I’m confident that most of you have plenty of food stocked away. Many of you have at least a small vegetable garden, and some of you even have livestock of some sort.
That’s great, but what happens during an extended disaster or a total collapse of society? Eventually, your freeze-dried food and canned goods will run out. You’ll have a tough time getting all the essential amino acids your body needs from plant-based protein sources alone. It’s not impossible, but the volume of plant-based protein you’ll need to consume will quickly whittle away your food supply.)
Fortunately, a little knowledge goes a long way because there are plenty of places to find food—especially protein, during a collapse of society. Here are nine places most people wouldn’t even think to look:
We may view dogs and cats as our cuddly little pals here in America, but they are a food source throughout the world. If society collapses and your survival is on the line, you better be ready to get over your emotions and make a meal of Fido. Since most people would be busy fighting over the last pack of Oreos at Walmart, kennels would become a great place to find plenty of fresh meat with little or no competition. The dogs and cats are even tucked into convenient cages, making you job of harvesting them simple.
The same principles apply here, but with a larger selection of choices. (Dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, fish, reptiles, etc.) You’ll find the added benefit of a stockpile of food for the animals and antibiotics used in aquariums and ponds.
I would also recommend taking a few pairs of animals you can breed for a sustainable food source. Rabbits are an ideal choice.
I appreciate the beauty of the animals you find at a zoo as much as anyone, but I will happily slaughter a giraffe to feed my family. There are a couple of things to consider here:
- Nearly every animal in the zoo is larger, stronger, faster, and much more dangerous than you.
- Nearly every animal in the zoo provides more meat than you can carry or consume before it spoils.
Based on those facts, it’s important that you have a plan, support, and weapons. A semiautomatic rifle capable of efficiently killing the target is essential, along with enough people to quickly butcher that animal. (I recommend nothing smaller than a 5.56, but preferably .308 or larger.)
In the case of predatory animals like lions or tigers, it would be wise to drag it from the cage or pen before butchering so his buddies don’t attack you during the process. Sure, you could shoot them too, but a pride of dead lions would spoil before you could eat the meat, and during a collapse you don’t want to waste anything.
Also be sure to enter with caution and stay alert at all times because you don’t know if any animals have escaped their enclosures.
You’ll probably have to harvest food from aquariums relatively quickly due to potential water contamination. They usually have robust backup generators to keep their filters running, but that is designed for natural disasters like hurricanes that may only last for several days. Once you start stretching into weeks or months, algae, bacteria, and other pathogens can quickly overtake even the largest aquariums, killing of the marine life.
You may be able to harvest some marine life relatively easily, but the larger tanks, like the one we have here at the Tampa Aquarium will require fishing gear—in some cases, heavy-duty fishing gear, to pull the fish out.
Speaking of restaurants, there are dozens of them scattered throughout most amusement parks, making them a plentiful and reliable source of food that never crosses most people’s minds.
You can find a lot of food in school cafeterias and since most of it will be either canned or dehydrated, or frozen in walk-in freezers powered by backup generators, it should be fresh for a long time to come. Keep in mind that this will only be accessible during a total collapse of society. Schools are often used to temporarily house and feed people during short-term disasters.
You’ll have to hit your local Publix pretty damn early if you hope to find anything, but even then your chances are pretty slim. People will usually mob the store leading up to the event, whether it’s a hurricane, financial collapse, or something else, and following the event, it’s one of the first targets for the unprepared. So don’t get your hopes up. It’s probably best to avoid this entirely due to the risk of violent encounters.
Like grocery stores, expect restaurants to be picked over pretty quickly, but you might find something.
Most people don’t give any thought to how the food gets to their grocery store so they aren’t even aware this exists, making it a step up from your local grocery store. When you take into account the fact that distribution centers are usually located outside of heavily populated areas, they become even more appealing during a collapse.