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Got Blood? What Self-Identified Vampires Get from Raw Steaks

blood-fix
“Hooray for cow juice!” exclaims self-identified “vampyre,” Octarine Valur, documenting its use in a blog post about blood substitutes. But is it really the same thing? Photo: Octarine Valur/South African Vampyre News.

I’ve never really had an appetite for meat and rarely ate it prior to becoming a vegetarian in 2013. I have avoided steak and roast my entire life because I couldn’t stomach the texture of it. Since becoming a vegetarian, I have even become sensitive to the smell and appearance of raw meat.

Last summer, I was in the kitchen at a friend’s house and the aroma of the large platter of bloody steaks turned my stomach. The sight of empty styrofoam containers stained with what I thought at the time was blood, was a total turn off.

Being part of the Online Vampire Community, a common theme I have noticed is some people brag they get their blood fix from consuming raw meat or rather the blood that comes in the package.

For instance, psi angel 7 shared the following experience on the Smoke and Mirrors forum on Feb. 21, 2004: “my mum walked in on be [sic] draining the blood from a side of beef into a cup. try explaining that on the sprue [sic] of the moment.”

www.Vampirewebsite.NET, which Vamped‘s editor has scrutinized before, goes a step further with detailed instructions on how blood can be obtained from raw meat:

The best way to do this is to allow the steak to sit out until reaching room temperature, then cook it on high for about 1 minute per side, the steak should be well cooked on the outside, and red but not raw on the inside, with blood oozing at the mildest touch.

This made me want to know, can vampires get blood from raw meat?

Sorry to burst your vampiric delusions, but the answer is no. The red juice you see swirling around under the plastic wrap is a mixture of water and a protein called myoglobin, not blood:

The myoglobin is a common protein, which has the ability to store oxygen in muscle cells. The myoglobin has a high level of red pigment, so the more myoglobin the meat has, the redder it will be. The terms “red meat” and “white meat” are actually an indicator for the level of myoglobin. Most mammals are red meat, because their myoglobin level is high, while most poultry are considered as white meat.

When you order a rare steak in a restaurant, this explains why you get that bloody looking juice to mop up with your fries. Now what happens to the myoglobin if you cook the meat?

When dark meat is cooked, myoglobin’s color changes depending on what the meat’s interior temperature is. Rare beef is cooked to 140° F, and myoglobin’s red color remains unchanged. Above 140° F, myoglobin loses its ability to bind oxygen, and the iron atom at the center of its molecular structure loses an electron. This process forms a tan-colored compound called hemichrome, which gives medium-done meat its color. When the interior of the meat reaches 170° F, hemichrome levels rise, and the myoglobin becomes metmyoglobin, which gives well-done meat its brown-gray shade.

Bottom line is vampires need to look further than the prepackaged meat in the grocery store for blood. Plus who can account for the freshness factor?

Notes:

  1. psi angel 7 shared the following experience: Quoted in Johnny “Doc Evil” Titanium, “Smoke and Mirrors,” Something Awful, Dec. 3, 2006, accessed May 23, 2016, http://www.somethingawful.com/weekend-web/smoke-and-mirrors/1/. archive.is link: http://archive.is/Iw2DI.
  2. Vamped‘s editor has scrutinized before: Anthony Hogg, “Real Vampires,” The Vampirologist (blog), May 8, 2014, accessed May 23, 2016, https://thevampirologist.wordpress.com/2014/05/08/real-vampires/. archive.is link: http://archive.is/nOidt.
  3. blood can be obtained from raw meat: [Steve Leighton], “Getting Blood Made Easy,” www.Vampirewebsite.NET, n.d., accessed May 23, 2016, http://vampirewebsite.net/gettingblood.html. archive.is link: http://archive.is/I6Jjk.
  4. a protein called myoglobin, not blood: Robert, “Did You Know That the Red Juice in Raw Red Meat Actually Isn’t…,” Facts WT, Oct. 6, 2013, accessed May 17, 2016,
    http://www.factswt.com/did-you-know-that-the-red-juice-in-raw-red-meat-actually-isnt/. archive.is link: https://archive.is/qIHpN.
  5. if you cook the meat?: Exploratorium, “What Gives Meat Its Color?” The Accidental Scientist: Science of Cooking, n.d., accessed May 17, 2016, https://www.exploratorium.edu/cooking/meat/INT-what-meat-color.html. archive.is link: https://archive.is/JXIvO.

Picture Credits:

  1. “Hooray for cow juice!”: Octarine Valur, “Blood Substitutes – Hooray for Cow Juice! – by Val,” South African Vampyre News, July 30, 2012, accessed May 28, 2016, https://savampyrenews.wordpress.com/2012/07/30/blood-substitutes-hooray-for-cow-juice/. archive.is link: http://archive.is/DtDi7.

Written by Erin Chapman

Erin is a freelance journalist. She is Operations Co-ordinator for the Vampire Studies Association. She is the owner of Morbid Planet and The Paleo Penguin. She has 2 turtles, has 15 piercings and 5 tattoos, and loves walking around in bare feet. She lives in Vancouver, Canada.

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