On Dumpster Diving by Las Eighner Essay

On Dumpster Diving by Las Eighner Essay

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Homelessness is increasing every year and effecting Americans of different age, ethnicity and religion. In Lars Eighner “On Dumpster Diving” he explains what he went through while being homeless. He describes how and what foods someone should be looking for and to always be conscious of what one is eating because there is always a reason why something has been thrown out. He continues to go into detail about other items that can be found in the dumpster like sheets to sleep on and pieces of paper to write on. Things that can keep him busy through the day. Eighner carefully explains to his readers how being a dumpster diver has become a life style for the homeless and this is how they survive. It’s a way of living and they are comfortable doing it. “I began dumpster diving about a year before I became homeless” (Eighner 713). He tries to bring us into the world of being homeless. It is hard to imagine what it would be like in that situation, and how could surviving as a dumpster diver be a way of survival? As a dumpster diver, Eighner is able to tell us what is ok to eat and have and what is not ok for your health. His essay starts by uttering some guidelines of what is and is not safe to eat. “Eating safely from the dumpsters involves three principles: using common sense for evaluating the food, knowing the dumpsters of the given areas and always ask, “Why was this discarded?” (Eighner 714).
Eighner was born Laurence Vail Eighner in Corpus Christi, Texas, on November 25, 1948. When Eighner became homeless in 1988 after leaving a job he had been with for ten years as an attendant at a state hospital in Austin, Texas. “For three years he traveled back and forth between Austin and Los Angeles with his dog Lizbeth, earning what mo...


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...This is a very powerful article taking his readers into the world of being poor and homeless, and what people experience every day that could never be imagined. Eighner says in one of his last paragraphs that, “many times in our travels I have lost everything but the clothes I was wearing and Lizbeth” (Eighner 724). He also states that he and the wealthy have the same attitudes about knowing there is more where what they came from. Eighner is so powerful and doesn’t care what others think of him. He is just trying to survive like everyone else. To have such a carefree attitude is very moving.



Works Cited
"Travels with Lizbeth: Three Years on the Road and On the Streets." Publishers Weekly 260.34 (2013): 57. Academic Search Complete. Web. 30 Jan. 2014.
Eighner, Lars (1992) "On Dumpster Diving," New England Journal of Public Policy: Vol. 8: Iss. 1, Article 7.



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