"how did the cowboys survive without all the nice-ities we worry about losing today?"
The other day, there was also a posting by a member who thought that because the American Indian existed without modern conveniences, we should also be able to do so.
So, for those who fantasize, here are google citations:
"The cowboys' average age was 24. They were paid so badly, and worked so hard, that two-thirds of them made only one trail drive before finding something better to do. They owned their saddle, but not the horse they rode -- and they rode it day and night.
For a man to be stove up at thirty may sound strange to some people, but many a cowboy has been so bunged up that he has to quit riding that early in life... My advice to any young man or boy is to stay at home and not be a rambler, as it won't buy you anything.
James Emmit McCauley"
"In 1850 the life expectancy of a white male living in the U.S was thirty-eight years old. A Cowboy’s prime time in his life was about twenty-four. Many cowboys lasted well into there thirties but due to the hard work and many activities the men were tired and were owed a rest. "
Ok, next the fantasy that you will live off the land. Most farmers were permanently disabled by age 40 by industrial accidents. So, when you fantasize about it, I will not allow you to have a rota-tor cuff fixed, a hip replacement, a hernia repaired, antibiotics, a knee replacement, eye surgery, a tetanus shot (the author of Walden Pond's brother died of lockjaw). After all, the farmers who lived off the land did not have those things.
Go ahead and look at photographs of settlers in the late 1800s. The kids didn't wear shoes. Many lived in sod houses. That was the reality!
The casualty statistics are staggering. According to an analysis of government records, slightly more than 350,000 Union soldiers died from various causes during the Civil War. The majority of deaths were from disease. Nearly 25,000 men died from causes such as suicide, execution, sunstroke, and accidents. The Union navy lost nearly 5,000 men to illness, accidents, and battle injuries.
Records of Confederate deaths aren't nearly as comprehensive as those of Union casualties; military and government files were destroyed during and after the war. However, a generally accepted estimate is 150,000 dead of disease and 95,000 killed or mortally wounded in combat."
The reality is that when you go primitive, your chances of dying of disease and accidents is going to be very high. So, this has been a reality check for the members of the forum - only to be disregarded by the next guy who thinks he can become an isolate like a cowboy, American Indian or a farmer and survive in comfort while everyone else succumbs.