Vampires feeding on the blood of their victims is what sets them apart from other spooky and supernatural beings. However, many people wonder why exactly vampires drink blood. There are 5 very important reasons:
1. Blood is their (only) food
Vampires are dead and immortal at the same time. In other words, they’re undead. In order to function and gain strength they need to feed off of living creatures that have blood (life force) coursing through their veins. Vampires can’t absorb any nutrients from food because their digestive system no longer works.
Just like a person who hasn’t eaten for a very long time, they need nutrients which from blood which can be absorbed directly. If a vampire doesn’t drink blood for a long time, he’ll get weak, frail and look older. After drinking some blood, he’ll regain his strength and youthful appearance.
Some wealthy folks, most notably the Silicone Valley magnate Peter Thiel are reported as pumping fresh blood of younger people into their bodies in order to preserve their health and youthful appearance. (source: Vanity Fair)
2. It’s a reproductive method
Vampires can’t reproduce in the usual, human like manner. They’re (un)dead so they can’t give life to anything, they can only suck it out from living creatures. In order to create new vampires, they have to bite a human first, which leads to the victim’s transformation into one of their own.
3. It makes them stronger while weakening their prey
Loss of larger amounts of blood can lead to weakness, drowsiness, falling unconscious or even death. This is why vampires use blood drinking from large veins and arteries to weaken their victims. At the same time, drinking blood improves the vampire’s strength, which makes it a powerful weapon indeed.
4. Sucking blood from the neck paralyzes the victim
Aside from causing general weakness, the neck is a pleasure center, an erogenous zone. This is why love bites are commonly found on the neck, and why people enjoy being kissed on the neck.
When a vampire bites into it, the pleasure can paralyze the victim. Not to mention fear of the sharp, few inch teeth tearing the skin and the jugular vein and causing death. The victim really can’t move in this situation unless they’re willing to risk immediate death.
The erotic danger of a vampire’s bite has been eroticized in many novels and movies. Vampires even bite other vampires to add intensity to their love-making sessions.
Due to the previously discussed pleasure points found in the neck, there are understandable physical reasons for this phenomena, along with the potential psychological pleasure derived from the power exchange itself.
The Folkloric Origins of Vampire Blood Drinking
We can definitely attribute the stories of blood drinking to some superstitions and lack of scientific knowledge. The greatest example are early exhumations of human bodies.
When the ancients exhumed bodies of the deceased, they would often find blood in their mouths. Now we are well aware that this phenomena occurs when the blood of a dead person moves from the organs into the mouth due to the bodies decomposition. But people in the past assumed that these were vampires who were caught in their sleep who had a feast the night before! Then the weakness or sudden illness of a living person was attributed to the acts of this newly found vampire.
It was also believed that dead people could become vampires if they were buried laying on their backs, so they were sometimes placed on their stomachs instead. The blood would drip from the mouth more easily because of gravitation, so when they exhumed these bodies, they didn’t find any blood in the mouth.
Final Word: Why Vampires Drink Blood
A better question would be to ask why a vampire WOULDN’T drink blood? That would be a truly confused vampire, and one we could feel pity for.
The next time you’re confronted by a vampire, tell him you understand that it’s just business before reaching for a silver bullet.