Posts Tagged ‘ ethics ’

Vampires, Blood, and Morality

I wanted to mention this article i was pointed at: “Vampires, Blood, and Morality“.

This is not my usual type of reading. My beliefs do fall into the wider pagan category, and i do read things on the subject if i come across them. But i am very much a solitary practitioner, and most of my practice centres around aspects of my therianthropy, so it’s not really a main subject.

Still, i found this article worth mentioning for it’s very positive depiction of real vampires. For starters there is no sensationalism, there is no: “Did you know there are people who say they are vampires?!! And they drink blood??!!!”, a general attitude which marks most articles on real vampires, even when they are trying to be positive towards the vampire community.

Instead the writer talks quite matter-of-factly about the preoccupation which modern vampires have with ethics, and which is also quite visible in much of contemporary vampire fiction. If the article isn’t very in-depth, the attitude shown toward the vampire community is one i would dearly love to see more often.

Another thing to note is that the pagan community has not always had a reputation of being particularly favourable to vampires, in particular to psi-vampires. Though that has been changing i’m still happy to see that there is only one comment which is unfavourable towards vampires, and another commenter countered that argument. This is also quite heartening to see.

ethics of feeding

something which i’ve come across several times recently is vamps, specifically sanguinarian vampires, saying that they do not want to consume human blood for ethical reasons.

now i think ethics are important. not in a simplistic good/bad, but as deep personal reflections on what is right for a specific person. i approve of people who think about ethics. but with these sangs it did not appear to be the result of careful reflection, but more of an excuse to avoid icky feelings surrounding what is a rather taboo* and intimate human interaction.

what i see is not a right or wrong in their decision not to drink human blood, but rather a logical inconsistency in their arguments. the same vampires who say they won’t feed from humans are busy swapping tips on how to acquire animal blood, and have no hesitation about eating meat. i wonder how they arrive at the conclusion that killing and eating a non-consenting animal can be ethically less problematic than drinking a little blood which was freely given with minimal injury by a consenting human? i’m sure you see the point i’m making: non-consensual death vs. consensual minor injury?

one of the vamps i recently saw involved in such a discussion might actually have internal consistency, as they described themselves as christian, with the implication of humans being by default infinitely superior to animals in their belief-system. the others have a much harder position to defend, as they describe themselves as pagan, which in current usage almost always implies a certain kinship and equality between living creatures of all kinds.

personally, if you’re going to be feeding from a fully informed and consenting human donor then i think the ethical issues become truly minimal.

*and nobody go and tell me that drinking human blood isn’t a deep taboo in most human societies.

vampires are predators

here’s a simple fact which is important to remember if you ever have dealings with vampires: vampires are predators.

when we hang out in the vampire communities it is easy to forget that. one of the most wide-spread texts we encounter (in one of its various versions) is the black veil; all versions include rules about feeding only from willing donors. some go further and specify being respectful of donors, watching out for the donors’ health, and so on. there’s the donor bill of rights which i’ve talked about previously. out of the half-dozen or so relevant books on real vampirism one is titled “The Ethical Psychic Vampire“. on forums, websites, in chat, even when they’re feeding on you (or at least, up until right before, and immediately afterwards), vampires are always very concerned about not harming their donors, about only feeding from willing donors, about being ethical.

and you know, that’s good. we don’t want vamps running around cutting people up in their sleep. we don’t want the psi-vamps draining people randomly and unawares. i like civilised vamps.

but as i wrote earlier, vampirism is not polite. whether it be energy or blood, they feed from other humans, they consume other humans. and if you sit very quiet as a donor, or if you earn the trust of a vamp or two, and you might hear stories about how they miss the hunt. that just ten years ago the notion of a psi-vamp relying on donors would have got you ridiculed. the idea of independent donors, people like me, is so new that we don’t even yet know what to call ourselves.

and if you look around even longer, you’ll find things like this blog here by a fleeting acquaintance* of mine. they is quite unabashed about being a predator, about hunting, about feeding non-consensually. it is really quite interesting reading. and there are a few other places where i’ve seen similar things written, or heard things said, but i can’t or won’t link those because they’re in private or protected spaces.

i’m quite okay with that, actually. part of what makes vampires (and being a donor) so attractive is that it’s so carnal. but if you’re just starting out on becoming a donor it might be well to not forget that vampires really are predators.

*they posted on the vcmb, and announced having a blog. as they’re the only other person i’m aware of who’s currently regularly blogging about vampirism, we spoke a little.