Working to Steal

When surviving in the wilderness, I was under the impression that if someone killed an animal for food the hunger situation was averted. I was so wrong. Killing an animal is one thing, but the work does not stop there, because you must find a way to separate the meat from the bone. With skin, layers of fat, and impenetrable tendons, simply cutting off chunks of meat is quite difficult. Even with blades of chipped obsidian, a glass like stone with incredible slicing abilities used by indigenous peoples for knives and spear tips and even by modern day surgeons, cutting through the lamb leg was a humbling task.

To add to the realism of the experience, the class was broken up into competitive teams, each aiming to prepare the most amount of food. Therefore, the team capable of cutting off as much meat as possible was the winner. However, the realism did not stop there. Teams, as in real life, were competing against one another; therefore, stealing was entirely acceptable. Consequently, teams were constantly in a state of paranoia. Teammates feverishly hacked away at the meat while others kept watch for intruders.

My team learned the hard way. Our skillful butchers were tirelessly cutting away at the meat, with mounds of nutritious food piling up. As a result, we were an easy target for intruders, because our minds were invested in our work as opposed to protecting our profits. A sneak attack from a nearby tribe resulted in half our meat pile being stolen. Not only would we starve, but our morale was struggling as well. From the standpoint of an indigenous people, I could see the advantages of stealing versus working.  The quick tactics of a sneak attack is far more efficient than slaving away at work; therefore, our team turned to the dark side, abandoning all morals in exchange for easy nutrients.

Unfortunately, other teams were well fortified, expecting attacks at all times. As a result, very little meat was gained from our attempts of stealing. Regardless, we learned to appreciate the efforts of modern butchers, making the accessibility of meat (without bones and tendons) easy. Furthermore, I now better understand why tribes took protective precautions seriously, because a minor distraction results in an entire loss of a meal.

             -Martin Keyt

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