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Dr_Dredd's avatar

Why are zombies fixated on brains?

Asked by Dr_Dredd (10523points) September 10th, 2010

Why brains? Why don’t they want to feast on other body parts, such as hearts or kidneys? (Or liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti, a la Hannibal Lecter?)

Is it laziness on the part of writers, or do brains have a deeper meaning?

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23 Answers

Trillian's avatar

Just a psychological addition to the horror of being eaten alive, I would guess. Plus, it helps the pain. “What pain?”, you may ask. The pain of being dead!

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Similar to Grizzly bears, Zombies do have a hankering for high fatty parts like brains and reproductive organs. I’ve seen plenty of film footage showing plenty of feet of guts so I think they like those organs too.

wundayatta's avatar

Would you only eat beets when your body needs meat?

erichw1504's avatar

I don’t know, but if I was a zombie I would feast myself upon a nice pair of ta-ta’s.

Rarebear's avatar

It was a trend in the early zombie movies and it stuck.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

Because they’re the most delicious part of the human bod.. I… I… I have no idea why.

Ltryptophan's avatar

Zombie’s are obviously hosts of some sort of parasitic entity, be it spiritual or natural.

That entity has chosen to make limited use of the corpses’ motor skills. Perhaps, since the nerve tissue is the most important stuff left in the corpse, it is most important to get the building blocks of that stuff into the body of the host so that it can continue to be utilized.

Brains are clearly the type of thing that nerves are made up of. So brains are the best choice for nerve regeneration building blocks.

fundevogel's avatar

The hunger for brains suggests a hopeless desire to reclaim the humanity zombies have lost by taking it forcefully from the living. This is of course a sisyphean endeavor which would be tragic were in not simultaneously threatening those who retain their minds and their humanity. This takes what would ordinarily be a tragic figure, like a drowning man or a plague victim a turns him in to a desperate foe that will take down anyone with him in a desperate and mindless attempt to hold on to life. It is the possibility not only of death but of being reduced to the rotting caricature life that stole your humanity that gives the zombie fable resonance.

Too look into to the eyes of a zombie is to see your own future, and that is terrifying.

“Bodily decay is gloomy in prospect, but of all human contemplations the most abhorrent is body without mind.”
Thomas Jefferson on zombies

TexasDude's avatar

Technically, it’s mainly just Return of the Living Dead zombies that fixate on brains.

George Romero’s zombies which have inarguably set the paradigm for zombie lore don’t fixate on brains; they eat every part they can get their rotten claws on. They are slow too. Eat that.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

They taste like chicken.
Why are people so fixated on zombies?

cockswain's avatar

I think I once heard it was because the pineal gland provides some sort of sustenance that keeps them going. I’m sticking with that theory.

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

@ucme XD That was like a zombie rickroll. Thanks!

Hasn’t anyone read the Zombie Survival Guide?

Berserker's avatar

I admit, I’m a heathen, a traitor and a failure…I don’t know.

With that said, in most zombie flicks, zombies actually do eat every part of a human being, at least, that which is not bone. (They sure like gnawing on it though.) In fact, although I have seen it before, zombies consuming human brains and leaving the rest behind is extremely rare.

crazyivan's avatar

Because it’s creepy as ever loving hell. I think it’s because people like to say “Brains…” in a scary zombie voice.

@jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities They are delicious but damned hard to cook. Or so I’m told. By a chick you don’t know. She goes to a different school… and she’s hot.

Deja_vu's avatar

How else would they turn you into a dumb zombie too?

Trillian's avatar

@fundevogel Dang. Analyze that much in the wee hours of the night? That was awesome!

fundevogel's avatar

@Trillian You should see the paper I wrote on the sociological implications of Bubba-Hotep.

Trillian's avatar

@fundevogel I have that in my Netflix. I guess I’ll have to watch it, then you can email me a copy of your paper. I’m intrigued.

Frenchfry's avatar

Because they think it will make them smarter.

Dr_Dredd's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard I didn’t know that the brains-eating originated with Romero. I’ll have to go back and watch some of those movies.

@fundevogel Wow. That is pretty heavy. :-)

TexasDude's avatar

@Dr_Dredd, nope, the brains eating didn’t originate with Romero. In fact, none of his zombies ever say the word “brains” or go solely for the human brain. His zombies are usually accepted as the paradigm of the zombie mythos, so technically, there is no reason why zombies are believed to have a preference for brains. Very few zombie movies I can think of even mention the zombies going solely or specifically for brains.

Dr_Dredd's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard I guess it’s just cool to hear something say, “BRRAAAINNSSSS!!!!”

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