Many devious authors, screenwriters, and filmmakers continue to push the dangerous idea of a “peaceful zombie” by appealing to our emotions over reason. They twist the very notion of a noble savage, and manipulate our empathy for the misunderstood monster, via their insidious films like Fido, Warm Bodies, or even Edgar Wright’s 2004 comedy classic Shaun of the Dead.
In each case, the audience is cleverly conditioned to root for the murderous, undead, cannibal despite the clear and present danger they actually represent. The subversive nature of any film that replaces the father of a loving family with a member of the living dead, or believes that teenage love can somehow civilize a savage zombie, should be apparent; yet it persists!
Perhaps the closest parallel we can currently draw are humans that keep wild animals as domestic pets. The media are drawn to cutesy YouTube videos showing humans playfully wrestling with their pet lions, tigers, and bears as if such exceptions disprove the rule.
But organization like Born Free USA present the harsh truth that wild animals have unique needs, behaviors, and instincts that will not simply go away because a well-meaning owner treats the animal in a way he or she considers kind. Violence is simply encoded in their DNA!
Every year, millions of exotic animals are captured from the wild or bred in captivity for commercial profit or human amusement, only to languish in conditions that fail to meet their instinctive behavioral and physical needs … In captivity, wild animals are not able to perform their natural behaviors and many lash out in frustration from psychological and physical deprivation. This situation is dangerous for animals and humans alike.
Even political author and Advisory Board member Daniel W. Drezner foresees a future where nongovernmental organizations are devoted to the legal defense of the living dead, acting as an impediment to their eradication. In his book Theories of International Politics and Zombies, Drezner specifically cites the Citizens for Undead Rights and Equality, a British political party completely committed and dedicated to granting zombies the same legal rights as the living.
But he also warns readers about the possible creation of even more powerful activist groups such as Zombie Rights Watch and Zombies Without Borders who would undoubtedly render any coordinating body, such as the hypothetical World Zombie Organization, impotent and completely unable to protect its member nations from such an inevitable zombie invasion!
So beware the scores of academics, politicians, and journalists who claim to study the undead and deconstruct our concept of zombies with the intention of tearing down any opposition to our ultimate destruction. Zombies like Fido are not our personal servants, zombies like “R” will not make a good boyfriend, and zombies like Ed are not the friends that we once knew.
Like wild animals, zombies exhibit biological behaviors and deadly instincts encoded deep in their DNA that will not simply disappear because some well-meaning human treats them with kindness. In fact, many will eventually lash out in pure frustration due to the deprivation of their psychological and physical proclivities. Don’t fall for the myth of the peaceful zombie!