One of the best moments—besides the reveal of King Ezekiel, of course— from “The Well,” the second episode of The Walking Dead’s new season, was the revelation that The Kingdom was deliberately feeding pigs zombie meat before shipping them off to Negan’s crew, the Saviors.
While this is a great passive-aggressive way to get back at the Saviors, anyone hoping that Negan or any of his men would experience any sort of illness and/or death from consuming one of these zombie-fed pigs might be disappointed. It turns out that the zombie virus can’t be transferred from animal to human. How do we know this? Well, there is a fair bit of evidence, including some that comes right from Robert Kirkman’s source material.
As noted by King Ezekiel in the comics, the zombie virus does not affect animals. However, this doesn’t necessarily refute the idea that the virus can be transferred through animal meat. For that, we need to look at an example from the spin-off series, Fear the Walking Dead.
In the second season, there’s a scene that shows a pack of dogs being ripped apart by zombies. Eventually, a starving Nick comes across the remains and eats them raw. Nick doesn’t turn into a zombie, which seems to confirm that the virus only transfers from zombie to human and even then, it has to be through a bite.
Of course, none of this really makes a lot of sense considering we already know that every human on The Walking Dead has the virus already. All we know is that eating infected animals won’t trigger the transformation, so we can all stop hoping that one of Negan’s men will keel over from eating zombie pig; the best we can hope for is that one of them gets sick from not cooking it properly.