Vegans of Color

Because we don’t have the luxury of being single-issue

Twlight and Vegetarian Vampires? New Philosophy book… September 24, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dr. A. Breeze Harper @ 11:22 pm

Has anyone ever seen Twlight? If so, I am wondering about this book. Has anyone read it? I have never watched Twilight, but I know it’s incredibly popular. See the book below? I just ran across it on while searching for books.

Twilight and Philosophy: Vampires, Vegetarians, and the Pursuit of Immortality

On Amazon.com, the product description reads as:

Product Description
The first look at the philosophy behind Stephenie Meyer’s bestselling Twilight series

Bella and Edward, and their family and friends, have faced countless dangers and philosophical dilemmas in Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight novels. This book is the first to explore them, drawing on the wisdom of philosophical heavyweights to answer essential questions such as: What do the struggles of “vegetarian” vampires who control their biological urge for human blood say about free will? Are vampires morally absolved if they kill only animals and not people? From a feminist perspective, is Edward a romantic hero or is he just a stalker? Is Jacob “better” for Bella than Edward? (source: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0470484233?ie=UTF8&tag=sistvegawebs-20&link_code=as3&camp=211189&creative=373489&creativeASIN=0470484233)

Vegetarian vampires? Interesting….

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19 Responses to “Twlight and Vegetarian Vampires? New Philosophy book…”

  1. johanna Says:

    Read the book (only the 1st one) — it had dodgy gender politics (which I’ve heard get worse) & also fetishized white white white skin more than many vampire novels (& I’ve read a lot) do. Gross.

    Someone told me a while ago there was a vampire novel about someone who was vegan before they got turned & then had to deal w/needing blood, heh. But apparently it wasn’t a v. good novel, despise the premise.

  2. Heather Says:

    I somehow got sucked into these ridiculous books. The gender politics ARE ridiculous – and the 4th book is downright abhorrent (no spoilers, in case anyone ACTUALLY wanted to read them). But yeah, they call themselves “vegetarians” because they only survive on the blood of animals. It’s like this weird joke. Edward makes this joke where he’s all, “We call ourselves vegetarians because we don’t drink human blood. But it’s kind of like a person surviving only on tofu: you’re never really satisfied.” (I butchered that, but whatever)

    Sorry – had to chime in!

  3. Jennifer Says:

    In addition to what Johanna said, ‘Twilight’ doesn’t actually feature vegetarian or vegan vampires. The premise doesn’t differ from any other vampire lit with a ‘good’-vampire-who-doesn’t-eat-humans plotline: in this case, they appropriate the term ‘vegetarian’ specifically to mean that the vampires consume non-human meat in order to stay away from human meat. I find this problematic in its own right, and was one of the things I found most irritating about the promotion of the movie. I don’t know if the book you mention goes into the politics of what I’ve mentioned, but my guess is that they’re using the term ‘vegetarian’ in the same incorrect manner.

  4. Emily Says:

    From my understanding (and I haven’t read the books), they’re not vegetarians, they just don’t kill and eat humans. This is supposed to make them way better than other vampires because they *just* eat animals. Sounds to me like speciesism at its finest.

  5. Scu Says:

    Thanks to alerting me to this book. I posted a slightly theoretical response to the concept of vegetarian vampires over at my blog, http://criticalanimal.blogspot.com/2009/09/vegetarian-vampires.html

  6. Jason Says:

    Hmmm… where to start. These books go out of their way to glorify abusive male behavior. For example, the dreamy male vampire boyfriend, Edward, has his girlfriend kidnapped at one point and held captive so that she can’t talk to another boy. Bella, the female lead, routinely takes this type of beaviour, because it is done out of “love”.

    There is nothing vegetarian or vegan about it. Quite the opposite; the author is, I think, using the term mockingly.

    I’m a teacher who works with young people, many of whom read these novels. I’m glad that I can talk with my kids about the messed up gender relations, but really saddened by the popularity of these novels. Their twisted portrayel of what romantic love is (domineering male, submissive female) is really scary.

    • I guess I need to see a few episodes (I need to get a tv first !) because I’m interested in what people have been saying. Am also curious about the ethnic make-up of the cast. Like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, were all the main characters white? Maybe I am mis-remembering, but I thought during one of the Buffy episodes, a character had mentioned that it was strange that Buffy fights to save human lives from vampires, demons, etc, yet she goes right on and eats non-human animals. Does anyone remember something like that or am I just hallucinating? I could be….

      • Anonymous Says:

        i don’t think that happened…i think my (vegan) partner and i would remember if someone had told buffy to be vegetarian.

        i also remember commenting to my partner at one point about how all of the nonwhite characters on the show are bad and also not important characters, but then in the last season that is not true. also on angel, there is a significant black character who works with angel. (i know that one exception doesn’t change much though! just had to point it out.)

        • Don’t get me wrong. I loved watching both Buffy and Angel series. But yea, I remember my twin brother and I becoming offended that Gunn would make a deal with a demon, to “become smarter.”

          However, While watching the show, I would often have in the back of my mind, “Interesting that they’re fighting for HUMAN’S right to live, yet consume non-human animals. I wonder if non-human animals in the show consider HUMANS demons who should be slayed.”

      • johanna Says:

        Anonymous, Gunn is not a sterling example of race relations on Angel at all!! I loved his character but what they did w/him makes me so angry.

        ***SPOILER ALERT***

        There were lots of little things in how they treated his character, like I remember one specific incident where Cordy said something that was v. much “white savior woman” in its tone. And then the whole “we’re gonna make the black guy smart, but only b/c he’s made a deal w/the devil to get these brain implants, & then it turns out that the deal he made costs Fred her life blahblahblah.” UGH.

      • Merl Says:

        As an avid Buffy fan(atic) and Black vegan, I must mention that there were three Black slayers: the original slayer who was African, Kendra – a Jamaican who became a slayer when Buffy drowned at the end of season one, and Principal Wood’s mother (I forgot her name) who was killed by Spike in the 70’s on a NYC subway train. The black leather coat that Spike wears belonged to Principal Wood’s mother. (Spike killed two slayers; the other one was Asian.)

        I’ve watched the entire series several times, and I’m certain that nobody ever said anything to Buffy about the irony of her not being vegetarian. There is an episode in which Principal Snyder refers to a student who has handcuffed himself to a vending machine as a “no-life vegan” or something like that. Also, Principal Wood mentions that he is vegetarian around the time when Buffy first meets him.

        The best Buffy moment for vegetarianism, in my opinion, is an episode in which a vampire in an alternate universe implements factory farming of humans to feed vampires. He mentions that he got the idea of mass production from humans. People are put on a conveyer belt and stuck with some type of IV that allows their blood to be mechanically sucked out and served in wine glasses. The parallel to factory farming and animal abuse is pretty clear for those whose eyes are open.

  7. noemi Says:

    two slayers were black that I recall-though one interpretation, if I remember correctly was pretty effed up, the story of the mother of all slayers?? something like that. I don’t ever remember seeing or hearing about that episode, my nerdy buffy friends would have mentioned it to me (also the zines made about buffy from a feminist point of view never mentioned this). Now I need to go research this!

  8. Don’t get me wrong. I loved watching both Buffy and Angel series. But yea, I remember my twin brother and I becoming offended that Gunn would make a deal with “evil” to “become smarter.”

    However, While watching the shows, I would often have in the back of my mind, “Interesting that they’re fighting for HUMANS, yet consume non-human animals. I wonder if non-human animals in the show consider HUMANS demons who should be slayed.”

  9. [...] book Twilight and Philosophy raises discussion about vegetarian vampires. See discussions on the Vegans of Color blog and Critical [...]

  10. The books are atrociously written; Meyer’s has an ear for language like Vanilla Ice has an ear for music.

    The vegetarian vampire business is just one of many offenses throughout the books (the super-white skin business, lumbering plot, etc)

    I would love to see vampires consume human blood but abstain from animal consumption because they thought it was a more ethical alternative.

  11. Abstracted Out Of Existence Says:

    Merriam-Webster
    vampire
    2 a : one who lives by preying on others

    All nonvegans are vampires.

    The ethical dilemma for movie vampires is that same for any person. “Should I exploit sentient persons for food when I don’t need to?”

    For what possible biological reason would a movie vampire need to suck human blood over any other animals blood? Probably just “it’s tasty” and culture, the same reason for people eating animals when no one needs to.

    From what I understand of Twilight, “vegetarian” vampires aren’t as satisfied as normal vampires.

    From Twilight script:

    Edward: We call ourselves vegetarians, by the way… For our kind, hunting animals is like living on tofu. It keeps you strong but isn’t very satisfying.

    Yeah, and the vegetarian vampires are alleged to be paler in the movie. You know, like all vegans! Except for those of us with a fair amount of melanin in our skin that renders that stereotype ridiculous.

    I haven’t seen the movie and probably won’t bother unless there’s a sequel tie in with Blade where he hunts down and slays all the Twilight emo vampires.

  12. Kim Says:

    Oh good gosh could we over think this just a little! It is a story, and that’s all! There is no such thing as a vampire so why does it matter? If you read the books you know it is a joke in their family of being vegatarians. The love story behind all that is the point! I loved the books and think they were well written. I think they do give women a unrealistic hope of some man ever being able to live up to the character but none the less it’s a story and should be treated as such! Read it! Let your imagination get carried away, you might find you liked it after all! Just my two cents….

    • Tessa Says:

      “I think they do give women a unrealistic hope of some man ever being able to live up to the character…”

      That hasn’t been done for the first time and likely not the last. See Disney love stories and Romance novels as examples


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