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Garbage Pail | Fangs Through Tofu | Vegan Vampire | Matt Sullivan | humor | column | Lollipop
Fangs Through Tofu: The Story of Vlados, the Vegan Vampire
by Matt Sullivan
illustration by Ans
It wasn't sunlight, a crucifix, running water, or a stake through the heart that killed vampire Count Vlados Consternatos - it was his idealism.
Vlados, 247, died Tuesday due to complications related to his refusal to drink blood. Perhaps the most shocking convert to veganism ever ("Even if Frank Purdue himself went vegan, he couldn't top Vlados", says Vegan 4 Life president Scott Timmer, a friend of the deceased), Vlados was converted to the cause by a couple of Birkenstock-wearing potential victims who showed him some persuasive pamphlets when he had them cornered.
"It was ironic, he planned to turn them into vampires," said Timmer, "instead, they turned him into a vegetarian."
So began the curious tale of a night stalker turned, well, (pause, because the bad pun is coming... NOW) celery stalker. By all accounts, Vlados learned to love eating vegetables - except, of course, garlic. "The way those fangs tore into rhubarb, dang!," remarked V4L member and Vlados pal Britton Flatley.
This lifestyle change came as a surprise to Louis, an old vampire buddy of Vlados' and the only ghoul who would speak on the record with us, who recalls Vlados as quite the carnivore in his time. "I can remember the days when Vlados thought that 'eating a vegetable' meant using the coma wing of the hospital as a suck-away buffet," he reminisces.
But Vlados became more adamant about his veggie ideology, despite the threat it posed to his health. He even took to wearing a cape made out of 100% hemp, and a T-shirt that boldly proclaimed "I'd rather take a stake in my heart than eat a steak."
Animal-rights activists and vegans publicly gloated over their coup of a convert. Vlados became a celebrity, partying with the likes of Kim Basinger, though it was difficult to exploit his fame for the cause. Plans for a massive PETA billboard and print ad campaign featuring Vlados were scrapped when officials realized that Vlados could not be photographed.
Recently, though, Vlados' health took a devastating turn for the worse. "He looked really pale," said Flatley. Thousands of activists donated blood to the Red Cross in Vlados' name, but vampire experts said a transfusion just isn't the same. "Zee vampire needs to suck zee blood out of a living creature's neck, preferably a human's," said Transylvania University vampirologist Professor Van Helsing VII, "Zeir donations were in vain... Get it, vein?"
In the end, as a current of V-8 fed to him intravenously pumped through his system, Vlados died peacefully. "His heart stopped," said Flatley. "Unfortunately, there's no such thing as a tofu jugular vein."
His death rocked the vegan community. "Only the good die young," said vegan guru Dan Cassidy (see related story, "Animal Wrongs") "I mean, he wasn't young, he was 247, but you know what I mean."
His funeral took place at midnight, to allow creatures of the evening the chance to attend, although no vampires chose to attend the last rites of the ostracized Vlados. "The fact that his so-called vampire buddies failed to represent for Vlados - I don't know how they can look themselves in the mirror!," said a clearly disgusted Timmer.
"Well, considering we don't cast a reflection, that isn't much of a problem," sniped a vampire spokesman, "Besides, I've been told I'm quite good-looking." Vlados' casket was covered with bumper stickers, flyers, and other vegan propaganda. "At least we didn't have to buy a coffin," noted Timmer, "It's like you or me getting buried on our futon."
As far as Vlados' legacy is concerned, many are divided about his place in history.
"This was so much bigger then that Reynolds kid revoking tobacco," said Timmer, "Vlados needed to drink blood to live. He's a martyr. There should be a Saint Vlados!"
But a vampire spokesperson openly mocked Vlados. "Saint Vlados? More like Uncle Vlados, that sell-out!" he said, "He sure put the 'die' back in 'diet,' that idiot! He could've lived forever! And think of the babes he could've had!" Timmer disagrees, arguing that opting out of immortality was what made Vlados so courageous. "He gave up immortality for integrity, and we love him for it," he said. " A lot of vampires never get anything done, because their immortality makes them procrastinate. He accomplished more in 247 years than other vampires do in an eternity."
"It's one thing to be 'undead'," continued Timmer, "It's another thing entirely to be alive. Vlados was alive, even more so than most humans.""Well, he's dead now," said a vampire spokesperson.
Vlados had no living relatives, since his family died in the late 1700s. They were murdered by Vlados in a rabid, bloody spree.