|Lambs that died of Starvation-Exposure-Mismothering complex|
A long time ago I used to keep sheep. One of the watersheds in raising sheep is that it was recognized that lamb losses due to the top-three causes were not isolated causes but were joined at the hip.
Before that "Ah-ha!" moment, it was believed that some lambs died of mis-mothering, others died of exposure and still others died of starvation. Each of these were considered very major causes of lamb losses with a 20% loss being fairly common. If your ewes threw twins, then you had 40 dead lambs for every 100 ewes.
Some ewes are super-mothers
Some ewes are horrible mothers. They drop their lamb(s) in random places and walk away from them without bonding. Sometimes it seems like they go out of their way to drop them in the last snowbank to melt in the pasture.
Other ewes are super-mothers. They pick sunny, clement slopes to drop their lambs in good weather and the leeward side of dense brush in inclement weather. They talk to their lambs and bond with them. They seem to be able to count. If they dropped three lambs they do not move away with two of them but wait for the third. They dry each lamb off of birthing fluids. They make sure each lamb "tanks up" on milk soon after birthing and then on a frequent basis afterward.
Most ewes are somewhere between these two extremes. And even super-mothers will lose lambs if it rains for 48 hours after they give birth.
|The size of a new-born lamb is very similar to the size of a newly born human. 3.0kg is about 6lb-10oz|
Whether super-mothers are due to genetics or imprinting is almost a moot point. The trait seems to run in maternal lines and be more common in large flocks that are less intensively shepherded and less common in hobby-flocks with helicopter shepherds.
A lamb that is cold cannot stand and suckle. A lamb that is running out of calories gets cold. If the cycle of eat-rest-eat-rest is interrupted then the lamb misses a meal, gets cold and gets into trouble.
The proximal cause of what interrupted the cycle is not particularly important.
Does this apply to humans?
If you squint real hard and look at the bottom of Maslow's Hierarchy you might see similar intersections-of-needs.
The lack of food or water impact the human differently but from a practical standpoint they only differ in transportation and storage methods.
Shelter and food can be traded off. More food can at least partially off-set exposure to cold. Better clothing can also off-set colder ambient temperatures.
Social connections can extend the network for finding resources.
Three families in a house will be warmer than a single person living in a house even when there is no fuel for the furnace.
Before the dawn of the fossil-fuel era, the three largest cities were London, Paris and Bejing and they were barely 1,000,000 people. They were also well endowed with water-based transportation (canals).
The dynamics of population suggest that when a population over-shoots, it does not fall back to its carrying capacity but it oscillates to a population less than its organic carrying capacity. The more the population over-shoots, the farther below the organic carrying capacity the die-off carries the remaining population.
One can make a credible case that NYC and the oil-exporting nations in the middle-East overshot their organic carrying capacity by a factor of twenty.
If the bonds that hold civil society together unravels, it will be very ugly in many places.
On a more positive note: If you have done anything to prepare for tough times than you are likely to have thought about all of the physiological needs and have "connections" that can help you fill in (or find ways to substitute around) shortfalls that come up.