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Would you eat your dog to stay alive?

Marco Lavoie.jpg A hiker who was stranded in the Canadian wilderness for nearly three months after a bear destroyed his supplies had to eat his beloved dog to survive.  When Marco Lavoie was found by rescuers on Wednesday he was just days from death and had to be carried to a waiting helicopter.  The 44-year-old had been trapped with little food and survival equipment since July after a bear ransacked his campsite near the start of a planned three-month solo hike.Three days after his dog saved him from a bear in the Canadian wilderness, a stranded hiker ate his German shepherd to save himself from starvation.

Unable to find any food, Marco Lavoie, 44, killed his dog with a rock and ate him, according to the Canadian news agency QMI.

According to news reports, the first words the hiker uttered, after being found close to death by rescuers last week, were: “I want to get a new dog.”

Lavoie — after a bear destroyed his canoe and food supply — was stranded for three months in the wilderness about 500 miles outside Montreal. After the bear attack, he sprained his ankle and was unable to hunt or find any other source of food, according to reports.

Lavoie, an experienced hiker who often spent weeks in the wilderness by himself, was rescued by helicopter on Wednesday. He’d lost 90 pounds and was suffering from hypothermia. He was listed in critical condition in a hospital in Northern Quebec.

Survival expert Andre Francois Bourbeau told the Toronto Sun that Lavoie’s decision to eat his dog was a good one.

“He survived because he made good decisions. Eating his dog was one of them,” said Borbeau, the author of a survival guide. “You have to be desperate, but there’s no shame in (eating the dog),” said Bourbeau. “Hunger squeezes you so much that you would accept food that’s not normally possible,” said Bourbeau. “You can crave slugs and bugs.”

I’m sure there are many others who hold that view, and who’d point out that man – by virtue of that “dominion” he has over other animals, by virtue of being the superior, more developed being, by virtue of his position atop civilized society – has every right to chow down on his dog when trapped in the wilderness with no other options available.

But we don’t find much virtue at all in his actions.

We see more humanity in the dog, who loyally went along on his master’s silly wilderness trip, scared off a bear to protect him, and — despite any hunger pangs he might have been experiencing, despite his master’s hobbled condition – didn’t make a meal of Lavoie.

Comments

Comment from SoulDog
Time November 5, 2013 at 1:50 pm

I agree with you — the dog showed him loyalty beyond belief and could have easily eaten him to stay alive. He didn’t. Yet the human paid him back by hitting him over the head and eating him? I hope this man is haunted for the rest of his life.

Comment from Tina
Time November 5, 2013 at 2:12 pm

I’d rather eat bugs and slugs…and mushrooms and berries and leaves and grasses and bark and… etc.

A lone hiker 500 miles from civilization should have better survival skills than taking extra food “on the paw”… argh.

He should not be allowed the companionship of a new dog.

Comment from BeckyH
Time November 5, 2013 at 4:51 pm

No, I would not have killed and eaten my dog! When I first heard about this story I thought, maybe if the bear had killed the poor dog…. then maybe. People don’t need meat to survive. Weren’t there any plants he could have eaten?

Comment from Miss Jan
Time November 5, 2013 at 5:53 pm

None of us know in advance what we might do to stay alive and desperation makes wild things out of otherwise civilized beings. That having been said, it was this man’s choice to subject himself to infinite possibilities one of which would include injury, starvation and attacks by bears. The dog did not have any choice in the matter and probably loved his master and licked the murderous hand that savagely ended his life. Bad decisions on this man all around. I hope in his “critical condition” delirium he has to answer to higher powers who are going to decide how he will be repaid for his bad, very very bad, decision. I’m thinking of that Chinese myth of the loyal dog that the emperor would not abandon even at the gates of heaven.

Comment from Smoketoomuch
Time November 6, 2013 at 11:34 am

I find myself agreeing with everything written above. This was a despicable act, by a cruel, selfish, and totally unprepared individual. Another dog?!
Not in my universe buddy!

Comment from Jen Brighton
Time November 6, 2013 at 4:04 pm

My first thought is I’d probably die before having to not only kill but eat my dog. But my second though is none of us knows what we would do under the same circumstances. Still, I feel like I’d let myself starve to death before eating my beloved dogs.

Comment from vida
Time November 6, 2013 at 6:04 pm

this was a cruel and heartless act by a foolish and cowardly man. The dog was noble, I hope someday this man grows at least half as noble as his dog was and feels the guilt and grief he ought to for such base betrayal of a loving soul. If he’d eaten say a child would the reaction be the same by Bourbeau ? Survival at any cost is not the point of life, sometimes death is not the worst thing that can happen to a person.

Comment from Michael Matthews
Time November 10, 2013 at 10:19 am

Marco Lavoie

He was not prepared. He would not listen to folks familiar w/the area. He ignored advice to not go alone. Some sources say he would not bring any means of protection,(Browning BAR Mark II Bush Rifle would have been an ideal choice)! Since a bear wiped out his food, he likely got careless with it, and did not have it secure. Food needs to be sealed as much as possible and stored away from the immediate camping area. The canoe was likely damaged because unsealed food was stored in it while ashore camping. He made too many mistakes and others had to pay for it (taxpayers, rescuers and his loyal dog).  Bears play for keeps. This half-baked wilderness expedition turned into a disaster. Survival experts have stated what good choices he made, why don’t they discuss his poor planning and apparent sloppiness?? Marco Lavoie you are a survivor, but you are also a shameful, disgusting, dim-witted loser!  Tragically, judging by the blogs I have read about this sad story, Marco Lavoie is far from alone among those who would have made similar stupid choices!! The story still does not add up; too much conflicting information. Typical Canadian BS! Marco Lavoie, you give survivalists a bad name but don’t worry about it, you still have my vote for Moron of the Year award!!!

Comment from Nck
Time November 13, 2013 at 11:57 am

Chosing a dogs life over a human life is, IMO, silly…crazy even. However, the poster who stated that the bear destroying his food means the food was notnadaquetely protected ( up a tree, etc) has a point…..to a point. The man may have been in the act of preparing the food at the moment of attack…there could be a hundred reasons why the food was accessible. And I believe that it was a hard decision…and unless each and everyone of us was in his position, it’s ridiculous to say what we would have done.

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