First, we have a better chance of surviving. I have spent my entire life avoiding being bitten. Or at least trying to avoid it. In the event of a zombie apocalypse, there will be few survivors, smaller groups (because of zombie attack losses) are more at risk. Because the biggest risk is getting bitten by a zombie, a veterinarian makes a lot of sense.
Second, we provide medical care. AVMA says “ Pre-apocalypse, see your physician. Post-apocalypse, if a physician isn’t available, you couldn’t do much better than having a veterinarian treat your (non-zombie-bite) wounds and illnesses. Veterinarians spend at least four years post-grad training to care for ALL species, so while the general anatomy might be slightly different, they’re probably not going to be overwhelmed by the prospect of working on human patients.”
Although I want to say right now that humans are gross. Vet med is my life for a reason! Although, human medicine is better funded than animal medicine so we have been stealing medical and surgery techniques for centuries.
Third, we take care of animals. Without electricity, gasoline, and the grocery store, we are going to need animals even more. We need dogs for companionship and protection. Transportation will be easier with horses. Livestock can be used for both food and labor. These highly valuable animals are going to need a vet.
You don’t think of it a lot, but food safety is a major veterinarian duty and the fourth reason. USDA is not going to be insuring your food is safe and not all food is going to be safe to eat when it is presented. There are many times where food looks okay but is deadly. Think about asking a vet if you can eat that!
I think the major reason (number 5) to have a vet on your team is to help find a cure. We typically study more epidemiology or the causes and distributions of diseases. We know a lot about zoonosis or diseases that transmit from animals to humans. Think rabies, SARS, West Nile virus, and COVID10, vets were at the forefront of control of all of those diseases. Most likely vets will be the ones that determine the cause of people to zombies and then develop a cure. Ever seen a zombie animal?
One additional reason that the AVMA did not list is that vets are often used to pulling off near miracles with little or no resources. A short trip to the ER for me a few months ago included blood work, radiographs, ultrasound, MRI, and a urinalysis. Not many of my clients want to spend that much and I have to have a good idea of what is going on without that many tests. We also have a fully stocked hospital, surgery, and pharmacy.
Finally, veterinarians are taught to treat many species (rodents, carnivores, bees, elephants, zebras, and everything in between) and all of their systems. If you have a kidney problem, your MD specialist was probably one of the first to go in the apocalypse. Veterinarians can treat kidneys, adrenal glands, liver disease, heart disease, cancer, infectious diseases, congenital defects, with surgery, medicine, physical therapy, and counseling. We treat bacterial, viral, and parasitic diseases on a daily basis.
Veterinarians bring an enormous variety of talents to a new world. We have a lot of creativity also. That might be why in the new world that I am creating, I am taking a wise, old(er) vet in to save the dragons.
From my book: “They needed a healer and the old(er) veterinarian had proven that she was capable. Not many would have taken in a strange wild dragon creature as she had. She had fixed Aztec’s broken leg. She had even taught the little dragon falconry techniques and taught him to hunt with her Harris hawk to build up his strength. Aztec had called
out to her because now they needed her. She would need to leave her life as a vet behind to join him and his people. A part of her past, she was the key to their future.”
In other words, it is up to one old(er) veterinarian with bad knees, one energetic chocolate Labrador retriever, one Harris hawk with a bit of an attitude, and a forty-year-old teenage dragon need to save the dragon world. Something had caused the dragons to lose the ability to flame, but I’m getting ahead of the tale.
Anyway, this is what I am working on in my spare time: Dragon Vet Tales. This fictional dragon world needs a real veterinarian to save the dragons and their world.