With Halloween less than a week away and "The Walking Dead" back on the air for its seventh season, zombies are back on people’s (delicious) brains.
Fans of AMC’s hit show may wonder how they would fare if they found themselves in their own real-life zombie apocalypse. For those questioning their survival prospects, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) would like to suggest befriending a veterinarian in such a scenario. Why? Here are the top five reasons you’ll want a veterinarian as part of your zombie apocalypse team:
Image CC BY 2.0 Dan Hollister
- They have a better chance at surviving: In the event of a zombie apocalypse, survivors are at a premium, and losing members of your group will make you much more vulnerable. The biggest risk is getting bitten by a zombie. Well, who’s better at avoiding bites than a veterinarian?
- They can provide medical care: Pre-apocalypse, see your physician. Post-apocalypse, if a physician isn’t available, you couldn’t do much better than having a veterinarian treat your (non-zombie-bite) wounds and illnesses. Veterinarians spend at least four years post-grad training to care for ALL species, so while the general anatomy might be slightly different, they’re probably not going to be overwhelmed by the prospect of working on human patients.
- They can take care of the animals: With electrical grids down and gasoline no longer in production, you’re going to be relying on animals much more: Dogs for protection, horses for transportation, livestock for food and labor. A veterinarian will make sure these highly valuable animals are well treated, healthy and performing at a high level.
- They can make sure your food is safe: Without grocery stores, restaurants or refrigerators—not to mention state and federal oversight—obtaining, storing and preparing food will provide a whole new set of challenges for most people. Veterinarians have experience in ensuring food safety and testing; many work nationally to ensure food safety at processing plants and distribution centers, and across the globe making sure food for our troops is safe to eat. Unsure if the remaining meat from a deer carcass ravaged by zombies is safe to eat? Consult the veterinarian!
- They can find a cure: Veterinarians are experts at studying the causes and distribution of diseases, or epidemiology. They’ve been invaluable in determining the source and distribution of diseases that pose a risk to humans, such as rabies, SARS and West Nile virus. Veterinarians might be able to determine what causes people to turn into zombies and develop a cure. Why aren’t animals infected? Perhaps there’s an epidemiological clue there!
Veterinarians bring an enormous array of talents to the table: They’re trained to treat all animals, from mice to elephants, from aardvarks to zebras and everything in between. They have expertise in animal welfare, food safety, environmental protection and public health. They work all over the world, in all types of fields, helping to ensure the health of animals and people. And, in the event of a zombie apocalypse, they might just be the most valuable survivors of all.
Talk to your veterinarian today about his or her zombie apocalypse plans!
For more information on what veterinarians can do for you and your animals BEFORE the zombie apocalypse, visit the AVMA’s website at avma.org.