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Hunger: An Unnatural History By Sharman Apt Russell

1247 words - 5 pages

Even though fasting is a controversial topic that has the whole world at odds with one another, Hunger: An Unnatural History by Sharman Apt Russell is informative and inspiring in that of the significance it has on the human race as well as the professional book reviews that help give insight into the problem of hunger. Everyday people in third world countries starve to death based on the fact that their countries simply don’t have enough resources or that their leaders only take office for their own personal gain instead of trying to actually help their country. So people rebel everyday by going on hunger strikes to fulfill a life’s goal whether it be to take a stand against the leader of their country like Mahatma Gandhi or to help raise awareness to a situation, both of which do not involve war. Hunger strikes are an effective way of not having to use violence.
Another type of hunger catalyst is too fast. Fasting is the voluntary abstinence from eating for an extended period of time and is considered a controversial act (Fasting 1). Fasting is done many different ways, some use it in the form of religious redemption acts such as Lent, Ramadan, and Yom Kippur (Fasting 2). Religious fasting is done in periods throughout the year. When it comes to Lent, Catholics only give up meat for forty days of the year. Other religions give up food altogether among other things, such as, Muslims who celebrate Ramadan. Religious fasting is a common partaking throughout the yea, that each religious group values.
While others use it as a dieting tool directed to them by a doctor or physician.
Young people, especially young woman, use fasting as revolutionary ways to lose weight the fastest without having to have a proper diet and exercise. Women want acceptance from society so they fill their heads with images of what they should look like. The author says, "The complexity of one woman's self-starvation might yet be a mix of chemistry, Vogue, Father's expectations and ancient imperatives” (Russell 165). Anorexia nervosa is a common eating disorder that causes the person to believe they are over weight but in actuality the under weight. Subsequently, fasting makes it difficult for the body to bounce back to its original state before the initial process the body undergoes. The reactions the body goes into are, shrinkage of vital organs, pale, thin, cold skin, hypothermia, and weakness among other characteristics (Starvation 1).
Some of the comments made by many different magazines and newspaper articles are positive none of which are vitriolic in any sense. They agree on with Russell about the overly popularized debate of anorexia nervosa. The New York Times says, “The writer talks about how people stress on the obesity epidemic instead of talking about the starving people in third world countries and the people in our own country. Then it leads into her talking about how humans have evolved with hunger. And how she agrees that people don't want to see what...

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