Posted in Monday Mayhem

Why Don’t Zombies Eat Each Other?

Everyone has their ideas of why zombies do the things they do. Why do zombies eat brains? Why do zombies from forty years ago lurch while today’s undead sprint toward their victims? Do zombies ever have to go to the bathroom?

The human brain.
The human brain.

I’m dedicating today’s Monday Mayhem post to the ultimate question: Why don’t zombies eat each other?

To answer this question I’m going to speculate, hypothesize, and take a few wild guesses. I’m sure everyone has an opinion, but how scientific are unsubstantiated opinions? Does science have an answer? I’m totally going to throw a dart with the hope it sticks and makes sense. Let’s see how far I get.

This is my theory.

Whether folks are talking about zombies bred by a curse, a virus or a freakish experiment gone wrong, the undead know only one thing—to eat. I’ve mentioned this before in the context of sharks. If anything is true about zombies, they are like sharks that smell blood in the waters. They hunt until there’s nothing left of their prey. Similarly, the undead search for the living as a means of nourishment in order to satisfy a craving deep within their bodies. That craving dictates their actions to terrorize humans for their own personal fulfillment. No matter what they do, they can’t feel satiated by their latest conquest and have to kill again in an endless cycle.

Of course, the next question to come from the astute reader is why. Why do zombies search for humans to fill the void in their souls? With all the meat around them—although undead nonetheless—why go for human? Won’t eating their kind stem the hunger burning within their bowels?

Pituitary Gland.
Pituitary Gland.

The answer to that is no. The question references the same question posed throughout the decades: why do zombies eat brains? It’s the same answer as to why don’t zombies eat each other?

John A. Russo’s film The Return of the Living Dead popularized the idea of zombies eating brains. Brains? Yes. Zombies need endorphins to sooth the pain of decomposition. Since their own kind can’t provide the endorphins needed to quell the agony of a slow death, humans will fill that void.

Located at the base of the brain, the pituitary gland produces the endorphins zombies need to relieve the pain of their immanent demise. To get to the gland, the undead would have to capture a human, bash the skull and draw the prize by scoops. Zombies simply can’t fulfill this order from other zombies. For one thing, in death their pituitary glands no longer secrete endogenous morphine (a.k.a. endogenous opioid inhibitory neuropeptides) as the nervous system is dead. No nervous system, no endorphins.

What was that analogy I’d used earlier? Right, sharks smell the blood in the water of their victims. Can it be zombies also smell the endorphins from humans as they go about their daily lives trying to stay alive during a zombie apocalypse?

What do you think?

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ALIEN INVASION, on sale now.

Why do you think zombies don’t each other? Is there a better theory?

Posted in Monday Mayhem

Why do Zombies Eat Brains?

The film The Return of the Living Dead pioneered the popular idea of zombies eating brains. Prior to this concept, zombies had an appetite for anything human, not just brains. For my new readers, this is Monday Mayhem where I talk about zombies. And other stuff. But mostly zombies.

The Human Brain
The Human Brain

In the movie Warm Bodies, the main character, a zombie named R, kills a man, cracks open his head and scoops out a vast portion of his brain to consume on the spot. R saves some for later. The film does a good job presenting a seamless string of memories from the victim’s brain as if it were streaming through R’s rot-laden head. R feels that much more human when taking in the victim’s memories. Here’s what R thinks:

“There’s a lot of ways to get to know a person. Eating her dead boyfriend’s brains is one of the more unorthodox methods.”

But is that the real reason why zombies eat brains?

Modern day zombies breed from a virus. The typical contagion seeps through the blood of the victim, changing their composition thereby rendering them undead. The term undead means the victim died and rose from the dead. Classic zombies sport a morbid, pasty look, their eyes dull and their clothes shredded. They are shells of their former selves with nothing in their hearts and minds other than the craving for human flesh. Not much different from the folks you meet on Twitter’s Direct Messaging.

The Brain
The Brain

This craving is the key to zombiehood. For those unsure, zombies eat the flesh not to survive, but to satisfy an inner hunger born from becoming undead. Even if the zombie has its stomach removed, the craving exists, which makes it all the more vicious since its hunger originates not from self-preservation but from malicious intent bent on destroying humans or propagating the zombie virus.

Regardless of knowing this, we still need an explanation as to why zombies eat brains.

Before The Return of the Living Dead made its debut, zombies only consumed human flesh. But once the movie came out, the modern version of a legend rose from its frames. All of a sudden, zombies ate brains.

Why?

Nothing could be simpler: Brains provide zombies with the necessary endorphins to dull the pain of Rigor Mortis brought about by decomposition. The more brains, the less pain. In some ways, zombies get a high consuming the delicacy. And with that idea in mind, is it a wonder no one thought of it sooner?

A Note of Thanks

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE shot to #5 last night on Amazon’s Horror Best Sellers list here in Canada. Check out who the top 5 horror authors are in Canada:

#1 Stephen King
#2 Dean Koontz
#3 Stephen King
#4 Eric Tozzi
#5 Jack Flacco

The book’s also hit #420 on the Amazon Best Sellers Rank on Amazon.ca.

It’s also tracking as #6 for both Best Sellers in Children’s Horror books and ebooks.

And #3 on the Hot New Releases in Horror Fiction.

Finally, #1 on the Hot New Releases list in Children’s Horror.

I’m in shock. I wouldn’t have imagined it possible that something like this would have happened. I’m sincerely grateful for all those who have reviewed my book prior to release. I thank all those who have thrown me kind words my way these past few weeks. And I can only say that you—the audience—have made this book a success. I’m now without words.

Thank you again, everybody.

Did you know that zombies eating brains is a recent concept originating from The Return of the Living Dead?