Why would any animal deliberately turn themselves away from food and attempt to starve themselves. I have never heard of a healthy creature do this, except of course mankind. The instinct to eat is hardwired into our DNA, an instinct which inhabits our primitive brain and guides our internal workings. So unless one is ill it takes an incredibly strong will to refuse food completely.
There are many people who fearing they have eaten too well or unwisely regularly try ‘reducing diets’ instead of actually stopping eating too well or unwisely! All it will do of course, if carried out too often, is teach our minds we live in an area prone to famine:) But for many who do not fall off this diet regime their feeling for body and health is strong enough to over ride, or distort the cues to eat.
Then there are the dedicated ones who use starvation to make a point. Their love of a cause is strong enough to overcome that instinct. Hunger strikes which can and do lead to death are, if one thinks of it, amazing acts.
As is the act of a mother who will give food she needs to her children, Love is a powerful force indeed.
Then there is starvation itself. Famine which leads to mass death. We hear of those who eat anything to stay alive, rats, leather, corpses and even turning to cannibalism. Overcoming cultural norms to do so. But the power of culture can have a devastating opposite effect, whole societies will choose to die rather than break taboos.So how do some choose to die rather than live, lie alongside food and choose not to eat? How do they overcome the survival instinct?
The power of the mind has fascinated humans for centuries.We grow closer to understanding many facets of that unprepossessing organ every year, we understand the chemistry better, the effects of hormones on every part of the body, we have worked out much of what was hard wired into us for survival back when we were barely human. The more primitive parts of our mind evolved to keep us alive. The modern part forgets this sometimes at its peril.
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