I'm writing a story where an intelligent zombie society has defeated humans and won. The zombies are the main characters in this story.
- Have human intelligence, emotions, and remember their lives before becoming zombies
- Have a nearly impossible to resist urge to eat human flesh. Brains are not actually preferred like most zombie cliches.
- Animals and plants do not give them any nutrition, and tastes pretty bad to them.
- Zombies will slowly regress into mindless monsters if they do not eat human flesh. The speed at which this occurs depends upon the amount of flesh eaten last time, the time passed, and the individual willpower of the specific zombie.
My problem: If all humans become zombies, then zombies no longer have any food and therefore all is lost to the zombie society. They will regress into mindless monsters and society will crumble.
What system can be put into place in this zombie society in order to prevent loss of human food source?
It takes place on Earth in modern-day. Zombies go to work, use cell phones, and even have pets. Let's assume that several years have passed since the zombies defeated the humans.
UPDATE: The meat of an infected human becomes inedible when the virus first spreads. This happens even before the first symptoms emerge. This is similar to a cold, where someone is "sick" before they even feel ill.
So originally it might not have been uncommon for a human to be killed for meat, only to realize their meat was inedible. Methods of testing a human for the virus beforehand would have been developed to prevent this. However, this would be a major political issue: killing the infected human prevents overpopulation...but if they were infected, they weren't really human. It would become an issue similar to abortion, where the debate involves answering the question "At what point are they considered one of us?"
The zombie virus spreads the same way a human cold spreads. So unlike most zombie stories where there is a definitive "Oh, he's gonna turn into a zombie now" moment, it is usually left uncertain. This mean zombies need to be extra careful when handling humans.
- Zombies no longer get ill
- Heart rate is much less than a human's. (about a fifth of a human's on average)
- They can get injured and killed the same way humans do. (except illness) Bleeding out as a zombie still happens, however the slower blood flow means it happens much more slowly.
- Looks exactly like a human being. No physical trait differences are visible.
Things I think I've figured out:
- Animals and/or plants are absolutely needed: Humans must be fed and kept alive.
- Zombies would very quickly form opposing political groups regarding issues about humanity and how they should be treated.
Another thing I'm having trouble with is deciding how the zombie society would change and differ from a regular human society. But that can be a later question. Right now I'm focused on figuring out how to keep the society from crumbling because of a loss of human food sources.