The real Dracula was vegan, says a new study
Dracula is probably the most famous fictional vampire in the world. But despite this, the man who inspired the bloody count, according to experts, may have been a vegan.
Bram Stoker's fictional character is believed to have been inspired by a 15th-century Romanian governor named Vlad the Impaler.
The medieval prince is believed to have hanged and impaled his enemies and was the three-time ruler of Wallachia between 1448 and his death around 1477.
Now, 500 years later, scientific analysis of some of his handwritten letters suggests that Vlad may have eaten only plant-based foods. The research team extracted blood, sweat, fingerprints and saliva from a letter in May this year. From these data, the lack of animal food proteins can be distinguished.
The letter is dated August 4, 1475 and was written to the people of Sibiu by a man who describes himself in the text as "the prince of the transalpine regions". He informed the townspeople that he would soon be living in their village. At the end, he signed his name: Vlad Dracula.
"In the 15th century, Europe had a very cold climate and there was very little food," co-author Gleb Zilberstein told The Times.
"According to bioarchaeologists, aristocrats throughout Europe had a very poor diet, and meat was often not consumed," Zilberstein said.