It is better to be free and starving, than to be fed and enslaved. The book, Animal Farm by George Orwell, is a does a superb job illustrating this by showing how the Russian Revolution and its aftermath affected the Russian populace.
In Animal Farm, the animals that symbolized Russians were enslaved by a farmer that represented the Tsar of Russia. The conditions that these animals were undergoing were far less than ideal. They had no freedom and only the bare minimum amount of food and care was given to them in order to survive which created a perfect atmosphere for rebellion amongst the animals. This rebellion, later called the Russian Revolution, achieved what the Russians/animals wanted: Freedom.
After the Russian Revolution, the animals enjoyed a brief time period of peace an prosperity, however a new threat was apparent, Joseph Stalin, known in the book as Napoleon. Joseph Stalin oppressed and alienated a large majority of Russia, resulting in conditions similar to before the Russian Revolution.
In this book, the animals always strive for freedom, however they never really attain it. Their poor, enslaved lives show how being without freedom is the worst thing that could happen to an individual, and that death would be a more suitable action.
Without food, one would surely cease to live. However, without freedom, one would never live at all. It is obvious that, based on historical evidence from the past, freedom is of a higher value than nourishment.