So what bullet points can we take from this:
- Cannibalism cannot be counted on as a long term survival strategy. If everyone does it, you run out of people. If nobody does it but you, you are a pariah; just ask Jeffrey Dahmer.
- Cannibalism shows up in many long term famine or starvation situations. It may not be a good strategy, but it will occur.
- A majority of people would rather starve than be cannibals. Even in situations of mass starvation, the cannibals generally stayed low key initially. As time went on the starving people became a little less shocked by it. It does not appear to ever have been used on people who were well off and able to defend themselves. Rampaging hordes of cannibals are somewhat unlikely.
- In modern times man-made causes of famine are very common. In some cases the government went so far as to confiscate food from starving people. Being too public about the possession of food, or simply to fat and happy is likely to lead to confiscation.
- Linked to the above. Political circumstances often cause the famines to be directed against certain particular types of individuals or groups. If you could be classified within one of these groups (racial minority, religious minority, etc) than various precautionary measures would be of particular importance.
- Those without money or tradable resources (ie: the poor) will suffer most.
- They can easily last two years. The turbulence that surrounds some of these events, even when warfare is not involved, seems to necessitate an extended recovery time.
- We will cover this in more detail later. But the largest killer in most famines is not starvation, but the final deadly horseman: Death: often referred to as Pestilence.
The Fourth Rider: Death - often referred to as Pestilence