The 19th century writers Mary Shelley and Bram Stoker were among the first great environmentalists.
Their creations – Frankenstein’s “monster” and Count Dracula respectively ‒ blazed new trails in preserving scarce resources.
In his research and during the operation that led to his triumph, Dr. Frankenstein was careful to use the purest form of electric power, lightning.
No smoke-emitting coal or radiation-leaking nuclear or equally obnoxious fossil fuel energy source for him.
And he knew how to recycle. Boy, did he know how to recycle. Body parts mainly.
He established a precedent that most municipalities – through their blue box programs ‒ are trying their hardest to meet in modern times.
The environmental abusers in the Frankenstein story were the angry villagers. Heading off into the night with their tar-dipped torches, they were the ones guilty of launching nasty particulates into the atmosphere.
In subsequent Hollywood versions of Frankenstein, the ending has often been changed. In the original novella, mini-me Frankenstein spent his final days hopping from ice floe to ice floe in the frozen Arctic.
I choose to believe he was communing with nature and becoming one with the seals and polar bears.
Dracula set a very high standard. Admittedly, his culinary taste which obsessed on a single dish, human blood, was pioneering.
But you have to give him his due. With proper management of his herd, he knew he could have an endless supply.
And he encouraged a similar level of discipline from his assistant. Renfield stuck to a tasty diet of gnats, flies, locusts and cockroaches.
We now know how commendable that was. Even under the direst of circumstances, there will always be infinite swarms of insects.
Somewhere in the literary mix of a century or so ago, up popped the wolfman.
He still runs around in his birthday suit, covered by a warming blanket of natural hair, offering no endorsements for running shoes or garments made in disreputable factories that employ child labor.
Four-fifths of my family was enjoying a meal at a fast-food restaurant the other day – as parents, we sometimes set the bar disappointingly low ‒ when our teenage son asked an important question.
How do vampires, starting from an awkward position south of their targets’ ears, manage to consume all that there is on offer? A guiding principle of going organic is to utilize everything.
He argued that their fangs must have two properties. Not only do they penetrate flesh, but they also function like straws. An innate ability to suck big-time takes care of the rest.
Otherwise, there’d be too much wastage.
My wife suggested an alternative means for vampires to enjoy every last drop.
They should lay their victims on the ground, being sure to fold their arms across their chests.
Then as the vampire imbibes, he or she might pause every so often to roll up their “snack” from toes to neck like a tube of toothpaste, squeezing out the goodness along the way.
Of course both these methods miss the obvious. Clearly the thing to do, as I modestly pointed out, is to hang the meal upside down and let gravity drainage do the heavy work.
Without a doubt, Canada’s most famous environmentalist is Dr. David Suzuki.
I’m sure if a vampire ever approached Dr. Suzuki, he’d suggest in the gentlest and most reasonable terms that he be suspended ankles first from a lofty beam so that no portion of his nutrients would be wasted.
The best-known quasi-environmentalist in the U.S. is Mr. Al Gore, he of the stunningly propitious surname.
Half the vampires in the world must be attracted to him merely by word association.
The other half, the more refined and artsy ones, may find such a connection gauche.
The best environmentalists have a strong bond with the earth, which brings me to the topic of zombies.
They rise out of their graves and lurch around, studiously avoiding tailpipe-intoxicating mechanized transport. It’s not just because their co-ordination is a little off and they’d have trouble parallel parking.
They want to leave no footprint. They may drop off a foot or a hand or a limb or a nose here and there, but those things will eventually decompose in a compost heap.
When it comes to preserving the environment, our monsters get it. Why don’t the rest of us?
You can’t talk about the environment without knowing that GREEN is an Acronym.