By Deacon Gray 2006
Have you ever been so depleted of energy that you thought you would go mad if you didn’t sate your vampiric hunger? Has the emotional effects of it tried your soul? Perhaps you have looked for a means to sate that hunger in ways other then feeding. Have you run across the urban legends about ways to satisfy your hunger other then feeding, legends that plague our community?
I have been reading lately about the hunger trying to answer in a logical manner some of the questions that go along with it. Some of them are pretty simple to answer, but most of the answers only lead to more complex questions. Like, whether or not a vampire will die if they don’t feed?
The answer to that question is clearly no. There seems to be no direct link between nutrition and the act of feeding. A vampire can go for years, some times lifetimes with out feeding with out serious physical effects. The truth is the body simply doesn’t seem to need to feed in order to survive anymore then one needs to have love, or human contact. While they seem to be basic needs the truth is that in a lab controlled environment a patient can live with none of these things for a lifetime.
This has long been the point of debate between the theoretical stand points on whether a vampiric condition is a physical or spiritual condition. Those who argue for the spiritual condition often ask the question that, if the body can survive with out something how can it be a physical condition? And, if it’s not a physical condition how then can a biological need for it really exist?
The Physical condition supporters in turn point out that all living things, when kept in an awake alert environment will die with out physical contact. Further they show that the body is dependent on the chemicals that certain actions produce in their bodies in order to survive. Mental and physical well being is clearly in jeopardy if one is left in total isolation for too long. Many even die as children from a syndrome called “failure to thrive”, which is in most cases seem to have no physical reasons. The only common link seems to be the amount of love and attention the child gets.
So if both are ambiguous, how is the vampiric phenomenon explainable, and what are the effects of feeding, or not feeding in the long term? These questions don’t seem to have any clear answers, which is why there is such a divergence of theory in the community. What we do know however is information gained from circumstance.
Over the Last few years I have heard many vampires complain that when they are not able to feed for long periods some serious issues arise. One of them is an emotional down turn that sends the vampire into a depression. Another is a feeling of anger and frustration, the in ability to think clearly. I have heard of people even having these emotions taken to extremes.
People have reported suicide attempts, mental illness when depression has went to an extreme. Some report head aches and poor general health, which would seem to indicate some kind of physical reaction. The exact mechanism of that illness is often elusive at best.
This would seem to counter the original question about whether a vampire could die from not feeding. After all they don’t feed; they have an emotional reaction, or physical reaction, which leads to depression, feelings of hopelessness, and finally an attempt at taking ones own life, the effect being death resulting from not feeding. While other vampires live for decades with out feeding and live a fairly normal life, at times never feeding at all with no such result as their suicidal brethren
This takes us right back to the beginning though doesn’t it?
I decided at one point to run some basic tests. I wanted to see if there was indeed a physical reaction that could be measured. My findings seemed fairly promising, though my research group was significantly insufficient to really reach any strong conclusions.
I found five female vampires who agreed to be test subjects. Basic physical readings were taken, and then all five where asked to feed initially, in their own manner that night, and then return the following morning for to allow for a second set basic readings to be taken. These included a basic set of vital signs where taken, a blood glucose check, and a white blood cell count was taken all thanks to the friendly lab technician at my place of work.
The results starting out were fairly normal for four, but one had a decreased white blood cell count, though that could have been due in part to a recent bacterial infection. The blood pressures were all with in the normal levels and the blood sugar count showed a normal as well before feeding.
The following morning however things changed in an interesting manner. Blood pressure in all three had dropped blood sugar levels where higher, though not unhealthy, and the white blood cell count was significantly higher. Not to mention that my volunteers all had a new issue with whining when it came to blood draws.
I asked them to come in for a follow up on days three, five and seven; the agreement was that none of them would feed in this time. I would ask some basic questions about their emotional states, and try to discover if they had any recent developments that could mess up my test.
Day thee result was interesting. The higher levels noticed the first day had fallen a little, the girls all appeared to be in generally good moods, and the whining however had increased significantly.
Day five I noticed a decrease in levels again, this time back down to more normal levels just as they had before the feeding had taken place. With the exception of one girl who was noticeably higher in all areas and removed from the testing when I discovered she had feed three times the night before. The whining had commenced but a new increase my own appeal to the ladies was noticed.
Day seven was interesting. I found that most of the girls where fairly down in spirits. Their lab results were all down below normal levels and the whining had moved from annoying to nearly hostile. They made it clear that they no longer wished to be part of the project, would allow no more blood draws, and where glad it was over. I got three phone numbers, and invited to a party.
Ultimately I learned very little. What I did learn though was that in this limited and uncontrolled test group significant changes did occur physically. These changes seemed to coincide with the amount of time between feedings.
I then went to an old friend, a vampire who had not had a donor in several years. I asked to test her, and she agreed warmly even after seeing the needle. The results showed no difference between her the young ladies during the mid point of feeding. This was troubling.
How could one stay normal after a sustained period of not feeding, while four dropped so significantly over such a small period of time? The answer came to be like a bolt of thunder…actually the friend pretty much summed it up for me like this.
The issue is both physical and spiritual in nature. The body it self does not require the feeding, however the emotional well being of the vampire could become compromised if they didn’t learn to understand their hunger and it’s effects. There was a physical reaction to feeding, this much is clear, but the down side of it appeared to be more of a mental emotional aspect that had very real physical effects.
The Vampire who had learned to understand her hunger had also discovered that when she used her more vampiric abilities more, she needed to feed more, but if she fed and used little or none of those abilities, the need to feed was significantly less. More, she pointed out that one of the abilities developed by the vampire over time had been an ability to hold in reserve their strength in times of famine.
I postulated that vampires might actually feed in ways they had not considered their personal manner of feeding in the past. That perhaps the body or spirit sensed the down turn in energy and went to another means to collect it naturally. The issue however was still the same. If this were so, then why would any vampires fall into the depression?
A concept emerged and I started to consider the feeding might well have an addictive quality. Like drinking, though it’s a very poor example, some could drink and enjoy the effects with out becoming an alcoholic. While others once they tasted the energy instantly became hooked on the high of it.
Many of my fellow vampires didn’t agree with that concept. They believed that strength of will could well manage one through the hunger, and the emotional result of not feeding. We then considered that the most successful of the vampires in controlling their hunger came out of their own self control ability.
Rather then turning to some urban legend for an artificial high, they turned instead to relaxation techniques, other hobby’s and interests. In time their hunger became instead of a roar in the front of their consciousness, a more subtle growl at the back of it. The need, the desire was not simply eliminated, but it was controlled and in some cases indefinably.
The answer, I feel, is in the individual will and strength of character which often evolves as the vampire becomes more attuned with an understanding of themselves. They learn to understand what it is they are feeling and what the cause of it is. The also learn how to handle such things in their own ways. So Recognition of the hunger, understanding of it, and then a proper means to decentralize the focus on feeding allowed for a successful period of controlled fasting.
My scientific method however proved useless in the study of feeding; however it did prove to be evidence that A. Vampire chicks could be conditioned to hate needles. B. Unfed vampire chicks will indeed drop their standards enough to give me their phone number, and C. Using my head to get vampire chicks to fall for my manipulations in the name of science was not only a success, but provided results I never expected…though I have yet to get a return call from a single one of those phone numbers…Hummm…maybe I should try the metaphysical method next and see if I can get anywhere with the feeding theory, and with vampire chicks, in that manner.