Let’s Flip The Script: What if A Carnist Was Stranded On A Desert Island?

Caffeinated Thoughts
5 min readMar 9, 2023

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What would carnists do if they were stranded on a desert island?

Photo by jcob nasyr on Unsplash

Introduction

For centuries, carnists have been asking vegans the one duplicitous question disguised as genuine concern:

What would you do if you were stranded on a desert island with nothing to eat?

And for centuries, vegans have been counter questioning carnists what they would do if they lived in a city overflowing with the excess of modern day civilization, the abundance of fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, pulses, lentils, and dry fruit. But today, that isn’t the answer I’m going to give carnists. Nope.

Today, we’re going to flip the script.

Lets flip the script on the carnists and see if they would survive on a desert island if all they had to eat were animals.

What would carnists do?

Okay, so I want you all to picture this every step of the way with me. Lets have some fun shall we?

You’ve just survived your plane crash, ship sinking, or whatever and wake up on a strip of sand on the beach of a desert island in the middle of the Pacific. Now what?

You wake up, rub your eyes groggily, and start scanning your surroundings for signs of life. You may find another survivor in this dilemma with you or none at all. You start walking towards the interior of the island, towards the palm trees and all the vegetation in search of a stream. You have to get your food and shelter sorted before nightfall. You don’t want to be naked outside in the dark all alone, at the mercy of the elements.

Barely have you walked a few paces into the vegetation, you hear a few screeching noises. That sounds like wild boar, you think to yourself. And as you’re making your way inside, you come across an entire family of boar all scampering away from this alien intruder to their small island home. But that doesn’t matter to you now does it? All it would take is a couple of traps and a heaping of patience before you catch at least a couple of them. Just a single one of those fat little suckers are enough to last you a week, if you can digest the meat that is.

“Thank god I ain’t a goddamn vegan, I can eat everything on this island!”, you think to yourself gleefully.

As you contemplate cooking them over a spit, while gathering twigs and sticks to make a trap, you come across something else. Well well well, what do we have here?

A coconut tree with at least a dozen juicy tender coconuts, all for yourself. You might even come across some wild fruit trees. But that doesn’t matter.

Because why on earth would you eat fruit when you’re a natural cold blooded killer? Besides, animals are the only food source found on desert islands right? So we’re just going to stick to animals for the purpose of our carnists ethical dilemma over what vegans would eat on a desert island.

Why on earth would you go through the trouble of plucking fruit from trees or collecting them from the ground when you can carefully plan, make traps, wait for eons for one of the little rascals to fall into them, do the nasty deed of shoving a blunt stick through their throats while they scream and struggle as the blood splatters all over your face and body, then skin them, separate all the guts and organs to be cooked separately, and then cook the meat over a spit, enjoy the goodness of meat without a single grain of salt on it? How appetizing! Am I right?

Ohhhh now it doesn’t seem as appetizing to you, is it? What’s that I hear? You’d rather just stick to the coconuts and fruit? OMG! Isn’t that like an insult to your natural instincts? What about protein? Real nutrition can be obtained only by getting a bit of boar blood on your hands, isn’t it?

It was pretty amusing while making fun of the hypothetical vegan stranded on a desert island, wasn’t it? What happened now? Scared to get a little blood on your hands? I thought humans were inherently carnists, aren’t we? Scared to gut a helpless boar — which you have to wrestle with first, before you can perfectly subdue — with the sharpest rock you can find on the island?

Let’s say you actually mobilize the guts to finally gut the little stinker. But what now? Since you have zero experience actually slicing up animals for food in the real world, you’ll have to figure out what you can and cannot eat all on your own. You’ll have to shove your hand deep inside its dead body to remove all the unnecessary organs getting blood and digestive juices all over yourself. You’ll have to break its bones one by one. You’ll have to skin it, and remove all the other unnecessary gunk out of it before you can finally cook it. And then when that’s all done, you’ll have your bland boar steak ready to be cooked over a spit.

What’s that I hear? Seasoning? You’re a natural caveman. There’s no need of any seasoning for you. You’ll be perfectly fine getting through the night with some bland boar. Enjoy your meal, as I happily relish all the juicy coconuts on the island along with their precious meat which will replace all of my lost electrolytes and energy. Also let’s not forget that with the energy you spent right from catching the boar to finally eating it, I could empty at least a dozen coconut trees on the island. Talk about being resourceful.

Also, have fun digesting your boar through the night. Since humans were never meant to subsist solely on animal based food, the lack of fiber in your diet to push the meat forward is sure going to do a hell of job to your digestive system and intestines day after day. You will be heavily constipated, lying on the ground screaming in agony and pain the next day, while I will be rejuvenated and energized from the antioxidants and electrolytes of the coconuts, ready to explore new parts of the island for food, or figure out a way to summon for help.

Conclusion

Of course, all this is if you did summon the courage to subdue the boar and kill it with your bare hands in the first place.

And we know for a fact that most meat eaters are incapable of that. Admit it. Most people eat meat only because there’s someone else doing all the dirty work for them. So let’s uncover this “desert island question” for what it really is.

Livekindly busts this logical fallacy with the following explanation in their blog dedicated to just the topic:

“The question itself is a red herring used to discredit the purpose of veganism; a straw man argument which essentially suggests, “If a vegan would eat meat to survive on a desert island then veganism is clearly impossible/unrealistic.” This reduces veganism to one simple (incredibly unlikely) scenario and attacks it on that ground alone as opposed to examining in an everyday situation.”

So there you have it. That’s what the desert island question really is. A red herring “used to discredit the purpose of veganism”. The next time a meat eater asks you this question, you know what to say.

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Caffeinated Thoughts

No niche in particular. I am a keen observer of society and gain my inspiration for new articles from observation.