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By Daisy Luther | The Organic Prepper
Last week I wrote an article in response to the media’s vilification of preppers in the aftermath of the horrible tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut.
The article was quoted in an article on Yahoo.com, to my great astonishment, and that is when I saw how little most people understand about prepping. You can see in most of the 4492 comments the article received that many folks just don’t “get it”.
My inbox was filled with a barrage of hate mail and a number of people felt compelled to leave angry (and rather ignorant) comments on my website. I got messages from people that called me “batsh*t crazy”, messages from gun control advocates, messages from people who directly blamed me and all other preppers for the massacre, and even one particularly hate-filled email from a person who said “I hope that your kids are killed at the next school shooting.”
All of this leads me to reconfirm my belief that people sincerely do not understand why we do what we do, and that ignorance leads to fear.
People fear what they don’t understand and hate what they can’t conquer. ~ Andrew Smith
If you go back through history, the “visionaries” or “wise ones” were always mocked at best and feared at worst. They were cast out of society to live alone at the edge of the village; children would sneak onto their property to show their bravery; they were burned at the stake as witches and heretics. Anything the larger percentage of people does not understand is treated as something evil and frightening.
Am I saying that preppers are all visionaries and sages? Not in a mystical “Joan of Arc” sense – but I am saying that preppers are willing to see the writing on the wall and search for a deeper understanding.
Many preppers are preparing for an economic collapse and the subsequent social collapse that will be close behind.
If you don’t think this is realistic, then you aren’t paying attention to the world around you.
People have this image of hunger – they see it as the skeletal dark-skinned children in some third world country, bellies protruding as malnutrition sets in.
But the face of hunger and poverty today is as close as your next door neighbor. Millions of North Americans can barely afford to put their next meal on the table. They are living in their cars, if they’re lucky, and without shelter if they are not so lucky.
For many people the economic collapse has arrived. Their “end of the world” event has already occurred in the form of a job loss, the foreclosure of the family home, or an illness that has caused such massive personal debt that there is truly no way out of it. Less than 60% of Americans who are of age to be in the work force have a full time job. When you tally that, it means that more than 100 million people are out of work. More than 100 million people in the United States have no jobs. For more than 100 million people, the economic collapse has arrived in full force.
Meanwhile, as people all over the globe (think Greece, Italy, Spain, Argentina, the UK) struggle with high rates of unemployment, the prices of everything have gone up. People are struggling to keep such simple necessities as running water and electricity. Grocery costs have skyrocketed – the World Bank released a statement that global food prices increased by 10% in ONE MONTH – July 2012.
And it’s only going to get worse – the Farm Bill was blocked by the US House of Representatives, and this means that the prices will skyrocket, as farms are no longer subsidized. This will cause the industry to revert to the Agricultural Act written in 1949, meaning that the government is obligated to purchase dairy products from farmers at a cost that is twice what they are receiving now – this means that the price of a gallon of milk may skyrocket in January to as much as $8 per gallon. This is not an endorsement of government subsidies – this is a simple cause and effect observation to explain the reason people will be shocked when they go to the dairy case come January.
The price of food is increasing rapidly and dramatically. Mac Slavo, of SHTFplan, wrote,
“We’ve seen what happens in countries where the populace is forced to spend 50% or more of their earned income on food. Despite how the media portrays it, the riots we’ve seen in the middle east, Greece and Spain have been largely fueled by cost increases in food and the inability of individuals to provide the basic essentials for their families.
Americans have been, for the most part, immune from these pressures thus far. But the social safety nets are very quickly becoming overburdened and prices at grocery stores are rising consistently and without pause.
With the consumer economy coming to a standstill, continued central bank monetary easing, job losses and wage reductions, and the urbanization of millions of people, it is only a matter of time before Americans are forced to spend 50% or more of their paychecks just to stay alive.”
When you read the above information, the case becomes clear for stocking a long-term food storage pantry. It makes personal economic sense to purchase commodities like grains for your family at today’s prices to be consumed when the price skyrockets even further.
It seems, from some of the comments I’ve seen and received from non-preppers, that stockpiling food is acceptable, if somewhat eccentric. But being able to defend that food is strictly out of the question.
“I have no problem with anyone stockpiling water and food for their ability to prolong their agonizing but inevitable death should this generation experience the “end of the world”. Unless you have a new planet in your back pocket that is complete with a an oxygen supply, food and water, your efforts to live past the rest of us will be the least enjoyable time spent here on earth. I believe it is the preppers’ need for stockpiling ammunition that is the bizarre twist on these so-called survival skills that is the “killer”. Pardon my pun. You see, if your survival depends on killing others than the world in which you will exist will not be worthy of keeping.”
“They are delusional anti-social people. If you try to reason with them, you are attacked in the forums. You try to point out to them the truth, they slander you. These “preppers” should ALL be arrested , their food stockpiles distributed to the homeless, their guns conficated [sic]. Start with the people on the survivalist blogs.”
“With all due respct [sic], many people are missing the point. Our Constitution garentees [sic] us the right to bear arms, but not to stockpile an arsenal. You folks who stockpile food and supplies are wise. It is the guns and huge quantities of bullets that are the problem.“
“Guns dont [sic] kill people. People who have no friends and have basements jammed full of ammo and canned goods kill people.“
“You know…this is just a bunch of gun nuts going out and buying all the guns they can get before the laws become stricter. Just a bunch of weak people living in fear of nothing. I choose not to live in fear and if the apocalypse comes…oh well. Sure, I’ll stock up on food when a blizzard is in the forecast…but do I have an arsenol [sic] in my basement…no. Honestly, people like peppers need to stop thinking all hell is going to break loose, and just live in REALITY.“
So, this leads us to the next misconception about preppers – why do many prepared individuals feel that there might be social collapse to go along with the economic collapse? Why do they feel that in the wake of a disaster that they and their families could be threatened?
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