Zombies Are Like…

The last time I went to the zoo, I seem to remember the tour guide saying how lions, when they ate and had satiated their hunger, a person could literally pet the beast without worrying it would attack. Now, I wouldn’t be so foolish hanging out in a lion’s den, even if I knew they had just finished a course of three gazelles and an antelope, no matter what anyone would attempt to pay me. But the whole experience got me thinking. What makes a lion so different from a zombie?

A majestic lion
A majestic lion

I save these weird and wonderful questions for my Monday Mayhem series as a way to spur discussion, even when I sometimes feel I could do better by writing about the zombie genre’s cult status in cinema. But I digress.

So I thought today I’d write about the similarities between zombies and the animal kingdom by prefacing my thoughts with the phrase “zombies are like” and taking it from there. Who knows, I might actually surprise myself because I’m not sure where this is going to lead.

Zombies are like lions. A pride of lions can devour their prey whole, tearing at the innards until there’s nothing left of the body. Similarly, a horde of zombies can rip apart their victims without so much as waiting to digest what they have sitting in their decomposing stomachs. Lions also will not quit until they have their jaws firmly clamped on their prey’s throat. Not much different to zombies who always end up going for the jugular.

Zombies are like wolves. Wolves hunt in packs. Wolves will surround their prey until there’s no place to escape. Once they’re ready, they will attack without remorse. Zombies will do the same thing. It doesn’t matter if its a house, a barn or a tent. They will surround their victims, attack and not think anything of it. That is to say, if they could think at all.

Zombies are like sharks. At the slightest hint of blood in the waters, sharks will react. They will hunt their prey, wear it down, taunt it, then move in for the kill. Zombie ears and eyes will pick up the slightest vibration and change in scenery. The undead will hunt their victims, exhausting them run after run. They will not tire, and they will not wait. Eventually, the undead will always win.

Zombies are like ants. Okay, so this one is an insect. Haven’t you ever seen insects in a zoo? They swarm their victims in an attempt to overwhelm them and gain the advantage. One ant is insignificant. Many ants is a problem. One ant can’t do much damage, whether it’s during a foraging expedition or a fight. Many ants will cover their victims and consume them to the bone. I’m thinking of the skeletal remains of a yak in the middle of the Arizona desert. It wasn’t only vultures that had feasted on the body.

There you have a few of the animals I think are similar to zombies. They’re aplenty, and I’m sure you probably could think of many others. One thing though—have you thought about zombie similarities with bats? Okay, maybe I’m stretching it. I think I may have entered the vampire domain with this one.

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What animal do you think zombies resemble and why?

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26 thoughts on “Zombies Are Like…

  1. Interesting to ponder, Jack. Zombies as animals??
    As to the discussion above about young zombies–I can’t remember the title or author, sorry (but I think it might have been something like “The Best Parts”)–in Book of the Dead, there’s a fantastically wacko/perverse story about a zombie birth (from a zombie dad and mom), but they gave birth to a nonzombie, if memory serves. Worth a look, if you’re into the genre and don’t mind the sexual nature of, erm, parts of the story.
    I guess I would think of zombies in terms of vultures, if I had to categorize them anthropomorphically, but I guess that doesn’t capture the chasing-prey aspect. Zombies, it seems to me as a nonexpert, have really evolved from being represented as physical snails to being speedy Usain Bolt-type creatures. Maybe a better zombie analogy would be to the concept of dinosaurs Seems to me they used to be thought of as lumbering giants that were “stupid” across the board of the different species for the most part, but now we’ve got evidence of troodon (etc.) that weren’t “stupid” or physically slow.

  2. Sheep. Zombies are like sheep. Now, you’re probably thinking sheep are harmless, but I was followed and hassled by a herd of sheep about three years ago in Lancashire. I crossed a field, became aware of a thousand glassy eyes on me, turned and found every sheep in the field stood behind me watching with evil intent in their faces.

    And the year before I was attacked by several vicious lambs next to Bassenthwaite Lake in Cumbria. The day the sheep turn nasty is the day we’re done for as a species.

    Chris

  3. I like the analogy with ants, although I would go further and specifically say that zombies are like army ants. These are nomadic ants that swarm over areas, biting at tearing at any living thing they encounter, including birds and mammals. The naturalist Gerald Durrell describes army ants attacking his camp at one point, and the ants stripping caged animals to the bone in minutes. There’s also reports of them killing babies and other humans who’ve been incapacitated for some reason.

    I’d also say that there are some similarities between zombies and piranhas, especially when they get into feeding frenzy.

  4. Some of them are like alligators and crocodiles. I’m thinking of the ones that kind of lie on the ground as if dead and them pounce when you get too close. Get just close enough for one bite. I wonder if those are more concerned with spreading the disease than eating.

  5. They’re like leeches. But they’re relatively faster, & I think you’d notice a zombie ripping into you. 🙂
    Piranha ?

      • Zombie babies – too creepy. It was weird enough seeing the zombie girl in ” Dawn of the Dead ” & the 2 zombie children in The Walking Dead.

      • Come to think of it, would a zombie baby even last? They can’t move, digest solid foods, or have teeth. Also, there isn’t much there so the initial ‘feeding’ that turned it wouldn’t leave much.

      • It’s not like they could be a big threat, unless they suddenly learned to crawl really fast.
        For that matter, how come a person could be dying of a heart condition, life – sapping leukemia, pneumonia, etc., yet when they come back as zombies, they’re strong enough to attack the nearest person & run rampant ?

      • Only explanation I can think of for that is the organs those diseases would normally affect are no longer viable. So the diseases might be ‘dead’. Kind of like how you never see a zombie with asthma.

      • Yeah. The adrenal glands would be relatively uncompromised & the muscles would still be relatively intact. So a person who died of a life – sapping disease would have the strength of Samson – nearly.

      • One disease that I do wonder about when it comes to zombies is cancer. What happens with that since it’s been described to me a few times as something trying to consume the body or organs? It’s zombie-like in itself in some ways, so what would happen there?

      • Hmm. I would assume that once the host body died, it would start to die off after its source of nutrients was rendered inert. But – if it could continue to ” feed ” off of necrotic tissue ? A really interesting idea.

        There’s a mass of cervical cancer cells that’s been kept alive & thriving for about 2 decades that’s being studied ( I think it still is ) but it’s in laboratory conditions, so it has a regular supply of nutrients, etc., at all times.

      • The thought of cancer keeping someone ” alive “, after they were killed by it. Curious yet somewhat horrifying, indeed.

      • Easy, indeed. Most likely by somebody with experience in oncology. Cancer or perhaps a viral agent that also uses nutrients in human tissue that are capable of major re – designs to DNA.

      • Or a survivor who loves zombie movies. I have a family member who works in an oncology lab. She doesn’t seem to have time to write books. Then again, that’s just her and her lab. So who knows.

  6. Zombies of the future will be conservative and eat with forks and knifes with their little pinkie sticking up. They will be the elite and the rest of us slobs, dying to become like them.

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