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Animals can’t be Zombies ?

October 14, 2012

Comicbook.com reports on “The Walking Dead: Animals Can’t Become Zombies”:

at the recent Nashville Comic & Horror Festival.
[Walking Dead] Actor James Allen McCune, who played Jimmy… revealed that the cast had a conversation with Greg Nicotero about

why there are no zombie animals on The Walking Dead TV show?

He said that they were told that becoming a zombie was sort of like chicken pox that it didn’t transfer over the species line. It’s an exclusive disease that humans got lucky with.

This issue of animals and zombies is highly relevant to philosophy of mind. The question of animal consciousness is essentially identical to the question of what is a zombie mind. However, in the same report, Walking Dead actress Jane McNeill, is quoted to explain that the Humane society makes it difficult to work with animals on set. She thinks:

“It seems so ludicrous that we shoot children, but we’re really worried about using dogs and cat…”

But children can speak for themselves, they can explain that they are hurt and what has happened. Dogs and cats can’t say what has happened. This inability to communicate their mind means they may need extra societal protection from the abusive practice of Hollywood. Children are considered people, and so as persons they have some decision making capacity. They can decide to endure some of the abuses of the industry in exchange for the promises of stardom. Remind me, who are the zombies in this analogy?

Recall also my repeated connection of zombies to cyborg theory, and that Donna Haraway’s more recent work is on companion animals and significant otherness and posthuman species interconnectedness.

If the family dog is not considered a mindless creature then why not have a zombie version. Is this the premise of Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie if we agree that frankenstein-reanmimations may be zombies … and then of course there’s Pet Cemetery … If these aren’t zombies, is it because zombies must be human-like-non-humans and so of course animals aren’t human and so not zombie?

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