Rabbit starvation mainly victimized frontiersmen during the wild frontier days when numerous individuals were left starving over the winter with only the leanest meat to consume. With that said, current cases of rabbit starvation are rare due to the accessibility of a wide variety of food, with rabbit starvation only becoming a fatal concern when you’re in the wilderness.
Also referred to as protein poisoning, rabbit starvation occurs when an individual mainly eats protein without enough carbohydrates and fats. Rabbit starvation occurs from only eating rabbit meat or other types of lean meat; one can cure themselves within hours or a few days by eating fats.
What Causes Rabbit Starvation?
Commonly called fat starvation or protein poisoning, rabbit starvation occurs when an individual consumes a diet primarily comprised of protein while lacking fat and carbohydrates. Without a sufficient amount of fat and carbohydrates, your body would become malnourished even though you were full. In addition to that, excessive protein can potentially lead to death due to the excess ammonia, urea, and amino acid in your blood.
Protein poisoning is similar to hyponatremia, a type of water poisoning where individuals can die by exclusively drinking water without any other form of nutrition due to the lack of electrolytes or salts to balance their body’s chemistry.
Rabbit starvation mostly happened during the frontier days in the winter when individuals were starving for food. As the wild animals have burned their fat off over the winter, they were at their leanest state. As frontiersmen did not know anything about local habitats and vegetation, rabbit starvation victimized them.
In most situations, rabbit starvation only becomes a concern when you’re stuck in long-term wilderness survival circumstances. If you’ve harvested an animal in this situation, using most of its body parts, like its fatty brain and liver, would aid in avoiding protein poisoning.
Having a diet containing only rabbit meat is one of the primary causes of rabbit starvation as it’s considered too lean. But don’t be fooled, as rabbit starvation applies to any lean meat, including squirrel, deer, chicken, beef, and caribou.
With available and accessible resources, one can correct their concern with rabbit starvation within hours or a few days through eating fats. The most common symptoms of rabbit starvation are diarrhea, nausea, and the desire to eat even though you’ve already consumed food. Many other rabbit starvation manifestations can occur like fatigue, headaches, a slow heart rate, weakness, cravings for fatty meat, and mood swings. In totality, diarrhea is the most reported concern. (Source: The Prepared)
What Are the Symptoms of Rabbit Starvation?
With available and accessible resources, one can correct their concern with rabbit starvation within hours or a few days through eating fats. The most common symptoms of rabbit starvation are diarrhea, nausea, and the desire to eat even though you’ve already consumed food. Many other rabbit starvation manifestations can occur like fatigue, headaches, a slow heart rate, weakness, cravings for fatty meat, and mood swings. In totality, diarrhea is the most reported concern.
In many anecdotes, diagnosing rabbit starvation proves difficult due to the common symptoms the form of malnutrition shares with other diseases. Arctic explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson writes his experience with rabbit starvation during the late 1940s.
At our request, he began eating lean meat only, although he had previously noted, in the North, that very lean meat sometimes produced digestive disturbances. On the 3rd day, nausea and diarrhea developed. When fat meat was added to the diet, a full recovery was made in 2 days. This disturbance was followed by a period of persistent constipation lasting 10 days.Vilhjalmur Stefansson
(Source: The Prepared)