A woman and I were discussing what the song was about. I thought it was about the being poor and wealthy. She said it had more simply to do with being hungry. Having re-read the lyrics, I am now more inclined to agree with her. Except for the one line that confuses me, "I can't feed on the powerless when my cup's already overfilled." I interpret this as, "I am now wealthy, but I won't step on people to for my wealth." Is this a fair interpretation? Anyone have any others? Or an outright explanation of the song?

  • There's blood on the table, the cup is full, the fire is burning, but no food to cook ? It all kinda makes sense until Eddie Vedder starts yarling.
    – ToastMan
    Apr 5, 2022 at 15:24

4 Answers 4


The song clearly is not just about being literally hungry --not with ample sociopolitical imagery such as "farming babies, while the slaves are all working." But while it may present as an abstract statement about wealth and poverty, a little research reveals a more personal meaning:

"Hunger Strike" came about because of an existential crisis that Soundgarden faced at that moment. We were sort of the first band [from Seattle] that had attention from labels in a meaningful way. There was a bidding war, which was unusual for any band from Seattle. We were living our dream, but there was also this mistrust over what that meant. Does this make us a commercial rock band? Does it change our motivation when we're writing a song and making a record? "Hunger Strike" is a statement that I'm staying true to what I'm doing regardless of what comes of it, but I will never change what I'm doing for the purposes of success or money. https://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/temple-of-the-dog-an-oral-history-w442502

In other words, does the band take a big contract from a commercial label ("bread from the mouths of decadence") and does that imply selling out, maybe even becoming party to exploitation ("I can't feed on the powerless when my cup's already overfilled")? It's all a bit overdramatic, but it comes out of a time and place in music where authenticity was prized above all else, and where the prospect of mainstream success raised powerfully ambivalent feelings among formerly "indie" groups that weren't sure they wanted it. The title of the song announces his intentions to turn down his shot at wealth and fame. Perhaps he would have been happier if he had stuck with that original commitment.


I agree with the meaning of the perversion of the wealthy and political people who have been "farming babies" and who have been the biggest part of human trafficking. The statement I'm going hungry refers to him not wanting any part of the perversion and also who wants to be on the losing team. Satan is the looser. It is written.


It's about Adrenochrome. The rich are trafficing children to harvest adrenochrome. He doesn't want any part of it. Why partake of this from innocent children when I am already successful. Blood on the table from the lives of the children murdered. He goes hungry because her won't take it.

And now we know about the adrenochrome lab that was blown up in the Ukraine and Hinter Bidens name all over documents. We know he was tied to the Epstean Island with sex traffic slaves. Oh and the Clinton's are tied to that too. Don't forget Obama, he and Michael are involved too.

Chester and Chris were close friends. Chester's father, John, was an advisor for the Clintons'. Chester and Chris were both fighting against the Sex trafficing and child sacrifices.

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I BElieve song is referencing human trafficking, and farming REAL human babies and wealthy deranged evil people abusing and eating the babies. They are going hungry because they want nothing to do with this practice and they are speaking out against the perverted disgusting action.

  • Just adding an opinion without arguments is a bit thin when compared to the previous (and accepted) answer.
    – guidot
    Feb 2, 2021 at 8:27

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