I really get rather disgusted with this Zombie Apocalypse meme. It is so commonplace now that it is practically an invasion unto itself. Even the Canadian government has found itself affected by the joke, as Parliament member Pat Martin recently chaffed during an actual Parliament session about a possible zombie invasion from the United States. In one sense, this was hilarious. In another sense, it almost made me want to bang my head against a wall.
The invasion of the nearly-mindless is certainly here. Countries which are supposed to be first-world still have many students performing at what is apparently below their expected grade level, and many can't even identify specific other countries on a map or a globe. There are so many problems in society that people sometimes forget how many different ones there are, which can sometimes feed into the fear of how many things are not always directly under human control. Increases in things like mental illness, learning disabilities, criminal behavior, and so on, though not truly mindless, are certainly becoming more common and further exacerbating the cycle. The reasons for this have been proposed to be pollution, overcrowding, competition for resources, illness, severe allergies, generally depreciating DNA, and every possible conspiracy theory which a person can name. It's getting rather desperate here.
For the last few years, the concept of the Zombie Apocalypse seems to creep up on almost every fifth page of the Internet. Multiple variations on purely hypothetical causes have been formulated, many of them involving either drugs or the presence of viruses which cause people to lose their minds. We can certainly see this in animals in the form of rabies, distemper, or other diseases. However, the one distinguishing factor about zombies is that they are generally believed to have returned from the dead.
There is a strong belief in voodoo cultures that people can sometimes be returned from the dead in the form of zombies, but in scientific studies of this phenomenon, it is generally considered that these people have drugged, placed into a deceased in a near-deceased state, resuscitated if necessary, and consequently suffered a form of brain damage which makes them more compliant. These people have historically been taken advantage of sometimes and used for slave labor, though this is not always so. Are they really zombies in the way in which most people have since evolved to think about zombies, though? No, they are not.