Contributing author Alfredo Torres is an adjunct professor of communications at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA where he wrote his master’s thesis on the metaphoric representation of zombies in the films of George Romero.
Humans vs. Zombies; who is the bigger threat?
It is a point of much discussion among zombie enthusiast; what will lead to the end of mankind? Will it be the members of an undead army that have returned to life and crave the taste of human flesh, or will it be something else? Something that we think would band together with us in order to preserve the propagation of the species. Are the zombies the real threat to human survival, or are we ourselves going to be the cause of our demise?
Humans have been killing each other for dumb reasons since we first stepped foot on earth. Man’s ability to be inhuman is amazing. We have proven ourselves to be creatures that will kill not only for food or survival, but also for such petty reasons as greed, envy or jealousy. Humans have killed their own kind for the possession of others’ land. We have killed because of our belief, or lack thereof, in a higher spiritual being. We kill each other because we believe that we are entitled to the possessions that others have worked for… yet we do not have the desire to attain these things through our own hard work.
Humans can really be despicable creatures who are capable of acts of cruelty to each other. I had thought of providing some examples from movies like Dawn of the Dead or The Zombie Diaries to illustrate this, but the truth is that all you have to do is look at history to see what we are really capable of. Reality is much worse than anything in the movies. Yet, humans are also capable of incredible acts of tenderness, self-sacrifice and love! We have a sense of justice, fair play, pity and empathy that allows us to care for and help each other in our hour of need.
At the end of the day, zombies are really like all creatures of the wild. They are to be avoided and treated with the same respect you would treat a bear, lion or any other animal that would eat you. There is no surprise with a zombie. If it sees you, it will eat you! It will not hide its true intentions. There are no hidden agendas with zombies. They don’t care that you have a better stronghold, more weapons or six months of food stored in a safe house. They want to eat you, period.
Humans however are different. They can and will lie, cheat and steal from you. It might be out of desperation or it might be out of pure evil. But humans cannot be trusted and must be held at an arm’s length, lest they leave you unarmed; the main course of a zombie meal.