Is It Safe To Drink Someone Else's Blood?

It's the stuff of every great love story. Actress meets rapper turned pop-punk superstar. Actress and rockstar quickly fall in love, decrying themselves as "twin flames" for the world to hear. Singer asks for the actress's hand in marriage, and they seal the deal with a sip of each other's blood. If you're up to date on pop culture, Megan Fox's recent (and most interesting) engagement announcement on Instagram may have left you wondering, is it safe to drink someone else's blood?

While just the thought of blood might give many of us the heebie-jeebies, Grinnell College reports that some subcultures like the Sanguigarian vampire community engage in such practices. These might involve drinking small amounts of human or animal blood with the belief that it helps harness energy. However, Healthline explains that many organizations and medical professionals warn against the ritual, as drinking raw blood can have serious — and sometimes life-threatening — health risks. Let's take a closer look at the repercussions associated with drinking blood.

Health risks of drinking blood

While you might safely enjoy a rare steak from time to time, sipping on someone or something's blood is a different story. Healthline reports that not only can blood harbor harmful bacteria and pathogens that can cause food poisoning, but it can also transmit bloodborne illnesses like hepatitis B, hepatitis C, norovirus, and HIV. As most people don't have access to the resources that test for these conditions, it's difficult to know for sure that the blood you wish to consume is clean and clear of disease.

Hemochromatosis, a condition in which too much iron builds up in the body, is primarily caused by hereditary factors. However, it can also be brought on by consuming too much iron or receiving multiple blood transfusions (per Healthline). People suffering from hemochromatosis might incur damage to the heart, endocrine system, liver, pancreas, or joints. When speaking with Glamour, osteopath Dr. Brooke Williams revealed that blood is rich in iron, and consuming large amounts of it could lead to toxicity, putting you at risk for hemochromatosis.

Legality of drinking blood

Beyond the medical risks of drinking blood, you might also consider the legality of it. According to Healthline, depending on where you live, consuming blood could be punishable by law. Louisiana is one state, in particular, that prohibits "ritualistic acts," which is defined as any practice in which human or animal blood or waste is ingested. Violation of the law could mean up to five years of imprisonment and/or a $5,000 fine. Healthline also notes that other states have similar laws. In the United States, animal sacrifice as part of a religious practice — which can include the consumption of blood — is protected by the first amendment, as it falls within the realm of religious liberty. However, that does not give practitioners immunity from state animal cruelty laws.

All in all, blood drinking is emphatically discouraged by medical professionals and could come with some jail time, depending on your location. Might we recommend some light guitar smashing to get your rock-and-roll rocks off instead?