Phoenix Tears and You

So, you’ve just found out that there’s a species dependent on your tears to stay alive.

Wait, what?
It’s true. Your tears can cure any illness or injury they ever get. Anything short of death.

Yes. They’re called “humans,” and they consider your species legendary beings.

Because of the tears thing?
Because of the tears thing. Well, that, and the burning to death and being reborn at regular intervals, and all the flame-themed magic, and stuff like that.

So is this why humans keep asking me to cry?
Yes. It’s pretty understandable, actually, since they usually have someone they want you to cure and when humans die they don’t just light themselves on fire and come out younger.

What? Why are there any of them left?
There are always new ones. Sometimes there are more of them and sometimes less; it’s kind of weird. 

So it doesn’t really matter if they die?
It matters to them. It’d be nice of you to help them out.

And by “help them out” you mean “cry on them to keep them alive.”
Or save the tears in a jar or something. Can you cry at will? I can recommend some acting lessons.

This is weird and kind of creepy.
Yeah, probably. But I promise it’s worth it to the humans.

I don’t like the idea of my tears being in someone else’s body. I’m not doing it.
I’m pretty sure all the humans would agree you have an ethical obligation to do it.

Not doing it.


So, you’ve just found out there’s a species that needs your blood to live.


Wait, what?
Yep. They’re called vampires, and they starve without human blood.

I heard you talking to that phoenix. You’re about to try to convince me to feed the vampires.
Pretty much.  It’s inconvenient but safe, and it’ll save someone’s life.

A vampire’s life.
It’s not their fault they’re a vampire! That’s racist. And they have literally no ethical source of food other than human volunteers.

Aren’t they just going to need to feed again later?
Usually it’s a one-time thing. There are exceptions. But even so, so what? 

It sounds painful.
Kind of. It’s a lot less painful than starving to death, though.

And dangerous.
It’s actually not. It’s not like anyone will go crazy and try to kill you for your blood, and modern sanitation makes vampirism not contagious.

And disgusting. I don’t like the idea of my blood in someone else’s digestive tract.
How do you think they feel about it?

Look, you’re obviously crazy and there is no way I’m doing something that disgusting.
You’re OK with people dying for your feelings?

Go bother someone else.
You know, a phoenix just refused something easier than this. How would you like to be able to tell people you’re more ethical than a phoenix?

OK, I’m in.

So, you’ve just found out there are people who need your blood to stay alive.

Hey, you’re that vampire guy! I’m not letting any vampires use my blood.
Why not?

Um, they’re disgusting and cannibalistic and evil and stuff?
I’d argue with you, but it turns out calling people racist isn’t very effective at convincing them.
What if they weren’t disgusting evil creatures? Would saving someone nicer be worth something  approximately that degree of weird?

Well of course. I’m not a psychopath, so of course I’d take a few minutes’ inconvenience to save the life of a centaur or a unicorn or whatever.
In fact, wouldn’t you agree you have a moral duty to do that just as much as a phoenix has a duty to save people?

Well, not as much, because with the phoenix it’s less effort and it’s saving real human people….
Good news! It works on humans, too.

Really. You go slightly out of your way and have a moderately unpleasant part of your afternoon, and it saves someone’s life. This is totally within your power as a normal human and doesn’t have to involve any fantasy creatures whatsoever.

Oh, you’re talking about blood donations. No, I don’t do that.


 I’m always annoyed at people in fiction continually missing really obvious solutions to things. And then in some cases the same thing works even better in real life, and people still don’t do it. I don’t know if it came across, but the point I was trying to get at is that if you think phoenixes should cure everything then you should probably be a blood donor.


One thought on “Phoenix Tears and You

  1. Brin

    Coincidentally enough, I was just thinking about how ridiculously difficult it is to find a blood donation clinic. There has been all of one blood drive that a: I learned about before it happened, b: was in a location I could get to, and c: occurred after I became of age (sixteen in Ontario, as I recall). I was too sick to go.

    On the other hand, the reason I learned about that one before it happened was because I was in the right place at the right time, and I could probably endeavour to be in right places more often. Keep a close enough eye on things and I might one day get to have those warm fuzzies of helpfulness.


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