Beyond the money trap: scavenging, then and now

As we begin to flex our “collaboratively consumptive” muscles, we reignite our native intelligence.

Crows and ravens, coyotes and cockroaches are all scavengers. Moreover, they are all also unusually adaptable. I used to live with ravens in a nearby tree in my Wyoming yurt. When my tourist group checked in to our hotel in Giza, Egypt, there they were, ravens, on the rooftop! Slightly band of grey on their wings, otherwise, the same bird as at home.

As a kid I was intelligent. So were my brothers and sisters. We’d go “alley-pickin’,” an activity that our mother, amazingly enough — for she was thoroughly steeped in ’50s middle-class values — encouraged! It was fun, and we’d show off our loot to Mom when we got back home.

That’s back when neighborhoods still had alleys. Remember? Wish we had them in my neighborhood. Those alleys could be turned into linear parks, or community gardens . . .

In my 30s, my sons and I once furnished an entire house from the Ketchum/Sun Valley dump in Idaho. That was some dump!

I’ve heard rumors for years, about dumpster-diving around here, certain sections of town. Which sections, I don’t know. The information is guarded well. Just this: certain unnamed restaurants and supermarkets tend towards profligate disposal of perfectly good food.

Here’s a video of one group that does it, with a college professor pied piper leading the way. Clearly, these folks are highly intelligent, and adaptable.

Thanks to

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