Lewis Keseberg was out of options. It was the winter of 1847, and he was trapped inside an isolated mountain cabin with no food and a badly injured leg that rendered him unable to walk. He and his young family were part of a group of 87 pioneers bound for a new life in California when an early winter storm trapped them in the snowy Sierra Navada Mountains. Many of the group had already gone ahead for help, including his wife and children. Before leaving, Lewis’ daughter made him promise to survive at any cost.
The cabin was warm, and the snow outside provided plenty of water to heat and drink. But as the weeks turned into months with still no sign of rescue, starvation and resulting sickness took hold of those left behind. What was once a small band of survivors in Lewis’ cabin had been chipped away. He was by himself, lying on the floor surrounded by corpses.
As he painfully recounts in the History of the Donner Party, by night Lewis would listen to wolves clawing at the door and roof in hopes of gaining access to a fresh meal. By day he would boil and eat the flesh of his dead companions to stay alive. When Tamzene Donner returned from a nearby cabin she refused to eat human meat and soon died herself, orphaning her five children. Lewis promptly ate her as well.
Lewis Keseberg was eventually rescued, and rejoined his family to lead a long and prosperous life in California. There is no question that if he had not engaged in cannibalism he would have died along with so many others.
In a zombie world agonizing choices will have to be made on a daily basis. What will you be willing to do in order to survive?