Rabbit Starvation

Hunting and gathering people were never immune to starvation prior to their involvement in state welfare systems.

Hunting and gathering people were never immune to starvation prior to their involvement in state welfare systems. Among most subarctic and arctic hunting peoples such as the Innu (Montagnais-Naskapi) of Labrador and Québec, the Gwich'in of the Northwest and the Copper Inuit, starvation was fairly common. In times of hardship, when game such as caribou, moose or bear was unobtainable, much greater reliance was put on smaller animals, eg, rabbits and hares. Rabbits in particular offer very lean meat, and "rabbit starvation" refers to the almost total lack of fat in such a diet. At the end of a long winter, when even larger game animals were lean, the same fate might occur. An individual could ingest many pounds of meat at frequent intervals but derive little nutrition.


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