The Apocalypse Pantry

A Survivor's Guide to Happiness in the Urban Armageddon

Predator & Prey

Despite our desperate attempts to fashion ourselves as Gods, humans remain as body bound animals.  The evidence is everywhere; we invented a communication matrix that defied sci-fi expectations and we use it moooostly to watch other humans fuck or even just make the suggestion of impending fucking.  We've created vast and intricate systems of social organization that boil down to cock-fights for alpha status and we've magicked up entire industries dedicated to the multiverse of ways to cook a carcass and consume it. As omnivores with WMD's we seem to have the collective sense that we have transcended the food-chain and sit free of predation at the top of Mt.Olympus to which the Earth ascends its offerings of life sustaining resources.  Try if you will to imagine how our behaviour could be perceived by other life-forms, they would be forced to conclude that we are off our fucking nut.  

As predators we are guileless, we fight dirty. We don't just kill a couple motherfuckers, we wipe out entire species, entire cities, entire races.  Surplus killing in animals wastes the predator's energy making them vulnerable and is a strategy most often employed in extreme weather conditions where cacheing food for future meals is necessary for survival.  Though not the norm there are recorded instances of extreme surplus killings wherein the animal accused did not even eat their kill as was the case of a single cape leopard that killed 51 sheep in a single incident.  (Perhaps a bit of a Larney Jou Poes? "This is for encroaching on my habitat" kind of thing? Any leopard whisperers out there care to clarify?). Regardless it is not the norm except for humans of means, hoarding their next one hundred meals and the oil required to deliver them at the cost of the Earth's capacity to produce it.  Then, as if thats not fucking nuts enough, we level the forests to build giant storage bins (known colloquially as "houses") to stash it and we are willing for plants, animals and other humans to di so that these "needs" can be met.

Caged in this way, humans are unique in behaving as predator's while self-identifying as prey.  A convenient confusion of our identities that allows us to justify spending ALL THE MONEY on defending ourselves... from ourselves.   Closer to the truth is that we are divided species, polarized into predators and prey with access to capital acting as the captain who chooses the teams. Team Prey makes up about 99% of the world's entire population and yet the stories we here are "Once upon a time a Team Predator player decided they wanted something and so a bunch of Team Preyers died horrible deaths so they could have it. The end, good night children".   Different multi-national corporations, different governments, different marginalized populations but its the same neo-liberal plot wee are re-told ad nauseum. And yet there is 99% of the world population (7.326 BILLION people) that would probably tell the story a different way if anyone bothered to listen.

The prey survivorship story of the San of Molapo is one of particular poignancy for South Africans already feeling the burn of the climate crisis.  Without worldmedia attention this tiny community has been resisting forced removal by the government of Botswana for decades. They live in an intricate web of hunting and harvesting in the Kalahari, taking what they need to live and not more. They have refused the post-colonial trappings of the nearby settlement that has seen their community decimated and enslaved. They have resisted the mindless predation of their people by choosing as one community to mobilize by standing still.  As the last living vessels of the specific knowledge that would allow South Africans to survive off their own land if the rickety scaffolding of neo-liberal capitalism were to fall, they are a crucial link in the survival narrative of this place and yet they are being systematically erased.Their story tells of our collective future and it remains largely unheard; our civilized ears too full of white noise to hear:

These stories of human prey resisting neo-liberal predation may be few in comparison but they remain as sharp contradictions that undermine the false reality that pre-supposes human/animal and plant life as industrial machine fodder.  Anyone daring to lookwill find these stories and others like them, unfit for Hollywood scripts and deemed largely un-newsworthy by the media.  

Fight and flight, senses as spectral as the air we breathe that ultimately connect us to the intricate life system of Earth.  The way in which we connect may necessitate predation or prey strategies from one event to the next, but disconnected from the core of our animal natures convolutes the communication and we can not decide let alone act.  Suppressing our unexpressed instincts we slip into default; predation becomes an insatiable need to express personal power through domination that cannot be satisfied and prey stay rooted to the spot in fear, deer in headlights hypnotized into forgetting their almost supernatural capacity for grounded flight. 

To invert this cycle we would need to embody the nobility of lion that hunt when they hunger and rest languidly afterward while in the next omnivorous breath display the focused and fleet action of group consciousness that a herd of buck in threat express; the message shared instantaneously and the decision to move as one made in an instant and without debate. This is the narrow place where the polarities of predator and prey overlap with integrity, a place where a human can live in animistic honesty.  

End Notes

-The Take (prey survivorship story) documentary Naomi Klein/ Avi Lewis https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwwivk5LV1o

-The Haida Gwaii (prey triumph story) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnLVjKM1vN0

-I wanted to reference stories of women who have fought off their sexual predators because I have 2 women in my small circle of friends that have and so I assume there must be so many more out there and yet these stories are not to be found save for random smatterings of individual instances on the internet. THIS IS A DISTORTION OF REALITY THAT LEAVES WOMEN TO ASSUME THEY ARE PERPETUAL VICTIMS UNABLE TO FIGHT BACK- THESE STORIES EXIST WHY ARE THEY NOT BEING TOLD?!!!

A Recipe Ode to Predator & Prey

...I'll get on my knees and prey bwayyyyy

Ingredients:

-Exposition

-Rising Action

-Climax

-Falling Action

-Denouement

Method:

-Tell it like it is.