Lois Lowry has created a brutal and primitive society in which Kira lives in Gathering Blue. As we learn in the first chapters, Kira literally has to defend her life and tell those in charge why she should be allowed to live once Vandara has accused her of not being useful.
Even though Kira is eventually spared, her land, hut and garden are confiscated while she has been confined after her mother's death and she has no means of reclaiming it. The society is very much a survival of the fittest. Those who are deemed unworthy are carried off to field presumably to be taken by the beasts.