Written By Anum Saba
Man’s body needs energy. Energy comes from food. Therefore man must take food for providing energy to his body. Without energy man’s body would turn lifeless. Therefore food is man’s first priority. Man is a slave of his hunger. History is a record of man’s continuous endeavours in pursuit of food to satisfy his hunger. We all need food for keeping our body and soul together. The pursuit of food is the main occupation of man without which his very existence is in danger. Prehistoric man was a food gatherer. He spent nearly all his time in search of food. In primitive society, man hunted animals. He preferred to kill large animals for an ensured and a larger supply of food. In times of hunger man killed and ate everything, he could catch. When the man started keeping animals or took up agriculture, it was all with a view to ensuring uninterrupted supply of food. Even today man’s foremost indispensable necessity continues to be food for which he has to devote the maximum of his time and energy. Thus so far as food is concerned, man still continues to be a savage in the gratification of his hunger.
“It would be wrong to think that man’s priorities have changed in the modern age. It is again absurd to believe that the civilized man has been able to subdue his urge to satisfy hunger. Even under the cloak or garb of civilization appeasement of hunger persists as the prime need of man for which he behaves like a prehistoric primitive man. The civilized man, of course, does not as far as possible throw of the cloak of civilization or civilized behaviour for earning his bread. But when faced with starvation, the savage in him turns wild and tries to secure food even by the most inhuman way or by the lowest means. No philosophy, religious discourses or lofty ideals are capable of satisfying his hunger. Love, duty, dedication, patriotism, humanism, and dogmas are of no interest to one with an empty stomach. A man works like a machine or a beast of burden to appease his hunger. In the primitive age, the man had to risk his life for procuring his food. In the modern age, the man may even compromise his self-respect and suppress his ego for bread.
In surveying the history of human civilization, we can clearly see the importance of food for human beings. A man started cultivation. While sowing his piece of land he worshipped land in the hope of reaping a good harvest. As the crop was dependent on water, he worshipped rivers and the rain-god to get enough water for his crop.
In the modern world, countries may be classified into three categories. There are wealthy countries, where the population is well fed; there are countries, which somehow manage to feed food to their people; and there are countries, which are unable to provide food to their people. The countries in the third category either import or borrow or beg for their people. The rich countries with surplus food which they sell, loan to hungry countries have assumed the position of super gods as food givers. They exert pressures on countries, which receive food from them and even blackmail them. The poor and helpless countries have to put up with all sorts of unreasonable string attached to the supply of food shipments because they need food for their survival. These mini-gods (food supplier countries) have reduced the food receiving countries to the position of their slaves.
The struggle between the “Haves” and “Have nots” is nothing but a battle for survival it is concerned with the economic betterment of the ‘Have-nots’: it is, thus, again a fight for a morsel of food. The poor working class is engaged in a fierce battle for keeping its body and soul together. Food is at the root of worldwide industrial unrest. The workers hit hard at those who try to deprive them of their food, which they must get for their physical existence. In many countries where political freedom has not followed economic freedom and where the state has failed to ameliorate a lot of the poorer sections of the society, democratic institutions have tumbled Ike houses of cards. It is not that the people do not value their political freedom, but they surely need two square meals a day, whatever the political setup.
There are people who do not know the pangs of hunger; there are others who know nothing else. There can be no meeting ground in the thinking of the two categories of the people. Those who have never known the pangs of hunger can hardly realize their severity and therefore are unable to sympathize with poor, hunger-stricken people. Food is the basic need of all human beings, but a wide disparity exists in the means to procure food. Some enjoy eight-course dinners in five-star hotels, while some unfortunate men are denied even a crust of bread. Is this unjust social order justifiable on any law of morality whatsoever? These disparities create social tensions and ultimately lead to violent revolutions engulfing all the rich and the poor alike. All political and social revolutions have been caused by socio-economic troubles. The special appeal of communism lies in its promise of “food for all.”
It is oversimplifying the issue to refer to the philosophical maxim: “Man does not live by bread alone.” No man in his senses would interpret to mean that man can live without food. The maxim refers to higher stages of development of civilization, which can very well apply to the communities that are economically better off. It does not hold good in the case of people who are underfed or faced with starvation. In the recorded human history it is pointedly brought out that the development of civilization i.e. art science etc., took place only after the basic needs of man were fully satisfied. It may also be of particular interest to point out that civilizations developed in those regions, where the problem of food no longer existed. It is, therefore, clear that the development of art, literature and science has no relevance if the basic need for food remains unfulfilled.
Man cannot do without food. The body machinery needs a continuous supply of fuel (food) and nothing else in the world can substitute it. Philosophy, religion, morality and politics interest only those whose bellies are full. A hungry man would do everything and make every sacrifice to appease his hungry without which his every existence would be in danger. The expression “To a man with an empty stomach, food is god” simplifies the topmost importance of food to a hungry man, who would certainly do everything within his power to obtain food. The primary business of life is to procure bread, which alone can protect him from the jaws of death staring at his face. Like a devotee who does everything to appease his God, a hungry man would make all sacrifices to appease his hunger.
About the writer:
Miss Anum Saba is one of the bonafide students of Sir Syed Kazim Ali. She has completed her 4.5 month-course on Online Creative English Writing and Advanced Grammar under his patronage. Having done graduation in computer science and courses in creative English writing, she loves writing blogs and articles on various topics: current affairs, everyday science, technology, beauty, cooking, and entertainment.
Name of the Student: Miss Anam Saba
Total Articles/Blogs: 10
English Coach: Sir Syed Kazim Ali
Course Taken: Creative English Writing & Article Writing
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