10 February 2010

Eat dirt

"[W]e call ourselves vegetarians," Edward says ominously (Meyer 188).

We've all heard the jokes (or made them); they're impossible to resist. There is a moment when you tilt your head to the side, scowl, and speak out loud to the character: "Edward, dear, Bambi is not a vegetable."

However, taxonomic confusion is not the point of this tirade. A question has been raised repeatedly. Can vampires feed on animal blood?

For my answer, I will pilfer the dialogue of Edward Cullen...again. "If someone dared you to eat dirt, you could, couldn't you?" (Meyer 207). Add in the condescending tone for authenticity's sake, and then contemplate the following. A vampire can consume animals, just as you can consume human blood. But, the ability to ingest a substance does not equip that product to be a diet staple.

Before you panic and ask a load of questions, I will pause and address this one: Can humans drink blood? My answer is: Yes, of course they can. Many do. Now, I don't know whether or not drinking blood makes a human sick. Certainly, I've seen humans vomit after consuming blood, but this may very well be the result of a mental reaction to consuming a taboo substance. I don't know, but I don't suggest doing it. You already know that I'm wary about the spread of disease; consequently, I've never explored the subject of human consumption of blood in a scientific manner. Ask someone else.

Now, I'll refer you back to my point. A human can drink blood, but that doesn't mean that a human can live by consuming blood alone. It lacks the nutritional value that humans receive from a varied diet. Humans are omnivores. Vampires are sanguivores...not vegetarians. Humans are generalized (not strictly adapted). Vampires are specialized (physiologically adapted to a specific function). While a vampire may derive some sustaining value from animal blood, it lacks the specialized ingredients that the vampire needs.

The staple of the vampiric diet is human blood. Live with it or die by it. It really doesn't matter to me. But, if you keep asking me to try a diet of animal blood, then I will insist that you try a diet of dirt and see how you fare.


Meyer, Stephenie. Twilight. Little, Brown and Company 2006.

Vegetable Art. [Photo]


  1. Wouldn't it be nice if there was blood donated from humans in a safe environment for vampires only? Free from disease/infections. Like a one-stop-blood shop. Although, where would the fun be in that? ;)