I know I can’t be the only person who spent their Valentine’s Day glued to the TV watching the mid-season premiere of The Walking Dead. I mean, who wants to go out and deal with crummy restaurant service when you can sit home and watch zombies?
I have a soft spot in my heart for the show, in no small part because one of the biggest heroes in the series was a veterinarian. (RIP, Herschel.) But aside from that, The Walking Dead is truly a wonderful examination of the human condition.
For those unfamiliar with the television series based on Robert Kirkman’s comic book series, the show follows a group of survivors in the Southeast following a zombie apocalypse of unknown origin. Despite the thousands of flesh-eating hordes waiting to tear the living apart, limb by limb in gross Technicolor, the true threat in the series, as shown again and again, are the living.
It’s hard not to plan for such contingencies in your mind when watching the show. I’ve already planned my role—what I can offer to a group when trying to find a group with good aim and lots of ammo (I’m not a good shot, so I have to make myself useful in other ways). I’m prepared.
So without further ado, in honor of my favorite show, I hereby present the Top Three Reasons You Want a Veterinarian On Your Side During the Zombie Apocalypse:
- We Can Trouble Shoot Just About Any Medical Situation
Think about it. We are trained for every species on the planet except humans, but including chimpanzees, and they are pretty much close enough. We have to function in barns, fields, and with limited supplies.
Clients are always asking us to work with limited resources on patients that are unable to tell us what is wrong. I can handle broken teeth, difficult deliveries, busted bones, GI torsions, surgery, toxicity, and I can do it with whatever supplies you can scrape up from a burned out WalMart pharmacy.
- We’re Good at Getting Along
Veterinarians work in close quarters with a small team in high stress situations. We have to convince reticent owners to allow us to do what we need to do, even when they’re not super thrilled about what that might entail. We know the art of negotiation, how to argue a point, and how to concede when the situation demands.
- We’re Not Going to Let You Suffer
More than anyone else in the medical field, veterinarians understand that death is a part of life, and shoot, I imagine in a zombie apocalypse that is going to be more important than ever.
In The Walking Dead, I’ve borne witness to many horrible scenes of people getting eaten alive while their friends and comrades stood there screaming. Look, we vets are realists. I’m going to save you whenever I can, but if you are being messily devoured, I’m not going to let it get dragged out. You know what I’m saying? You know what I’m saying.
I have the utmost faith that we are not going to experience a zombie apocalypse in our lives, but I also like to have contingencies… just in case. So should you find yourself in a post-apocalyptic world and you have limited spaces in your posse, please consider your local friendly veterinarian. We’re pretty useful.