They’re also nice and fat, although I’ve found the grease to turn rancid very quickly.

        If you can find a book titled “Laurel’s Kitchen”, probably out of print, it has many good vegetarian dishes and explains what nutrients each provides. The tone of the book is very yuppie-folksy and I enjoyed it. With teen-age boys, it’s necessary to provide meat for nearly every meal, but this book offers a base for experimentation and some idea of how to handle a meatless diet, no matter how short-term.

  • Ron January 3, 2013, 8:55 am

    People can live on vegan, or vegetarian diets. It can be tough getting enough protein and certain vitamins, but it’s doable. I don’t know that I’d want to do so, but certainly a largely vegetarian diet may make sense; short term, dried beans are relatively cheap in bulk; fairly easy to store (largely keeping the vermin out of them and keeping them dry) and provide most of your protein as well as carbs; supplemented by either a bit of meat (squirrel, rabbit, whatever) or dairy or eggs or even some grain based food, it’s adequate diet, maybe not ideal, but no one is going to die from starvation on it; that’s largely what Native Americans survived on for thousands of years (Beans and Squash and Corn, supplemented by some meat or fish, berries and what have you). Long term, most areas of the country can grow beans and/or peanuts, if you’re settled in for the long haul. I live out in the country on a cattle ranch; theoretically I could start slaughtering cattle but as you note, you got storage problems with that; 1000 lb cow is a heck of a lot to eat before it goes bad; if I don’t have refrigeration I’m stuck trying to dry, smoke, or salt it; and not all parts of the critter are amenable to that sort of preservation.

  • Max January 3, 2013, 10:26 am

    It is exactly the opposite if TEOTWAKI happens vegans would have very slim chance of survival if any. Vegan and even vegetarian diets are modern things there are no ancient tribe eating only plant food, and there are strong evidences that it is not healthy and for many people even not possible if they are not consuming supplements… so answer is obvious…

  • Vicky January 3, 2013, 10:50 am

    Ugh! I HATE rabbit, and there’s the thing that the meat is so lean that you can potentially burn more calories trying to digest it than you will gain from ingesting it. Rabbits also have worms and can carry diseases. A well-balanced rice/bean amino acid combination is healthy and we eat this anyway. I have no idea how much wild game will actually be out there, particularly with badly trained novice hunters stumbling in the brush, inadvertently shooting each other. blog has a wonderful “recipe” for a legume/grain soup mix that should cover all of your nutritional needs. With the addition of occasional meat and seasonal greens/vegetables, this should carry you through nicely. We eat canned meat and seem to be doing well. We only eat it about once a week, so that’s not a true test, and all I’ve noticed is that it’s best for soups, stews, etc., as the meat becomes very soft. Definitely add some canned bacon for flavor. Children, particularly, can suffer food fatigue to the point they become malnourished.

    • Odd Questioner January 3, 2013, 1:51 pm

      On the rabbit side, the problem is a lack of fats. This can be (partially) solved by eating the brains, marrow, and certain internal organs (e.g. the cleaned intestines).

  • Leon January 3, 2013, 11:09 am

    Anyone contemplating a vegan diet should first read “The Vegetarian Myth.” I think we eat too much meat, overall, but there does need to be a balance. We are, after all, omnivores.

    • Jason January 3, 2013, 5:10 pm

      You might consider reading – The China Study and Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease.

  • Tino Feld January 3, 2013, 11:10 am

    I’ve been a ‘vegetarian’ (whatever it means to you) for over 40 years, and so is my family (four kids). All of my children have been (or are currently serving) in the military. One of my sons is a SWAT-team member with his 205 lbs body of pure veggies.

    We once had our kids checked out in Switzerland vis-a-vis proper nutrition wise. The results were better than that of ‘normal’ meat eaters.

    One only has to recall that elephants and many other animals are vegetarians.

    Plenty of everything to eat out there sans the meat. Hundreds of different beans, lentils, rice, … the list is endless. I’d wager that we eat more diverse (home-made) food than your common family; we’ve to. You just need to educate yourself on the subject.

    I’m 100% sure we’ll survive. Those who disagree know nothing about vegetarian diet.

    Happy carrots,


    • black cat January 3, 2013, 11:27 am

      Tino is right. Remember that quinoa is a complete balanced protein. I am a meat eater but the wife and kid are not. I eat mostly veggie at home and really only eat meat because I love bacon and sausage, lol. Most meat eaters bock at the veggie thing because simply they love meat and generally only take in information that supports their belief. I think that in some areas the idea that wild game will last in a collapse situation is delusional at best and dangerous to your survival at worst. Meaties learn to love spinach and beans.

      • Tino January 3, 2013, 11:57 am

        When people ask me what do I eat, my response is everything except meat. This appears to be beyond their comprehension.

        Like I mentioned before, the list of meatless food sources is limitless.

        I’m also lost in the labels: ‘vegan,’ ‘vegetarian,’ lacto-vegetarian,’ etc. I just don’t eat meat – animals. I merely don’t like it, not other reason.

        I don’t give a rat’s behind what other people eat.

  • Jennifer January 3, 2013, 11:14 am

    I am a vegan prepper, although I prefer plant based as I am not a fanatic about it when eating out and I do have yogurt and milk on occasion. If you look at the science a plant based diet is very healthy, reversing heat disease in some cases and curing other diseases. If you look at the history of meat eating, up until 100 or so years ago meat was for special meals/feasts only, most people ate very little meat. You get enough of every nutrient with a plant based diet even B-12 if you grow your own food as it present in the soil. The problem in SHTF situation is that you may not be able to grow all of the vegetables and grains you need for good nutrition yourself. Sure you can store them but for how long? And will you really be able to get certain grains (hemp seeds) after the “new normal.” I think it requires a certain knowledge of nutrition and gardening skills. Both of which I am studying continuously.

    • sam January 3, 2013, 11:23 am

      actually, hemp seeds may be far easier than you think. bosnian bloggers point to the proliferation of cannabis in and around serajevo during the civil war in the early-90’s.

  • sam January 3, 2013, 11:18 am

    the vegans i know appear emaciated and unhealthy. we eat several meatless meals per week, but none of those meals are vegan. milk fat of one variety or another always makes its way onto the plate.

    storing meat is a concern for me. we have 30# of venison in the freezer and we could can it quickly if we lost electricity. the problem is that in an shtf situation, i would be remiss to leave the house to hunt. so, i’m working on getting a box of connibear traps for squirrels, possoms, and coons that may wander closer to the house.

    costco sells canned meats at reasonable prices. i always buy a few cases of canned chicken and tuna when we shop there.

    • Tino January 3, 2013, 12:03 pm

      I know plenty of very sick meat eaters.

      I, on the other hand (with my kids) have served in the military (Marine Recon). My first born son was one of the first to enter Iraq. My daughter was a pilot. My second son also was also a pilot and my youngest too is in the USAF. What a bunch of unhealthy Americans.

      All the best with tuna and chicken,


      P.S. Costco is an anti-gun company.

    • Edy January 14, 2013, 2:31 pm

      I am sure there are peploe out there that can get along just fine on an all-meat diet. There are peploe that run marathons that celebrate afterward with a tasty cigarette. Some peploe don’t exercise but are also a vision of health.However, I’ve learned the hard way I don’t fit in those catagories. My mother and I get to battle high cholesterol, fatty red meat just isn’t in the cards for us. We have to be very diligent in what food we put in our mouths.I’m sure there are other peploe out there that have similar problems. Vegetables have valuable vitamins, complex carbs, antioxidants and fiber. I’ll stick with the 5-9 servings/day of the fruits and veggies, thank you very much.

  • lee January 3, 2013, 12:02 pm

    Vegan Diet! What would be the point of surviving.

    • Tino January 3, 2013, 12:04 pm

      Then you know what to do.


  • GoneWithTheWind January 3, 2013, 12:11 pm

    Vegetarianism, Veganism are fads; cults and have little to do with health or a healthy diet. Just as a “paleo” diet is a fad or organic diet is a fad. Mostly not too harmful for adults but can cause serious problems in children and pregnant woman. It would be like creating a potato chip and pickle diet. I certainly have no problem with people deciding what fads they want to follow blindly it is the never ending effort they feel is necessary to justify their pseudo religions. The best diet is a varied diet where you don’t exclude entire classes of foods. Diversity is the key exclusion is the mistake.

    • Jason January 3, 2013, 12:45 pm

      “I certainly have no problem with people deciding what fads they want to follow blindly it is the never ending effort they feel is necessary to justify their pseudo religions.”

      How funny, you just contradicted yourself.

      • GoneWithTheWind January 4, 2013, 11:14 am

        Invest in a dictionary and look up “contradict”.

        Actually I am suprised. Since your new hobby is trying to bait me you pick this picayune part of what I wrote to regurgitate. I left you a target rich environment and that was the best you could do???

        • Jason January 9, 2013, 11:45 am

          1. You say you have no problem with a “vegetarian” lifestyle.

          2. It is abundantly clear you believe it is wrong, a “religious” choice – where you got that I have no idea AND you have a problem with it with your blatant & various, in your face defenses of McDonald’s food, moronically stating “food is food” & ammonium hydroxide laced beef is ok. Then cap it with sappy stories of lost love & “retarded” children being birthed as the sole result of a vegetarian mother.

          If that isn’t a contradiction then it is outright stupidity – you choose.

          Webster definition:

          a : slow of mind : obtuse
          b : given to unintelligent decisions or acts : acting in an unintelligent or careless manner
          c : lacking intelligence or reason

          a: to assert the contrary of : take issue with
          b: to imply the opposite or a denial of

          Wake up pal, a lot has happened & incredible advancements in knowledge & science have happened since 1970.

          • Jason January 13, 2013, 11:25 am

            Gone With The Wind – I guess you finally get how foolish you are, may you rest in peace.

            Hopefully you reincarnate into someone far more open minded, leaving behind your huge blind spots & pride filled assertions.

  • Tino January 3, 2013, 12:50 pm

    • Jason January 3, 2013, 4:30 pm

      Tino, prepare to meet Gone With The Wind.

      Questions like – “But seriously what is wrong with a Big Mac? Is it the bread? You don’t like bread? Is it the hamburger? You don’t eat hamburger? The lettuce? The cheese? What/which bias is it that is controlling your mind? ” – simply defy 21st century logic, reason & knowledge.

      Or when I provided this link ….

      His response was – “pink slime” is just meat. The haters named it pink slime so it would be easier to dupe the useful idiots.” Last time I checked, Ammonium Hydroxide which creates the pink color wasn’t part of the cow’s make up but it sure helps Lysol be a more effective cleaning product.

      • GoneWithTheWind January 4, 2013, 11:20 am

        Now, now! If you can’t face me don’t slink around behind my back.

        If ammonium hydroxide scares you then don’t eat meat or hamburger or where ever you fear it might be used.

        It is possible to find links that will support any wild ass beliefs you might have. But what you will NOT find from these reports and links is anything definitive. What you WILL find is weasel words like “might”, “may”, “possible” etc. Vegetarians also die from colon cancer, the so-called studies to prove vegetarians are going to live forever is false. we will all die and most of us if we are lucky enough to live long will die from heart disease, cancer or stroke. You can’t avoid it by eating only fruits and raw vegetables. Sorry…

      • Tino January 6, 2013, 2:57 pm


        There are all kinds of people on this earth.

        I merely attempted to post (in my first comments) that one can easily life as a vegetarian – my contribution to the dialogue. The fact that some people are stupid or ignorant, does not change that fact.

        As I mentioned, I don ‘t give a rat’s behind what some wind producer consume. I’d think that a combination of diverse vegetarian diet and fish (and maybe chicken) would be the best in hard circumstances.

        Being a vegetarian for me is not a religion. I just don’t like meat (or fart).

        I tells bundles when people attempt to disagree with the Mayo Clinic or the NIH. :)

        Jason, best to ignore fools of all kind and concentrate on good things in life like prepping. When the SHTF, some bitter people keep on breaking wind, the rest of us will survive.

        Vegetarism is so beyond some people’s comprehension that it’s unbelievable. I was once invited to a party and offered “vegetarian” food. While I was puking my guts out, my host explained to me that she had chopped the meat into so “tiny pieces” that it shoud not have mattered.

        Great topic, and great blog.

        Stay healthy and happy,


        • GoneWithTheWind January 7, 2013, 11:10 pm

          Many years ago a co-worker attended a company family picnic. Until then I had no idea his two young boys were mentally retarded. He kind of poured out his story to me that day. His wife was a vegetarian and when his wife got pregnant with their first child neither of them knew it would cause a birth defect. Sadly they discovered months after the child was born that a lack of essential vitamins/nutrients in his wife’s diet doomed the boy to a life of mental illness. By the time she got pregnant the swecond time they both knew and understood the risks but his wife was stubborn and would not give up vegetarianism. So the second boy was also born with a mental defect. By this time their love was destroyed since he realized what his wife had done and his wife became even more hardened in her belief system in reaction to the childrens mental illness. He was a destroyed man dedicated to his children but in a loveless marriage. I lost track of him and his family many years ago but I still think about him and the huge load of guilt and anger he carried. For what? A fad, a failed belief, a willingness to believe everything she read over good common sense.

          Tino; you may not care, you may choose to disagree but note that not once did I call you a “fool” or breaker of wind or “stupid” or “ignorant”. I wish you good luck.

          • Heather McFarland January 7, 2013, 11:38 pm

            I’m shocked at the medieval thinking on here by a couple of people. Veganism and vegetarianism are not fads. When followed properly they are very healthy. Children are not born “retarded” as you call it because mom was vegan or vegetarian. They are born challenged because (if this is in fact why and not an assumption of yours) mom didn’t make sure she was getting adequate nutrition simply as a human being who doesn’t know everything about nutrition. Everyone can become nutritionally deficient whether you’re a meat eater or vegan. There are body builders, professional sports athletes, doctors, etc. that prove that one can be perfectly healthy as a vegan.

          • Jason January 8, 2013, 12:22 am

            If you are a woman & a vegetarian, odds are you will have “retarded” children. Then continue being vegetarian & it will destroy the love in your marriage.

            Gone With The Wind, I did not think it was possible but you broke new ground with absolute stupidity.

          • GoneWithTheWind January 18, 2013, 10:47 pm

            I believe it is the norm that people who adopt fads do noit in fact think that they adopted a fad. Yes indeed veganism is a fad. If you eat an unrestricted and varied diet then you don’t need to take steps to get adequate nutrition. If you choose to restrict your diet because of a fad or religious-like belief then you MUST take supplements and constantly watch your diet to make sure you get the correct nutrition.

            Jason, you are still reaching into the depths to try to insult. Sad…

          • Jason January 19, 2013, 1:12 pm

            You began by insulting our intelligence by making the idiotic association of a vegetarian diet causing birth defects.

            In your example, the odds of 2 babies being born “retarded” as you said to the same mother – strictly because of that diet is almost impossible (it exceeds 1 in 10,000,000). I would bet anything there was a genetic reason that would have happened even if she ate a strict McDonald’s diet or cardboard.

            The truly sad part is you defend such a position with a supreme lack of knowledge. Here are some facts you are unaware of …. and if you are aware of them, you are a greater fool.

            1/3 of the population of India is actively vegetarian.

            Vegetarianism was endorsed in the United States in 1838 by the American Health Convention. Hmmm, kind of a long fad ….

            In China vegetarianism has been around since at least the 7th century. Tens of millions of people in China & Taiwan are strict vegetarians.

            There are many, many more examples. The problem is you think like a typical American in that you view us as the center of the world. You see something that seems to become popular, due to marketing & you consider it a fad without looking to see if it had been in play prior.

            Sadly, you arrogantly guard you precious & fragile point of view because you cannot help yourself. You have built a life around a paranoia position where the world is an inherent lie due to the deeply embedded experiences you had in your childhood.

            And that my friend is what is truly sad because you miss much of what life has to offer. You can live in the shallow, closed off world but don’t try to drag others into it with truly stupid claims.

            By the way, a vegetarian diet has all of the proteins, vitamins & minerals need to feed & adequately sustain the body. Come down off your high horse & look around without bias, you’d be amazed what you would discover.

          • GoneWithTheWind January 19, 2013, 11:55 pm

            Sorry, you are wrong. Vegetarianism practiced by pregnant women does indeed cause birth defects and even death of the child. In fact some parents have been sentenced to prison for killing their young children with vegetarain diets.
            It is difficult to get all the nutrician your body needs with a self restricted diet. Most vegetarians depend upon supplements; hardly “natural”.
            My question would be “why”? Why not eat fish, chicken, beef? Certainly you can eat whatever you want to but why limit your diet? I confess I limit mine; I have not eaten artichokes in 25 years. But pretty much I eat everything else available at the market. Oh yeah I have not eaten goat, at least not that I know of, but I would if it were placed in front of me sometime.

          • Jason January 20, 2013, 4:43 am

            Now I am worried about you – truly.

            “Vegetarianism practiced by pregnant women does indeed cause birth defects and even death of the child. In fact some parents have been sentenced to prison for killing their young children with vegetarain diets.”

            If those suppositions were even remotely correct, the news would be full of mass deaths of children in China, Taiwan, India, the Netherlands & many other highly populated vegetarian cultures, including the millions of Americans who follow a vegetarian diet.

            Here’s the thing Gone With The Wind you cannot support or provide ANY information that can support your claims & that my friend is really scary & this is too much for me so I am walking away from this discussion.

            Best of luck.

          • GoneWithTheWind January 20, 2013, 10:38 am

  • Vicky January 3, 2013, 12:52 pm

    Ugh! I HATE rabbit, and there’s the thing that the meat is so lean that you can potentially burn more calories trying to digest it than you will gain from ingesting it. Rabbits also have worms and can carry diseases. A well-balanced rice/bean amino acid combination is healthy and we eat this anyway. I have no idea how much wild game will actually be out there, particularly with badly trained novice hunters stumbling in the brush, inadvertently shooting each other. blog has a wonderful “recipe” for a legume/grain soup mix that should cover all of your nutritional needs. With the addition of occasional meat and seasonal greens/vegetables, this should carry you through nicely. We eat canned meat and seem to be doing well. We only eat it about once a week, so that’s not a true test of its viability, and all I’ve noticed is that it’s best for soups, stews, etc., as the meat becomes very soft. Definitely add some canned bacon for flavor. Children, particularly, can suffer food fatigue to the point they become malnourished. Don’t know how I’ll do without dairy products, which I love, so will probably buy a cow and arrange a closer friendship with someone who has a bull. Chickens are a necessity and think we need a beehive. Do look into the grain/legume plan on ButterandEggs. I really think it will work, and no, I have nothing to do with the blog, itself.

  • gat31 January 3, 2013, 2:16 pm

    To be honest in a SHTF situation, l’ll eat what l can find be it beans, squirrel, or what have you. l do try to keep canned meats as part of the stores but l don’t count on it for nutrition but more for just a variety.
    l’ve already started to eat more veggies to help condition myself to not be meat dependent.
    However, l am trying to get chickens for the eggs, fresh meat, and barter potential. l see a fresh chicken as being a high commodity for bartering down the road. Since l am tripling the size of my garden this year l think l will have plenty of spare food to feed the chickens without having to fork over too much in supplemental feed.

    @Sam try getting large rat traps for squirrels. Very cheap, reusable, and effective.

    • S.Q. Whrill January 3, 2013, 9:12 pm

      Sure pick on me.

  • Jason January 3, 2013, 2:34 pm

    I am on the same mindset page as Tino. I do what I do because I like it & works for me.

    I was a performance athlete for many years & geared my diet towards creating optimal output. I have educated myself with chemistry, nutrition & physiology, narrowing things down considerably through personal trial & error. I wasn’t a preacher of what diet was best because this was only for me & what you ate was your thing. I was simply educated & wanted to be the best I could at my endeavors.

    I documented my performance & ultimately found diets that were balanced, extremely low fat & low protein (relative to the American beliefs of protein intake) created the greatest output. When I say balanced, I mean extremely balanced. A burger with lettuce, bread & tomato is not close to being balanced in my book.

    Whether you believe it or not, my 6 day a week workout that I did for years was a 2 mile swim (1.5 miles full out, .5 mile cool down), 1,000 sit ups, 45 minutes cycling then spend a solid 30 minutes with specific exercise to whatever sport I was doing. I slept 8 hours & was rarely tired after the workouts when I found the dietary balance. I also worked 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.

    It was 5 small meals a day & ate nothing that was processed or chemically enhanced because I could definitely feel the lag. No fast food, the bane of the American diet or other types prepackaged meals. It was a diet that is inconvenient for most people but it was my thing.

    The thing is, the human body can run on pretty much anything & their is residual effects to those choices – lack of clarity & quickness in thought, depression, bouts of anger, body fat, achy, vision diminishes, sensitivity to light, elevated blood pressure, constipation, elevated cholesterol, skin discoloration or dryness & much, much more. They all sort of creep up but they will manifest at some point.

    It is sort of like a race car – sure you can feed it regular gas & recycled oil & it will go & pretty fast but it can never reach it’s potential & will always breakdown faster. When you break the engine down, you will see the effects of a “poor diet”.

    Bottom line, surviving as a Vegan or Vegetarian is super easy once you get your mind around it.

  • T.R. January 3, 2013, 3:28 pm

    Thing is about wild game , depending on your area of the country , considering all the people that will be ” hunting ” game could get scarce very quick . Just sayin

  • Ray January 3, 2013, 4:00 pm

    A lot of my brothers frends were “hippie deadheads” back in the ’70s , allmost all of them were “veggies”. MOST of them had real problems with nutrition. The big obsession back then was a “completed protein”.(allong with wether or not LSD trashed your DNA) Its a lifestile that demands huge ammounts of time and energy, a realy close helth food store, a PETA membership and a buttload of money. Being Vegin has not one thing to do with health and everything to do with “anamal rights” (yes the spelling was on porpous) . I was around when this crap got started and about 2/3 of the old “vegin hippies” I knew in the ’70s are now dead. cancer and heart attacks mostly.(probably all the coke , pot ,LSD , meskilin ,and peyote) In fact I can’t see where the diet did any good at all, other than to make them “better” than the meat eaters. You know “above” us, more “moral”

  • Kate in Colorado January 3, 2013, 5:10 pm

    A very good read is the “Diet for a Small Planet” published over thirty years ago. It is filled with recipes for balanced nutrition without the use of meat. It’s been one of my favorite cookbooks for years.

    • Tino January 6, 2013, 3:13 pm

      Great book.

      It reminds me of the fact that the Danes did a huge study on their people after the WWII, comparing health statistics prior, during and after the war.

      Surprise, the Danes were the healthiest during the war, when they were forced to slaughter their pigs that consumed 20 times the nutrition of grains. Naturally, they lacked sugar and other fats.

      Immediately after the war, when the meat, fats and sugar were introduced to the diet again, health of Danes dropped dramatically.

      Like some poster mentioned, a hundred years ago the main diet consisted of bread and food made from grains, such as porridge, in most of the western world.

      Some studies suggest that what the poorest Indians eat: dal, rice and chapati bread, might be the proper combination of food for human beings. Anyways, it tastes good like all Indian vegetarian food.

      For those who have hard time starting vegetarian life, I sugggest visiting an Indian, Italian and Mediterranian restaurants. 95% of our vegetarian diet comes from those.


  • Pineslayer January 3, 2013, 10:18 pm

    I think that pure vegan is a little much. When TSHTF there will be an increase in varied diets, just like it was meant to be. I predict grasshoppers will be hunted to near extinction in about 90 days after the ball drops :) My wife is a veggie, but will eat meat if it is pulverized to an unrecognizable crumb and mixed in with her normal fare. I figure my dogs will eat lots of chippies, rice, and looters.

    Kate in Colorado, I will look for that book, thanks.

  • ND January 3, 2013, 11:04 pm

    A vegan diet? Not a Chance. A Vegetarian diet? Not exactly. A diet strong on vegetables? Yes that is realistic in my area. Like someone stated before more cows than people around. My disability is taking animals apart. So I will trade my produce for your meat and we’ll both be happy. My better half is a Strict vegetarian since birth. My daughter and I are Omnivores. None of us will suffer when the SHTF. Balances are key

  • Anne Ollamha January 6, 2013, 12:59 pm

    While it’s good to plan to store food against whatever SHTF situation arises, and we will stock up according to our preferences, the reality is that in a long-term breakdown, we will gradually adapt to eating what we can get.

  • Jon Lorisen January 6, 2013, 4:53 pm

    I think it’s more important to prep for a regional diet rather than focusing on carnivore vs. vegetarian, though I think an absolute refusal to eat any kind of meat or anything related such as eggs, cheese, insects, honey is very limiting (to put it mildly) in a survival situation. I have a few friends that practice an extremely vegan “lifestyle” and it doesn’t look very practical. They claim they would rather starve than eat any other way. I’d rather eat whatever I could find for my family than starve, personally.

    As for the idea of regional diet, some parts of the world simply do not have access to food that would allow for a local vegetarian diet. My wife’s family are Inuvialuit, living in the arctic. You can survive (no choice) on a nearly all-meat diet as long as you eat the “bad meat” found in organs, brains, fat, marrow and stop focusing on the “good meat” which is the type of tasty but lacking in nutrition meat cuts we buy at the grocery store.

    In other areas, there may be limited access to meat (or obvious meat) due to environmental conditions or whatever. In certain urban environments, there is a lot of meat available as long as you are willing to eat raccoon, pigeons, etc. Farming your own small game may also be an option. Coastal areas may have some excellent access to seafood which could be the core part of your food prep.

    For long-term storage, it has been easier for me to store more grains and veggies than actual meat. Since we moved south, we eat far less meat than ever before. We don’t have as much access to wild game and we simply can’t afford (and are not too interested in) buying steaks at the grocery store. I can buy a lot of lentils and beans for the same cost as a couple of t-bones and they last a whole lot longer!

    Being flexible and tailoring your short-term and long-term food prep to match your environment is the strategy I advocate. Store what you can get locally as much as possibly and eat the same. Radical diet changes can be pretty hard on the body and sometimes some odd, unknown food allergies can crop up when you actually have to eat your stored food.

  • izzit January 7, 2013, 1:18 am

    If the S truly HTF you WILL live on plants. (Google N. Korea). You would eat lichen. You would eat grass and bark and shoe leather. You would eat anything you can get your hands on, regardless of whether it had any food value. Either everyone is starving and has already killed most animal life, or the animal life has already been decimated by whatever is making life desperate for humans too. Might as well figure out how to eat your veggies now. The reverse holds true – Vegans, include meat in your preps. Never say never… and people say they’d do anything for bacon, see how much it’d trade for!
    (BTW it would also be better to have a little fat on yourself and at hand… no sense in starting out skinny.)

  • Heather McFarland January 7, 2013, 1:42 am

    I’m a vegan prepper. I’m new to prepping so I don’t have a vast knowledge on the subject. What I do know is that I’m drying fruits and veggies. I store grain. I know how to make tasty vegan burgers and other meat substitutes. However, in a SHTF scenario, if I have to eat meat, I will. I don’t want to, but if given the choice to eat meat than die, I will be a meat-eating mofo;) For some background on me- I’m vegan for ethical reasons. I believe that if you choose to eat meat including hunting for it, you have a moral obligation to minimize suffering. I was a meat eater until my early 30’s. I butchered chickens from ages 3-5 years old. I lived on a farm. My mom didn’t have objections to me doing that at such a young age (right or wrong.) So I have been on both sides of this issue.

  • Yikes! January 11, 2013, 12:48 am

    Vegans! I thought that the objective of prepping was to survive the apocalypse, not to die of malnutrition and a generalized dissatisfaction with life.

  • Carla January 12, 2013, 5:28 pm

    I am a vegetarian prepper and I can tell you my stock pile of beans, lentils, rice, wheat, quinoa, nuts, potatoes, pasta, vegetables, and fruits will be what will keep me and my family fed. I grew up vegan – no dairy products – but began eating a limited amount of dairy in my high school years that I continue onto now. I can live with or without dairy. For calcium in a dairy free situation – I will go to black strap molasses, collard greens, turnip greens, kale, soybeans, and navy beans. Check out this website for amount of calcium in each food –
    I am not a tofu lover, eat it on occasion, and gluten based products are a “special” meal, not an everyday occurrence in my home. Unprocessed food in its “raw components” is always the best no matter what dietary choices you make.

    • Jason January 12, 2013, 7:52 pm

      Thanks for that link – it’s really a great source of information!

  • Ned Ludd January 13, 2013, 10:20 am

    We tend towards a diet light on the meat, most Americans eat way too much. 4 oz-6 oz per day is plenty for nutritional purposes. Many times we eat less than that by making soups, stews, stir fry’s and casreoles with maybe 1 chicken breast in it.

    The big problem is the lack of real nutrition in the modern commercially produced vegetable matter. This is why many vegetarians/vegans take supplements. Have you ever stopped and looked at the “soil” in a modern farm field. Mostly it is just grey, lifeless matter and relies on fertilizer to create beautiful “food products” that have no vitamin or mineral content. To produce nutritious food requires nutritious soil, producing nutritious soil costs time & money. Quality food comes from your own garden (if you put the time into soil building) or local small scale growers.

    If/when TSHTF I will eat anything I have to to keep fit. Hell, I eyeball the big fat Nutria which live along the bike path every morning, 4 legs, eats grass, leave nice game trails and look easy to snare…


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