I’m doing this for my kids and country

Gregory Andrews’ message on X on 3 November 2023

“This is like COVID was – it is an emergency. It is a climate emergency. And we need our leaders to act like it is an emergency.”
~ Gregory Andrews on ABC News

In the morning on 2 November 2023, former Ambassador and Threatened Species Commissioner of Australia Gregory Andrews started a #ClimateHungerStrike “for his kids and country”, positioning himself “Greta-style” in front of the Australian Parliament with a simple sign.

On the first day, Andrews wrote:

“The world is on the brink of climate collapse. Billions of people will die from heat stroke, starvation and fossil-fuelled disasters in our lifetimes if we don’t take real and fast action. But Australia is still digging up coal and chopping down forests.

I want my children to have the same future and opportunities as the decision-makers in Parliament House today. That’s why I’m on a #ClimateHungerStrike until Prime Minister Anthony Albanese commits to real action.

Join me in calling for a safe future. Please sign and share my petition.”

Gregory Andrews

More specifically, Gregory listed five demands to the Australian government:

1. Stop subsidising fossil fuels and redirect these resources to climate action and adaptation,

2. Commit to an urgent phase out of Australia’s massive coal and gas exports,

3. End native forests logging,

4. Update Australia’s key environment protection law, the EPBC Act, to include climate impacts, and

5. Immediately release key details of the Climate Risk Assessment report which outlines the national security risks we face.

Gregory states that he will be on his climate hunger strike indefinitely, he won’t stop until the Australian Government takes action. 

Media coverage

Day 1

Day 2

Gregory Andrews. Photo by Fiona Bowring

Gregory Andrews, 55, is a former Australian high commissioner in West Africa. He is a D’harawal man – in other words: an Aboriginal Australian – and adjunct associate professor in ecology with the University of Canberra. He has negotiated for Australia in the United Nations Climate Change negotiations.

In 2013, Gregory Andrews was an adviser to the then environment minister Greg Hunt, working in an office that scrapped the Tim Flannery-led Climate Commission and abolished a national carbon price scheme.

in July 2022, he told The Guardian newspaper: “I have had a growing awareness that this is a worsening climate emergency. The evidence is clear that the world’s already a dangerous place, and it’s on track to become unliveable for billions of people in my children’s lifetimes. That wasn’t the case when I was at university.”

In September 2020, when he has the Australian High Commissioner to Ghana, he told Ghanavi TV that he “cares deeply about the environment.”

Gregory worked at SES levels in the Departments of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Environment, Climate Change, and Indigenous Affairs, and was Australia’s first-appointed Threatened Species Commissioner. He led development and implementation of Australia’s first Threatened Species Strategy and first Threatened Species Prospectus. In the NGO sector, he led, grew and reformed a national Indigenous charity.

Apart from the English language, Gregory speaks French and Mandarin. He has an Honours Degree in Economics and a Masters in Foreign Affairs and Trade. He is married and a father of two children aged 16 and 18.

Day 6

Gregory Andrews posted on his blog: “I’m almost at the end of my first week of my #ClimateHungerStrike and I’ve already got more than 2,000 signatures. And I’ve reached hundreds of thousands of people on my social media channels. Thank you to every person who’s signed the petition. And equal thanks to the hundreds of people who are messaging me, sharing my story and coming up to Parliament House to say hello. You give me strength and determination. So please keep it coming. Come and sit with me if you’d like. I’d welcome that.

I won’t stop until the Australian Government gets serious about the climate action needed for a safe future for our kids, country and planet. Read more about my demands here.

Please help me get 200,000 signatures! Share my posts and ask your friends, family and colleagues to sign and share my petition. We don’t have to accept climate catastrophe. Let’s come together and tell the Australian Government we can have a safe future.

PS: lots of people have been asking for logistical details about my hunger strike. So here’s some details.
The last time I ate something was desert on Wednesday 1 November. I had three Gulab Jamun from Rama’s Indian in Pearce. I reckon it’s the best in Canberra. Since then I’ve only been drinking water, to which I occasionally add salt to keep my electrolytes up.
I sleep at home in my bed because Parliament House doesn’t allow overnight protestors.
My wife and my teenage son drop me and my dog Fred off at dawn and pick me up at dusk each day.
And Yes, Fred is fed. He usually gets raw chicken necks from Aldi for breakfast and some dried dog food with an egg for dinner.
The Federal Police have been amazing and often offer to fill up Fred’s water bowl.

Special thanks to my friend and professional photographer Fiona Bowring for taking so many amazing photos for me. You can listen to this ABC Canberra story to hear from Fiona about her work. You can also find her on Instagram.”
~ Gregory Andrews, Lyrebird Dreaming

Day 9

Day 16

Day 17: “I’ve stopped my #ClimateHungerStrike

Gregory Andrews wrote on his blog:

“I may have ended my hunger strike, but I’m not giving up on our kids or our country. I need to stay in hospital for a few more days to make sure my heart and the rest of my body are OK. And I need time with my precious family who held me with unconditional love and solidarity throughout my hunger strike.

But you can still support me. Ask everyone you know to write to Anthony Albanese and tell him that he needs to step up and be the leader. And please sign and share my petition. That way, when I’m back to good health, I can walk back proudly and strongly to the front of Parliament House on behalf of thousands of Australians and hand it to Anthony Albanese. He may have he ignored me for the last two weeks on the lawns of Parliament House. But I can tell him I was never alone. You were all with me in calling for a safe future.”

Gregory Andrews

Centre for Climate Safety’s coverage

Stories we have published about Gregory’s climate hunger strike so far here on climatesafety.info:

Media coverage

→ The RegenNarration Podcast no. 184 – 5 December 2023: 
After Former Ambassador’s Climate Hunger Strike
“D’harawal man Gregory Andrews is the Former Ambassador and first Threatened Species Commissioner of Australia who went on Climate Hunger Strike outside Australia’s federal parliament for, as he put it, my kids and country. On the 16th day, he was hospitalised. And while Gregory began his recovery, a community vigil of sorts kicked in, with people taking Gregory’s place, fasting for a day each. And that’s just a hint of some of the extraordinary insight and power sparked by Gregory’s experience.”

→ 2GB – 19 November 2023:
Gregory Andrews (Hunger Strike) (audio 8:17 minutes)
“Rev Bill Crews speaks to Gregory Andrews, who two years ago was Australia’s high commissioner to West Africa. Now he’s contemplating his mortality on the lawns of Parliament House with a determination to see out his hunger strike for urgent climate action to its ultimate conclusion. You might remember we talked with him last week and received an incredible reaction.”

→ Daily Mail – 19 November 2023:
Gregory Andrews: Climate change activist on hunger strike shares first photo from hospital after he was rushed to emergency when he lost control of his limbs and wasn’t able to speak
“Climate change activists breaks silence from hospital. Had been on a hunger strike for 16 days.”

→ Australian Associated Press | Daily Mail – 17 November 2023:
Hunger strike climate change activist is rushed to hospital on his 16th day protesting outside Parliament House after suffering debilitating symptoms and losing 10kg
“A former high-level Australian diplomat has been taken to hospital two weeks after embarking on a hunger strike outside parliament. On the 16th day of his hunger strike, he reported feeling chest pains and shortness of breath.” Also on Microsoft News, MSN

→ AAP Newswire, Australian Associated Press | Seymour Telegraph – 17 November 2023:
Diplomat on hunger strike taken to hospital
“Paramedics have taken former diplomat Gregory Andrews to hospital on day 16 of his hunger strike.”

→ Sky News – 17 November 2023:
Climate activist Gregory Andrews taken away in an ambulance on day 16 of hunger strike on lawns of Parliament House
“A former diplomat turned climate crusader has been whisked away from Parliament House in an ambulance after spending 16 days on hunger strike in protest of the government’s approach to fossil fuels.”

→ Sky News – 17 November 2023:
Second climate activist joins Gregory Andrews’ hunger strike as former ambassador carted away in an ambulance
“A second climate activist has begun a hunger strike as protestor Gregory Andrews was carted away from Parliament in an ambulance after suffering a medical episode 16 days into his strike.”

→ The Canberra Times – 17 November 2023:
Diplomat on hunger strike taken to hospital
“Paramedics have taken former diplomat Gregory Andrews to hospital on day 16 of his hunger strike.”

→ NCA NewsWire | Yahoo Lifestyle – 17 November 2023:
$250k worker in hospital over hunger strike
“A former diplomat on hunger-strike has been rushed to hospital after authorities alerted concerns for his health. Emergency services received a call from AFP officers for support of a male located outside of Parliament House at about 11am on Friday.”

→ Sydney Morning Herald – 17 November 2023:
From diplomat to hunger striker: Gregory defied his fear of death to fight fossil fuels
“Two years ago, Gregory Andrews was Australia’s high commissioner to West Africa. On Friday, he was taken to hospital after waging a 16-day hunger strike on the lawns of Parliament House to highlight the need for urgent climate action.”

“I don’t want to die, but I do want the Australian government and [Prime Minister] Anthony Albanese to show courage, and for [Opposition Leader] Peter Dutton to stop using climate change as a political weapon for his own advantage. I may or may not be able to stop dangerous climate change, but at least in my heart, I’ll feel better for having tried.”

Gregory Andrews in Sydney Morning Herald on 17 November 2023

→ Sky News – 16 November 2023:
Climate hunger strike ‘an abomination’
“Sky News host Chris Kenny says the hunger strike for climate change that Gregory Andrews is on is “such an abomination”.” Also on Microsoft News, MSN

→ Sky News – 16 November 2023:
Greens urge climate crusader Gregory Andrews to end strike as activist marks 15th day without food on Parliament lawns
“Greens Senator David Shoebridge has begged climate crusader Gregory Andrews to end his hunger strike as the diplomat turned climate activist marked 15 days without food.”

→ Daily Mail UK – 16 November 2023:
Climate change activist on hunger strike marks major milestone outside Parliament House – as he makes startling admission about his health
“The activist is 15 days into hunger strike. His health is fading but he said he will not give up.”
Also on Microsoft News, MSN

→ News Corp – 16 November 2023:
Climate activist’s hunger strike hits two week mark
“A former high-level diplomat has reached two weeks without food amid a hunger strike against the Albanese government.”

→ MSN (Microsoft News) – 16 November 2023:
14 days and counting for protestor on climate change hunger strike (ABC video 1:30 minutes)
“A Canberra protester has gone 14 days without food and counting on the lawns of Parliament House. The former Liberal staffer and public servant says he won’t give up until those currently in power do more to tackle climate change.”

→ ABC Tripple J Hack – 15 November 2023:
Why Gregory hasn’t eaten in two weeks (audio 11 minutes – from 11:05 to 22:46)
“Gregory Andrews wants immediate climate action from the Albanese government.”

→ ABC News – 15 November 2023:
Former senior Liberal government adviser Gregory Andrews is 14 days into a hunger strike for climate action
“Mr Andrews said he has received visits from independent politicians including David Pocock, Allegra Spender and Sophie Scamps, but until he gets a commitment from the government “to address climate change … I will not eat”.”

→ TikTok | ABC News Australia – 15 November 2023:
Two years ago, Gregory Andrews was the high commissioner… (video 1:17 minutes)

→ ABC News – 15 November 2023:
VIDEO: Gregory Andrews speaks 14 days into his hunger strike for climate action (video 1:17 minutes)
“Former senior Liberal advisor Gregory Andrews is 14 days into a hunger strike for climate action.”

→ Sky News – 14 November 2023:
‘Albo isn’t listening’: Climate activist Gregory Andrews lashes Prime Minister for not contacting him as the protester’s hunger strike nears two-week mark
“A climate activist who stormed off during an interview with Sky News Australia has revealed he has been unable to reach the Prime Minister after almost two weeks of hunger striking outside Parliament House.”

→ Drive on ABC Radio Canberra – 14 November 2023:
Why this Canberra man has stopped eating for more than 13 days (audio 9 minutes)
““I feel stronger than I ever have in my life.” Those are not the words you expect to hear from the mouth of a man on day 13 of a hunger strike.”

→ The Indian Sun – 14 November 2023:
Climate Crusader: Former High Commissioner’s hunger strike enters 13th day
“This intense protest targets the Albanese government’s environmental policies, particularly fossil fuel subsidies, coal and gas exports, and native forest logging. Andrews, driven by a profound concern for the future generations, has already faced a significant personal toll.”

→ Northern Territory News – 13 November 2023
Two men starved of common sense

→ Yahoo News – 13 November 2023:
Aussie dad’s hunger strike to ‘protect’ kids’ future from climate threat
“Without urgent action to address climate change, the 55-year-old warns Canberra could look like Saudi Arabia in a few decades.”

→ 2GB Sydney – 13 November 2023:
Gregory Andrews (Climate activist and former diplomat) (audio 10:59 minutes)
“Rev Bill Crews talks to Gregory Andrews, a former high-level Australian diplomat who won’t eat any food until he sees Anthony Albanese, get serious; and take climate action. He’s more than 10 days into his hunger strike staged at Parliament House.”

→ Mamamia – 12 November 2023:
The man who is willing to die on the Parliament House lawns
“Over a week ago, Andrews began his strike, vowing not to quit until Australia has a timeline to stop exporting fossil fuels.” 

→ 3AW Melbourne – 10 November 2023:
Why climate activist has gone on hunger strike outside parliament house – (audio 9:18 min)
“Climate activist Gregory Andrews has explained why he’s gone on an hunger strike outside parliament house in Canberra. Mr Andrews is currently on day nine of a hunger strike as he pushes the Albanese government to implement change.”

→ Nofibs – 9 November 2023:
PODCAST: former Australian deputy chief UN climate negotiator on hunger strike – (audio 31:23 min)
“In this episode No Fibs talks with Gregory Andrews who’s currently on a climate hunger strike outside Parliament House in Canberra. No Fibs spoke to Andrews on day seven of his climate hunger strike.”

→ 3CR – 9 November 2023:
Gregory Andrews and Bec Horridge replay, yarns with Leila and Poli-Pearl Green (audio)
“Dharawal man Gregory Andrews joined Earth Matters’ Bec Horridge to speak about the hunger strike for climate that he began outside Parliament House on the 2nd of November.”

→ The Slippery Slope Podcast – 9 November 2023:
Hunger Strike Lunacy – (audio preview)
“Former Australian diplomat Gregory Andrews is seven days into a hunger strike outside Parliament House and claims he won’t quit until Australia has a timeline to stop exporti⁠⁠ng fossil fuels.”

→ Australasian Mine Safety Journal – 9 November 2023:
Anti-coal protestor stops eating, risks organ failure due to climate change
“An environmental activist could endanger his life if an anti-fossil fuel demonstration continues.”

→ Daily Mail – 9 November 2023:
Father-of-two who quit his $250,000 job and is now starving himself outside Parliament House rejects conspiracy theory about his protest and insane plan to die
“Gregory Andrews, 55, is on an indefinite hunger strike. He knows he could suffer organ failure or a heart attack.”

→ Daily Mail – 9 November 2023:
Fiery moment climate change protester on a hunger strike loses it and walks out on interview after host’s confronting question
“Hunger striker angry at interview. He and Andrew Bolt in fiery clash.”

→ News Corp – 9 November 2023:
One question makes activist on hunger strike storm out of interview
“One question has caused a climate activist to storm off a TV interview after it broached a touchy subject.”

→ Sky News – 9 November 2023:
Climate activist Gregory Andrews doubles down on move to walk out mid-interview with Andrew Bolt after heated on-air clash
“A climate activist has doubled down on his decision to storm out of an interview with Sky News Australia host Andrew Bolt after a heated debate unfolded over the campaigner’s hunger strike.”

→ Sky News – 8 November 2023:
‘You’re bullying me’: Climate activist hunger striking outside Parliament House storms out of fiery interview with Andrew Bolt
“A heated debate between Sky News Australia host Andrew Bolt and a former Australian High Commissioner turned climate campaigner has ended with the activist storming off the set.”

→ Sky News Australia – 8 November 2023
Climate activist on hunger strike storms out of interview with Sky News host (Video)
“Climate activist Gregory Andrews has stormed out during an interview with Sky News host Andrew Bolt. The two were in a heated debate discussing the activist’s decision to go on a hunger strike until the government has a timeline to stop exporting fossil fuels.”
Also on Herald Sun and Sky News Australia

→ Daily Mail / MSM | Australian Associated Press (AAP) – 8 November 2023:
Former Australian diplomat Gregory Andrews is seven days into a hunger strike outside Parliament House and claims he won’t quit until Australia has a timeline to stop exporting fossil fuels
“Gregory Andrews is seven days into hunger strike. He wants Australia to stop exporting fossil fuels.”

→ The West Australian | AAP – 7 November 2023:
Aussie ambassador on hunger strike for climate action
“A former high-level Australian diplomat won’t eat any food until he sees Anthony Albanese “get serious” and take climate action. Gregory Andrews has worked with the government for more than 30 years.”

→ The North West Star | AAP – 7 November 2023:
Aussie ambassador on hunger strike for climate action
“A former high-level Australian diplomat won’t eat any food until he sees Anthony Albanese “get serious” and take climate action.”

→ The Senior | AAP – 7 November 2023:
Aussie ambassador on hunger strike for climate action
“A former high-level Australian diplomat won’t eat any food until he sees Anthony Albanese “get serious” and take climate action. Gregory Andrews has worked with the government for more than 30 years.”

→ Climate Action Australia – 5 November 2023:
Former ambassador Gregory Andrews goes on climate action hunger strike in front of parliament
“Mr Andrews will sit outside the building every day until Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and the Australian Government commit to his demands.”

→ The Riotact – 3 November 2023:
Former ambassador Gregory Andrews goes on climate action hunger strike in front of parliament
” ‘Join me in calling for a safe future,’ said former ambassador Gregory Andrews as he asked the public to sign his petition before starting his hunger strike for climate action out the front of Parliament House.”

→ Canberra Times – 2 November 2023:
Former ambassador Gregory Andrews hunger strikes in front of Parliament for climate action
“A prominent Canberran has gone on an indefinite hunger strike to protest the federal government’s continued approvals of coal exports and inadequate climate action.”

→ INKL – 2 November 2023:
‘I won’t give up’: former ambassador on climate action hunger strike
“Gregory Andrews is asking the federal government to meet five demands.”

Reviewing the media coverage of Gregory Andrews’ hunger strike over time, a few aspects emerge, in particular the lack of coverage by environmental NGOs. Notably, there seems to be limited or no specific mention of coverage or statements from environmental NGOs and climate action advocacy groups like Climate Council, Greenpeace, the Australian Conservation Foundation, and WWF, which might suggest a gap in the advocacy or support network for Andrews’ cause.

Call on the Australian climate action movement

Over the first two weeks, the coverage has expanded from local or specific media outlets to more mainstream media, including the ABC. This suggests growing public interest and recognition of the significance of Andrews’ protest. As the strike progresses, there is increasing emphasis on Andrews’ health.

The involvement of independent politicians and senators like David Shoebridge in urging Andrews to end his strike indicates increasing political engagement, which is significant in terms of the impact and reach of the protest.

Many articles focus on the lack of a direct response from Prime Minister Albanese and the federal government, underlining the protest’s aim to elicit governmental action.

“A few people ask “what will Gregory achieve with this?”. Well, so far he’s grabbed the attention of many of the politicians that create our legislation and, one by one, they are stepping out of the big house on the hill to say hello and listen to why he is doing this.

This is not just about climate change. The right energy policy can provide employment opportunities, cheaper energy (the sun and the wind have zero marginal cost!) as well as national energy security by shifting our reliance to our abundant sunlight and wind resources (this is something that is more important as geopolitical tensions unfortunately continue to rise). Today we discussed all of these things and there’s something in that mix that’s of interest to every single one of our policy makers.

Congrats to Gregory for helping bring focus on all of these topics and grabbing the attention of those that have the power to make a positive change.”
~ Anthony Pesec, clean energy investor and former independent Senate candidate for the ACT

Map of locations of climate strikes, climate hunger strikes and other climate action around the world

Global climate hunger strike initiative

Currently 99 individuals are on climate hunger strike in 30 different countries around the world as part of a global initiative.

The ‘Global Hunger Strike for Climate’ campaign was conceived as an unprecedented initiative to synchronise a global water-fast commencing on 1 November 2023, and extending indefinitely throughout the duration of the 28th Conference of the Parties – COP28 – in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates until 12 December 2023.

The organisers write on their website that “the origins of the campaign lie in the recognition that immediate and transformative action is required to address the climate crisis, protect our planet’s ecosystems and future generations.”

→ Read more on www.globalwaveofclimateaction.org

Climate hunger strike history

Previous climate hunger strike in Melbourne

In 2019, Daniel Bleakley, a 37-year-old mechanical engineer and business owner from Melbourne, joined Extinction Rebellion’s Global Hunger Strike over 10 days, where he sat each day in front of the Victorian parliament. Daniel hoped to meet with leaders of the Victorian Government to lobby for the state to declare a climate emergency. He also wanted a people’s assembly to make decisions on climate issues, and was pushing Extinction Rebellion’s objectives. Globally, over 500 activists were on climate hunger strikes that same week. The Sustainable Hour interviewed Daniel Bleakley in September 2020 and in July 2021.

→ ABC – 26 November 2019:
Meet the Melbourne activist on hunger strike for climate action
“Melbourne engineer Daniel Bleakley hasn’t eaten in eight days, and it’s starting to show.”

→ The Age – 27 November 2019:
Why I’m on a climate hunger strike
“I’ve been a regular presence over the past 10 days on the steps of the Victorian parliament in a protest about the government’s lack on action on climate change.”

→ Herald Sun – 6 November 2009:
Man begins climate change hunger strike in Canberra
“Australian Paul Connor, 29, is worried about the hunger strike he’s just started, but he’s much more scared about climate change. He insists he’ll only drink water from now until an agreement is struck at global climate talks in Copenhagen.”

Previous climate hunger strike in Canberra

12 February 2020: Rob Bakes on a hunger strike for climate justice outside Parliament House in Canberra
13 February 2020: Greens leader Adam Bandt speaking about a climate emergency next to Rob Bakes,
who is on hunger strike for climate justice outside Parliament House in Canberra.

48-hour hunger strike against coal

→ Centre for Climate Safety – 30 August 2013
Hunger strike against giant coal project
“The level of commitment in pledges among anti-coal activists has taken a step upwards. Signatures or letter-writing simply won’t do any more. To prevent the construction of the largest coal mining complex in the world, an activist group in Australia now started a hunger strike, and calls for others to join them with a 48 hours public hunger strike, direct action and civil disobedience.”


→ Centre for Climate Safety – 27 July 2019:
UK doctor on hunger strike for more action on climate
“Dr Clifford Kendall is a UK trained doctor who has worked largely in South Africa since 2010. On 14 July 2019, he started a hunger strike outside the UK Parliament to push for more aggressive action on the climate and ecological emergency.”

→ CNN – 26 October 2021:
Climate activists say they will hunger strike until politicians take action
“Activists staged a hunger strike outside of the White House for days to get politicians to act on climate change.”

→ Texas Monthly – 2 November 2021:
The Failure of the Texas Grid Inspired Two Climate Activists to Go on a Hunger Strike in D.C.
“North Texans Kidus Girma and Julia Paramo haven’t eaten since October 19, as they try to pressure Joe Biden to pass a reconciliation bill with large green proposals.”

→ France 24 / AFP – 9 December 2021:
Hunger striking dad claims ‘victory’ in Swiss climate struggle
“A man ended a 39-day-long hunger strike outside the Swiss parliament on Thursday, declaring “Victory!” after the MPs agreed to be briefed by scientists on the latest climate change research.”

→ The Independent – 9 April 2022:
Climate activist on ‘indefinite’ hunger strike at Parliament gets support of dozens of top scientists
“‘I’m prepared to die if demand is not met’: Angus Rose continues climate hunger strike.”

→ The Guardian – 21 April 2022:
MPs to get scientific briefing on climate after activist’s hunger strike
“Angus Rose, 52, ends 37-day hunger strike as parliamentary group agrees to host briefing by Sir Patrick Vallance.”

Carbon March proposal

Inspiration from Gandhi’s Salt March

Podcast with Stuart Rosson, author of the cli-fi novel ‘East’, about an impending collapse and the idea of starting a Carbon March to Canberra to #BurstTheBubble

About hunger strikes

Hunger strikes can have severe effects on the human body, and the timeline of these effects can vary based on several factors such as the individual’s initial health status, age, and whether they are consuming fluids. Here’s a general timeline of what could happen during a hunger strike:

  • First few days: The body switches to its fat and protein reserves and starts using them as its main source of energy. This leads to fat and muscle loss as well as changes in the body’s processes12.  Levels of electrolytes also drop significantly, which can lead to impairment of various bodily functions2.
  • After two weeks: A person can experience dizziness, weakness, loss of coordination, and a low heart rate12.  Within the next week, he or she may suffer from vision loss or other neurological problems1.
  • After one month or after losing more than 18 percent body weight: There may be permanent damage to the body.  The person may experience difficulty swallowing, vertigo, hearing and vision loss, and possible organ failure1.  After 45 days, there is a high risk of death, mostly due to infection or cardiovascular collapse1.

It’s important to note that these timelines are estimates and can vary greatly depending on the individual and their circumstances.  For example, a person who is healthy at the start of a hunger strike is usually at little risk of dying from malnutrition for at least six to eight weeks2.  However, a person who is seriously ill can die from malnutrition in as little as three weeks2.  If a person also refuses all fluids, including water, deterioration is very rapid, with death quite possible within seven to 14 days2.

From a paediatritional perspective, managing a hunger strike can present ethical dilemmas for physicians, particularly when starvation-induced psychological changes occur34.  These changes can impair competence, increase impulsivity and aggressivity, and enhance the likelihood that patients will starve themselves to death3. Therefore, physicians are advised to follow advance directives obtained early in the hunger strike3.

Please note that this information is based on general observations and research, and the actual effects can vary greatly depending on the individual. For specific medical advice, it’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional.

Source: Bing

Gandhi’s 21-day hunger strikes

Mahatma Gandhi undertook several hunger strikes throughout his life as a method of non-violent protest. The duration of these hunger strikes varied. Here are some notable ones:

  1. 1924: Gandhi’s first major hunger strike lasted 21 days. It was to unite the Hindu and Muslim communities.
  2. 1932: Gandhi fasted for six days in protest against the British government’s decision to separate India’s electoral system by caste.
  3. 1933: He undertook a fast for 21 days to protest against the treatment of the “untouchables”, whom he called Harijans or “children of God”.
  4. 1943: During this hunger strike, Gandhi fasted for 21 days to protest against his detention by the British during World War II.
  5. 1948: His last fast, which lasted only a few days, was to persuade Hindus and Muslims in Delhi to work towards peace.

The total duration of these notable hunger strikes adds up to more than 70 days. However, Gandhi undertook numerous shorter fasts that were not as widely reported, and the total cumulative duration of all his fasts would be much greater.

Source: ChatGPT