Nerd Factor: Vampire Diets

Dr. Mike ~ UL Communication Studies Professor

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I think it must be hard to be a vampire.  The supernatural powers are pretty cool. And while all the weaknesses are challenging to keep track of, that’s really just an organizational problem. Also, who wouldn’t enjoy living in a remote castle? Well not too remote. you’d want broadband and good wi-fi. I suspect the eating habits must be the real challenge. 

I don’t just mean the blood. I figure that every vampire just has to get over the blood, both in a moral and physical sense. I mean what’s a vampire going to do? Eat rats? Steal from the blood bank? I’m sure that’s fine for the brooding, anti-hero types, but it’s not going to keep the undead stamina up. Vampire feeding is no doubt very messy too. Still, that’s probably a lot like going to a barbeque. A bit of careful dining and some wet wipes should keep the face and clothes clean.

What I mean is that mealtimes must be challenging for vampires. In some ways vampires have access to the biggest menu imaginable. There are seven billion potential meals awaiting them on the planet. But for reasons of safety, a vampire must be a very careful eater. 

I think this must be like having a dietary restriction or gastric condition. When I was in elementary school, I got a stomach ulcer. Back then, nobody knew that ulcers were caused by bacteria and there were not many medicines to relieve the pain beyond good old antacids. The main way to treat the condition was to be very regimented about eating. The trick was to keep some food on my stomach throughout the day through regular meals with scheduled snacks in between. However, I had to pick the right kinds of consumables as spicy dishes or caffeinated drinks could set the ulcer off. It was not fun, but it was manageable. 

I believe vampires would have to be this way too. I mean not so much in terms of the kinds of food. Sure, it must be quite the surprise to get a human full of garlic or maybe even holy water. That would certainly upset the undead stomach. No, the vampire’s problem is also with timing. If a vampire eats too many people in a specific place or at the same time, well pretty soon all the villagers have pitchforks, torches, and sharpened stakes and are heading to the castle in an angry mob. As a matter of preservation, vampires have to therefore be way too with meal scheduling. 

This must be really hard for vampires because they most assuredly get hungry if not “hangry.”

Again, a personal experience comes to mind. Once many years ago, I had to fast the day before a medical procedure. For some reason I decided to come to work. I hid out in my office for most of the morning in order to avoid seeing other people eating anything. In retrospect, that was a little vampiric of me to hide in my place of solitude. After lunch time, I headed out to my class quite pleased with myself for having gotten beyond the challenge. 

Unfortunately, a student brought a sandwich to class. And wow did I fixate on that sandwich. It was all I could smell. It was all I could see. And the damn fries, they were like a siren call. By the end of class, I was just trying not to even look at or go to that side of the room. I struggled through the class because “sandwich, sandwich, sandwich” was all I could think about. 

Vampires must feel like that all the time. The craving must be terrible for them, only worse because the food is talking to them. No wonder vampires hide in remote places. Going out must be like visiting a gigantic buffet that somehow isn’t “all you can eat.” 

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