Trigger Warning: This piece contains themes such as self-harm and suicide.
I recently wrote about the lessons I would teach myself as a young sanguivore. After writing that, I wanted to delve a little into what I experienced growing up and sharing my personal story. I felt this would be better served as its own article.
I came across the Vampire Community when I was young. The years all seem to blend together, but I believe I was around 12-13 at the time. I first started to experience blood-thirst around the age of 12. It was around the time of a pretty traumatic event in my life where I was being stalked and harassed by an older man who made me genuinely fear for my life and look over my shoulder at all times. This situation eventually resolved itself, and to this day, I have no idea if it was some sort of ‘trigger’. What followed was far more long-lasting and terrifying for me.
Heated discussions, desperate queries, massive brain-imploding confusion about blood safety pop up quite regularly in sang friendly spaces. Unfortunately, while there are some excellent, albeit brief mentions out there regarding the topic, nothing really attempts to do more than vaguely address the subject. Information is divided, curtailed, and often painful to follow through various spaces and mediums. In forums & channels, for example, guidance can be wildly mixed in accuracy, even intention. There’s a lot of improper advice given that, if put into practice, could possibly make people ill. The bottom line is this: if you’re a sang, you’re likely ingesting blood; not only that, but in a raw state. When it comes to health and safety, I had hoped that sound attempts at reducing the risk of potential pathogens would be kept alongside proper food management techniques. They are not.
In this article, I will be focusing on information regarding the safety of handling blood that has already been collected from a source and treated. Due to the degree of pertinence, therefore, animal blood will be used as the prime example here. If you’re collecting the blood yourself and it has not been treated, here is an amazing article detailing the process. If you’re more curious about human blood, you may look here or there to start. Consuming raw blood comes with inherent risks that are made more complicated with mishandling. Difficulties in sourcing blood to begin with can also pose a problem. The ease of obtaining animal blood and its quality depend greatly on your location, unfortunately – or fortunately, if you’re a lucky bastard. In areas where people are not far removed from their food sources, blood is much easier to obtain. Lack of demand and cultural aversion in other places can make acquisition quite difficult. It’s worth noting that animal blood is illegal in some countries, so save yourself the added grief by doing some research on the subject before beginning your fervent quest.
No, I’m not talking about a sanguinarian barbecue. Though that could be interesting.
First, let me clarify my use of the term ‘sanguinarian’ for the purposes of this article. Sanguinarian is generally defined as someone who ‘needs’ to ingest blood for their health. That is the context with which I will use the term here.
I certainly believe that a degree of questioning and healthy skepticism is needed. Yet, there tends to be a bad habit of grilling someone who is trying to figure out their blood need as if to ‘discredit’ them as having a legitimate need or being a ‘sanguinarian’, as if it is some elite club to which only qualified members can join and use the term for themselves. “More vampire than thou” seems applicable here.
[Interview request is from Cory Kai Draken, agreed to by Alexia for posting on TRC’s website]
First off please allow me the express my sincere appreciation for you taking the time to enlighten us about the donor and med sang relationship. You have a wonderful website, www.theredcellar.com where they can read blog posts that go more in-depth on the views of med sangs/donors and the world you call home.
1. So the first question has to be what is the difference between a vampire and a med sang?
Med sang stands for ‘medical sanguivore’. A med sang is a person who perceives a need to drink blood to maintain their physical health and to offset health deterioration; and perceives this to be entirely physiological, absent any metaphysical connotations to the condition. Typically, med sangs are skeptics and atheists, though some may have different beliefs. We drink blood in large quantities. ‘Vampire’ is a creature of folkloric myth and it is an identity I do not subscribe to. It’s an umbrella term and catch-all that many people identify with for various reasons. For the purposes of scientific inquiry, that all is undesirable baggage and we do not perceive ourselves to be vampires. Med sangs encourage introspection, asking questions, and the pursuit of ‘why’.
I first came across the Online Vampire Community in 1999, while researching the Therian and Otherkin communities as a child. I was looking for explanations for the “trans-species” body dysmorphia that has been with me most of my life, and the two communities existed at the time and continue to exist in relative close proximity.