Having heard so many sangs, especially young sangs asking about blood sources, where to find donors, and particularly about substitutes, I decided to address that in this article. Many newly awakened sanguines realize with something of a shock that while our psychic siblings can feed practically anywhere and virtually off any source of energy, sanguines are much more limited in our options. When the hunger strikes, what are we to do?
Let me begin this article by establishing the ideal – a source of human blood which is safe for consumption. Of necessity, this would have to be a willing source, as the unwilling presents far too much of a minefield to even consider. This is reality, not fiction. You cannot just take what you want, and you cannot “glamor” or “compel” people to forget. There is no such thing as a free lunch.
It is an established norm within the international Vampyre Community that a sanguine Vampyre will feed from willing donors who follow established health and safety procedures and protocols. This ideal however presents a problem in that it is so difficult to find, establish and to even maintain – largely through social conditioning, circumstances in which the parties find themselves, and also in terms of interpersonal dynamics. Trust is often an issue, as is differences of opinion, mutual respect, and even confidentiality. Once trust is betrayed or lost, it is unlikely to be regained – and once you have been outted – you can’t go back in again.
South Africans are a funny lot. They may understand something, and even accept it, but even so – if it’s not their problem, they are not very likely to put up with it or be bothered by it. They get that we need to feed, they understand that we need a little blood on occasion, and they are good with it – just as long as we don’t actuallly ask THEM for a fix. In short, most seem to have a “couldn’t be arsed” attitude, in which they often call a spade a spade, and leave the other feeling a little sizzled and sorry for even getting out of bed. This is not unique in terms of attitudes towards the VC here, but broadly speaking. You see it in charity, politics and religion.
While many assume that it’s easy to find someone who is willing to feed us, a friend or a lover, in reality it is not so easy. What may work in other countries does not seem to always work over here. It is certainly not as easy or even as simple as portrayed in movies and in novels.
While we may come out to friends, colleagues, family – and even to our partners – and while they may even accept us and maintain their relations with us as before, it is rare for one to be willing to shed blood to help us. Many are afraid – either of the personal consequences in terms of their own religious or spiritual beliefs, or that the act of donating for us will somehow alter the dynamics of the relationship in a way they are not prepared for, or unwilling to entertain. More often though, it is a fear of pain or needles or sharp objects. Coming out then, to people we think may help us, is not necessarily an effective way to find a donor.
“But what about blood substitutes?”
Some sanguines believe that there are substances which can take the place of blood, things that will “trick” the body or subtle body into believing it has been fed with the real thing.
Yes, these have their uses, especially in times of need when there is no donor handy. There are no substitutes that will take the place of actual blood, not even temporarily – but there are things that will ease the effects of the hunger for a short time, in the form of placebos. The range of placebos recommended is immense, but the effectiveness of these appears dependent on personal taste and sometimes availability.
Please remember that they are not called “placebo’s” for nothing – there is no blood substitute for a sanguine Vampyre, only blood.
Remember that while the craving subsides, you will continue to hunger and grow weaker, and the other side-effects and symptoms of hunger will continue to worsen, and the next time it comes up, it will be worse – so be prepared for that. However while there are no substitutes for blood, it is perfectly viable to substitute animal blood in place of human.
The best replacement for human blood I know of is cow blood from fresh vacuum-packed steaks. The reason I use cow juice is because its taste is acceptable – at least more acceptable than others, and also because it’s easier to get, and it’s really the only kind you find still in the packaging. It certainly beats nothing at all.
The fresher it is, the better – I usually go for items packed the same or previous day. Unseal the pack and drain the blood into a syringe or glass and drink it (or squirt it down the back of your throat – this has the advantage of bypassing the taste buds). Chase it with a block of chocolate or fudge to kill the taste. If fresh (within a day or 2 old, and refrigerated) this will help almost as much as the real thing, although you may need to consume more to achieve the same effect.
I usually pass the steak to a less fortunate friend who knows what they need to know. That way I avoid the awkward questions at home about the packs of mystery meat turning up in the freezer. Lastly, do not warm refrigerated cow blood, it smells and tastes even worse. These insightful tips brought to you by the Vampyre’s Kitchen (tongue in cheek).
Alternately, any other red meat blood will do nicely. Lamb blood is pungent though and unpleasant, especially from the liver. AVOID PIG BLOOD – it carries parasites and other nasties that can make a home in you. I have heard that fish blood and chicken blood also works to a degree, though I’ve been told that chicken tastes fowl (pun intended). Most Vamps I know are religious, and most religions have issues with blood consumption. For those with religious concerns regarding blood consumption, fish might be best. The fact is, we are what we are. We believe we are born and awakened, not made or a kind of “lifestyle choice.” If we need blood, then there has to be a reason why we need it, even be it unknown. Any gods, if there are any, should understand. At least, that’s just my opinion.
Cow blood is not human blood. It doesn’t taste the same, and it doesn’t smell the same. And it’s cold, thin, and watery because it’s essentially leaked out of the meat it came with, and mixed with the water the meat has been washed with. It tastes and smells like – well, cow. Just down it and get it done. The reward is in what it does for you, not what it tastes like.
“Being a Vampyre is not for sissies.”
True, it won’t be the same as getting the real thing, but it will take the edge off, and feed you with what you need – perhaps not as well ml for ml for the same quantity, but your hunger will be satisfied.
People who think we drink blood for the “thrill of it’, or because we get some kind of kick out of it need to understand that we do it because we NEED to, not because we are “mentally ill” or “sick”. It’s when we go without it, that we get sick.
Consuming packaged blood certainly has the benefit of not having to look in the eyes of friends or family for the kindness of a donation, or making them feel bad for not donating because they are too shit scared, or couldn’t be arsed about your worsening emotional state and crashing health while they cheerfully watch you starve and make empty excuses. Shinai can be cruel, selfish and nasty, often without even realizing it. Face it, some people just suck.
Like people who have illnesses requiring drug treatments, we can control our feeding and do so alone and in private, and if necessary, without anybody else knowing about it. It means freedom and independence from people who could divulge your secret, or even exploit the trust you have given them. Consider the benefits. I have.
Hooray for cow juice!