The Undead and Philosophy: Chicken Soup for the Soulless

By Richard Greene; K. Silem Mohammad | Go to book overview

11
The Bloody Connection
Between Vampires and
Vegetarians

WAYNE YUEN

DR SEWARD: Your diet, Mr. Renfield, is disgusting.

RENFIELD: Actually, they [flies] are perfectly nutritious. You see,
each life that I ingest gives back life to me.

—Francis Ford Coppola’s film Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Vampires should not drink human blood. This is not a terribly controversial statement, but asking ourselves why this is so leads to the underlying moral principles that govern how we make decisions about what is right and wrong. It’s our job as moral individuals to investigate these principles and try to live a life that is consistent with them. If we look at the situation of vampires and come to understand why it is that we evaluate their particular eating habits as immoral, we will discover the moral principles that can help us gauge whether or not our own eating habits are consistent with our belief that vampires should not eat people.

We get plenty of examples of the eating habits of vampires from Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but we actually see a vampire learning to become a vampire in the film Interview with the Vampire. So this chapter will concentrate, for the most part, on that particular film.


Reasoning with Vampires

Before we look at the principles governing vampires’ eating habits, we should examine what it takes for something to have

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