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Vegans vs. The Omnivores~ Survival

 
 
Reply Wed 23 May, 2012 12:41 pm
Forty people swim from a sinking ship to an island.

It's fifty miles square, forested, fruit trees, coconut trees, lots of sandy beach places and rocky inlets, some jungle, some swamp, some Savannah, lots of fresh water, some wild pigs, rabbits, goats and bunches of seabirds.
They find some wild maize and what looks like wheat growing on a flat place not far from the beach where they made it to shore.

There are twenty vegans and twenty omnivores.
They have no tools or weapons.

They decide to live separately in two groups.
They each go to distant ends of the island and never see nor speak to each other again.

If ten years pass without rescue, which group will survive? Why and how?

Joe(been in both groups)Nation
PS: bonus points~ if they did meet after ten years, would they still speak the same language?
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Type: Question • Score: 13 • Views: 5,937 • Replies: 93

 
Cycloptichorn
 
  4  
Reply Wed 23 May, 2012 12:46 pm
@Joe Nation,
Quote:

If ten years pass without rescue, which group will survive? Why and how?


The omnivores will survive. In large part because they will hunt and kill the vegans when the pigs run out.

The simple fact of the matter is that Omnivores have inherent survival bonuses over animals that restrict their diet - and that's one of the prime reasons that humans have been so successful as a species.

Cycloptic(Long Pig'll do in a pinch)horn
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Lustig Andrei
 
  2  
Reply Wed 23 May, 2012 12:50 pm
@Joe Nation,
The only part of this that I can answer with a fair amount of authority is the last part in re: language. Yes, they'd still be speaking the same language; 10 years isn't long enough for language to change that drastically. However, the two dialects they spoke would probably be sufficiently different from each other to cause some minor communication problems.

As for the part about their diets, I have absolutely no idea which group would fare better. (My gut instinct is to guess that there would be no statistically significant difference in the survival potential for either group. But a nutritioniist I'm not so wot do I know?)
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  2  
Reply Wed 23 May, 2012 12:55 pm
@Joe Nation,
I believe the omnivores will have a higher probability of survival. But to be honest both groups would probably do better if they intermingled and just each followed their personal preference.

But my rationale for that answer is similar to Cyclo's (without the omnivores eating the vegans). I suspect that balanced nutrition for a human being is easier to maximize with access to fauna as well as flora. Especially if there is any level of restriction of availability of food, or types of food.

The main reason I think this is that almost all native cultures are opportunistic omnivores and the dentition of homo sapiens seems to indicate that our ancestors were primarily that way as well. A 20 year span isn't really enough time to test this all out, but following the intent of your scenario I would project it that way.
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tsarstepan
 
  2  
Reply Wed 23 May, 2012 01:25 pm
@Joe Nation,
If there are trees, rocks, etc.... then humans WILL ALWAYS have tools to work with. So, the advantage that the vegans have over the omnivores in terms of lack of tools and weapons is basically moot.

I believe that the vegan population would dwindle much more quickly then the omnivore population. Not every one in the vegan camp would die from malnutrition but enough would pass away that they couldn't sustain their own colony. Now if this hypothetical island was overrun by soy beans then they might have a fighting chance.... Rolling Eyes

Omnivores have the additional advantage in being able to fish, hunt for clams and other shellfish from said fresh water as well as the ocean.

The omnivores will survive given the higher intake of protein along with the other additional food groups present on their respective islands. Better chance to build up a minor society and possible fleet of boats to escape said island.

Worst case scenario, the omnivores still will have a far greater intake of protein then the vegans. Enough of an advantage that they can invade the vegan's island and pretty much take the vegans ... lunch money from them without a fight. Remember, it's a dog eat dog world.

Languages wouldn't likely evolve that quickly that each group couldn't understand each other in the period of 10 years separated from each other.
Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Wed 23 May, 2012 01:56 pm
@tsarstepan,
I think the big problem for the pure vegan is the amount of energy it takes to harvest the calories. A guy sitting there with a fishing pole takes very little energy to eventually catch a high-energy meal. While fruits and nuts will provide good calories and are easy to harvest, grain is a whole other story altogether - it takes a lot of work to harvest a field of grain by hand, with no tools, and to then separate it, grind it, and bake it into something eatable. That's a lot of calories.

Actually, if they were lucky enough for the grain to be Quinoa, I would put their survival chances way, way up.

Cycloptichorn
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 May, 2012 02:11 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
"While fruits and nuts will provide good calories"
The problem with this source is that one has to wait for the fruits and nuts to grow in season. After trees and bushes have had their respective food stuffs emptied then one has to move on to the next source and the waiting game is an issue for coming back to the used up trees/bushes.

Also, the output of these trees and bushes are subject to the weather and the quality of the soil present.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 May, 2012 02:19 pm
@tsarstepan,
Coconut trees imply a tropical clime, which tends to have a higher percentage of fruit and nut trees that fruit year-round. Coconut palms put out about 40 nuts each, year-round.

The vegans could luck out big-time with washed-up kelp and sea grass. If they were REALLY lucky, they'd find a few Fig trees on the island - they also fruit year-round in warm climates.

Cycloptichorn
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Ceili
 
  2  
Reply Wed 23 May, 2012 02:33 pm
In order to harvest crops they'd need iron. You can't dig decent loam with rocks and sticks. Bamboo maybe, again depending on the soil. They could harvest large amount of compost material, but that would take awhile to make enough to have a garden bed. Once they had workable soil, it would be very possible - providing they had the seeds/tubers.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 May, 2012 03:17 pm
@Ceili,
You could build some pretty sharp stone implements, if you had the right kind of stone. I've built a stone ax and plow before that worked okay, though the ax head would fly off every 10th hit or so. You'd have to pull the plow yourself, which would be pretty tough. Would probably be hard to find open land to farm, too - you'd probably have to clear some land using fire. That's dangerous on a small island.

It might be better just to be pure gatherers, depending on the amount of resources available. Easier to plant more berry bushes and fruiting trees than it is to grow enough wheat.

Cycloptichorn
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farmerman
 
  4  
Reply Wed 23 May, 2012 03:20 pm
@Joe Nation,
now this is why I stick it our with 2K. I know in my heart of hearts that some times a thread will appear that I can set back on my ass and LMAO at.

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Lustig Andrei
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 May, 2012 03:20 pm
@Ceili,
C'mon, Ceili. Ancient man was doing basic agriculture looong before he learned iron smelting. It wasn't the type of thing we think of as "farming" today, maybe, but certainly they planted and grew certain crops, using wooden sticks,bone impements for turning soil and, later, bronze. All before iron.
Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Wed 23 May, 2012 03:41 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
Lustig Andrei wrote:

C'mon, Ceili. Ancient man was doing basic agriculture looong before he learned iron smelting. It wasn't the type of thing we think of as "farming" today, maybe, but certainly they planted and grew certain crops, using wooden sticks,bone impements for turning soil and, later, bronze. All before iron.


Yeah, but they also likely ate meat, supplementing their caloric intake during the years it took to get the agriculture going. The vegans will have little of that during that time.

Cycloptichorn
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 May, 2012 03:51 pm
There wouldn't be a problem for either group, as they are. The problems would arise as they reproduced--the children of the vegans would be fucked.
Green Witch
 
  6  
Reply Wed 23 May, 2012 03:58 pm
Vegans can only survive in a civilization that is so abundant with food that they can eat like the pickiest toddler and still maintain a healthy weight. Few societies offer such diversity on a daily basis and certainly not on an island. Put these self-obsessed picky eaters in a food limited environment and they will soon be the main course themselves. I would recommend cooking them in bacon, as most of them look rather tough and stringy.
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maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Wed 23 May, 2012 06:40 pm
@Setanta,
Are Vegans allowed to breastfeed?
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 May, 2012 06:41 pm
@maxdancona,
Sure, but it won't matter.
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 May, 2012 06:48 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
I'm just trying to make the question more convoluted than it needs to be.
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 May, 2012 06:50 pm
@Ceili,
Now, if you do have grain, you'll have to mill it. Those stones are mighty heavy, hard to make too I'd imagine. If you want cakes, and pastries and such. But then, you'd probably have to a cow, for the butter. Is that allowed?
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 May, 2012 07:04 pm
The OP specified swine and goats (which suggest man once lived there). So you'd have milk from the goats, and the butter fat content from domestic goats can be quite high. Can't say if you can make butter from it, or at least what we would recognize as butter. I also don't know the butter fat content of wild or feral goats. At any event, you'd have to domesticate the suckers first.
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