" I was so overwhelmed with the task of simple surviving"(page 81) Like animals, humans resort to instinct for survival. Although in this day and age it is a different type of survival. We as humans leave difficult homes, continue our education and make money to survive. However, when we are threaten with death our instinct is to do all that is in our power to survive, whether you need to lye, cheat, steal or suffer. When survival is the motivation factor in life, people will do almost anything to insure the safety of their life. Unknowingly the Khmer Rouge forced the Cambodian people to rely on their instincts by using a means of resources. Nearing starvation, the Butt family searches for and steals all that is edible and takes the risk of being caught. Furthermore, Teeda says and does anything because her life threatened.
When the danger of hunger is so great that it runs the risk of starvation, humans will resort to their instinct to survive even if their actions are punishment by death. Euan Butt displays this through out their journey in "To Destroy You is No Loss" She secretly stole and cooked a chicken for herself and family. (Page 126) " She feared the missing chicken would be discovered and might possibly be traced to her" To the Khmer Rouge, if you complained about hunger or stole food it was an insult. It meant that Angak was not providing for you and you would be punished. Nevertheless, Euan's family was in dire need of nutrition. Ena is not the only one who demonstrates her willingness to sacrifice in order to provide for herself and family. Teeda, who was once afraid of snakes and leaches in the water, finds herself catching venomous snakes in order to provide a source of nutrition. "We hungry city girls, who jus six months before would have screamed and run at the sight of a snake, to say nothing of touching it, now saw it as meat" (page 87). Furthermore, when the family could not rely on snakes or other small animals, they would have to resort to buying extra rice or corn.