Archived Discussion

This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Maverick Hunter 40245: Perhaps the list should be rearranged to categorize the items by how they address the issue. These would be the following categories, as indicated by the list at the top of the page:
  • Predators are mean
  • Carnivores are okay as long as they are predatory
  • Render the carnivore's prey in a realistic, non-cute manner
  • Only some of the animals have human-like intelligence
  • Making the point moot
  • The carnivore can choose to go vegan
  • Meat substitutes
  • Avoid the issue entirely
  • It's a fact of life, we have to deal with it

Whogus The Whatsler: Thanks, LT, for the lowdown on Kevin and Kell. I've been going there since I read your suggestion, and have been enjoying the archives very much.

If you're partial to webcomics, might I just mention my own personal favourites: Sluggy Freelance, Partially Clips, Scary-Go-Round and Achewood. (I suggest you give that last one time to grow on's kind of weird.)

Looney Toons: I've read Sluggy for years; the others I'm not familiar with. I'll check them out — thanks!

Looney Toons: Abby, the spider/fly bit was a grisly little homage to the original 50s SF movie The Fly, which ended with a tiny fly that was part human caught in a spider web and shrieking "Help me! Help me!"

Abby: Ah, I see. Learn something new every day...

Riff: Someone added a redundant paragraph about Kevin & Kell in the examples, presumably not having seen its mention at the top of the page, so I removed it and added the bit of extra detail it had into the initial paragraph.

I would never call the Kevin & Kell approach "honest." More like "wallbanger." A society, especially a 21st century human-analog, where one sapient species routinely and casually killed and ate another would last precisely as long as it took the "prey" species to find the ammo. The Schlock Mercenary approach is a hell of a lot closer: "Food that talks is not food."

  • I'd call it "Rule Of Funny" and "MST3K Mantra".

I removed the World of Warcraft example about the Tauren(Tauren (Minotaurs) in World Of Warcraft are able to raise horses, pigs... and cattle). If anyone can find offical descriptions of Taurens raising pigs and cattle, feel free to put the example back up. The part about them raising horses, however, doesn't make any sense unless they were raising them to eat. It is explicitly stated both in-game and in official descriptions that Tauren are much too large to ride horses or nearly any other mount, for that matter. *wanders off to be a nerd somewhere else*

I fixed the Stormy Night example. It was "the anime doesn't explain if they eventually manage to overcome this problem", but that's not true. The wolf (Gabu) makes it very clear that he'd rather die than eat the goat (Mei), and he survives by eating other animals (specifically, he is shown with his snout stained with blood, and when Mei questions him, he admits he eats a few mice every night); Mei is upset at first, but eventually accepts that there is no other way.

Does the talking fish in the beginning of Slayers:Revolution count?

Morgan Wick: I'm not sure, but I think the Spore example is played completely straight, not an aversion. If there were to be some sort of comment on the weirdness, then it would be Lampshade Hanging or some other form of Playing with a Trope.

Can I remove the example about "Carnivore Confusion applying to ourselves"? It's already developing into a discussion, and I got the urge to join -.-
  • I'd say either remove or move to the discussion page.

Have fun discussing:
  • Hell, given that some humans question the morality of eating meat, you could say that Carnivore Confusion applies to ourselves!
    • This Troper sums it up this way: If you didn't have vitamins, would you be able to survive without it? Hint: The answer is usually no.
      • Nonsense. This troper has been a vegetarian for years, and doesn't need any dietary supplements.
    • To be fair to both sides, I suspect living as a vegan or vegetarian would be much more difficult without grocery stores that sell such a wide variety of products. The reasons meat is good is because it contains a combination of fats and protein. The protein is especially important because by eating meat, we get all the ingredients we need to build muscle. With plants, we would need to consume several different types before we had all the vitamins needed to grow. Modern day supermarkets make it easy to overcome this. So if we pushed the clock back a couple hundred years, maybe even a couple thousand for good measure, I am of the opinion that living without eating meat would be extremely difficult, if not downright impossible. Especially if you're from a family that doesn't make enough money to buy the needed supplementary vegetables (and that's assuming they're available and you can figure out which combination you need to eat).
      • Well, there are also traditional diets that are vegetarian as well, such as Dal Bhat (the staple diet of Nepal). I think Dal Baht works because it involves a variety of lentils.
    • In fact, the main human preys are fruits (in the biological sense : Tomatoes are fruits, too). We can live only by eating fruits, but we can't live by eating only meat, or only fish, or only cereals, or only non-fruits plants (salads, for example). We are omnivorous only in a cultural way, because digesting fruits are more or less in-between digesting meat and digesting plants. Our digestive system, even if we discard the fact non-fruits plants and meat don't have what we need, is too fast in digesting non-fruits plants (non-fruits plants are transformeds in poo before having been correctly proceced), and too slow in digesting meat (that's why human poo often smell so strong : It's simply already... rotted IN you). That's also why eating lot of cereals, that accelerate the digesting process, is not really and great idea : You just stress your digesting system.
      • Actually, no, we can't survive by eating only fruit. People who try (they are called fruitarians) inevitably suffer serious health problems within a matter of weeks, if not days. On the other hand, it is possible to survive in very good health as a pure carnivore, so long as you get the meat from safe sources, and you also consume organ meats. Just look at the pre-colonial or traditional Inuit (Not the ones ones who eat modern canned food): They ate animals exclusively, mostly raw, and became very strong and healthy as a result, despite the harsh northern climate.
      • The Inuit would it some seaweed, but it was not necessary since blubber contains enough vitamins to prevent scurvy. Also all animals that eat meat have strong smelling feces.
    • Ultimately it is all about taking in the necessary materials to build tissues and run a cellular metabolism, it does not really matter where you get them. That said since meat is denser and fat is very rich source of material that can be broken down through metabolization, used for building for cells, or carried in the blood as cholestrol it is easier to over eat.

JET 73 L: I don't think I understand in the Lilo & Stitch example, that Punch would likely be happy to eat a large piscivore. I can't find anything online about what "species" Punch is supposed to be (aside from "some sport of weird doll", which I got from the movie), he doesn't look at all like a fish, so does this need to be edited for clarity, or just have that part of the example removed?

Another Example would be the books Omnivore, Orn, and 0X, by Piers Anthony where some scientists go to this planet and find that all life is fungus based but some of them are animal like there are the Carnivore's which are evil, the Herbivores which are good and the Omnivores which protect the Herbivores from the Carnivores

Nohbody: Not sure what's wrong with this image, in regards to the trope, but in case someone sees something I don't, here's something I deleted, when fixing some misplaced examples. If it belongs, feel free to put it in the right spot.

Madd-the-Sane: I removed this lengthy conversation that doesn't belong on the main page, but is probably unresolved:
  • The above-mentioned Kevin & Kell, for those who aren't familiar with it, is about a "mixed marriage" between a rabbit and a wolf. As such it addresses this issue with surprising frequency and from several different angles. Kell, the wolf, actually works for HerdThinners Inc., a predatory corporation that hunts other animals and sells the meat. Young carnivores are specifically taught not to talk to their prey, as it may result in befriending them.
    • In addition, circumstances permitting, the whole idea of who gets to eat who can be turned on its ear. At least three times, carnivorous characters have eaten a predator that was for one reason or another (usually mistaken for prey) threatening them.
    • Naturally though, the morality of killing is never discussed. Anyone who tries to eat a main character is either shown the error of his ways and assimilated into the cast (Ralph), or is a faceless nobody who is usually eaten in turn in some sort of bizarre karma retribution (one wonders if the audience would cheer just as loudly if this "karma" was visited upon the youngest toddler Coney). The entire existence of a modern day society is Hand Waved away with a giant bird conspiracy and alternate dimensions.
      • The morality seems to be a matter of choice, perspective, and success. Hence the above-mentioned "Don't meet the meat" rule. Killing is only okay if for predatory reasons (This is why Kell's Boss can get away with You Have Failed Me with his employees, because he eats them). If you catch them, good on you, but anything that happens to you as a result of hunting is also fair game. If you feel bad about killing someone, you can always buy your meat instead. Also, there is an area, naturally known as 'The Wild', where the animals live more or less as normal animals do (very similar to Dinotopia below). Presumably, anyone there is fair game. Also, anyone not wearing clothes seems to be considered wild. A cow mafia is actually shown disposing of a victim simply by taking his ID, stripping him naked, and tossing him out in front of the Herd Thinners building.
      • This is just plain stupid. The author expects us to buy his Humans Are Bastards ploy, when his 'heroes' regularly cannibalize each other, while us humans do no such thing. It's disturbing. What's next, the Elven Holocaust?
      • What? Cannibalism? There is no cannibalism in K&K that is seen as 'good'. Also, humans are portrayed as bastards in this comic for wastefulness. We kill and waste a hell of a lot, and many vegetarians/vegans will tell you that they wouldn't be if we treated the animals we ate fairly and didn't waste so much.
      • Rule of Funny.
      • Also, what humans?
      • Some animal characters are from the human world and often change back.
      • The one story line that bothered this editor most was the "Rabbit's Revenge" thing. When rabbits built guns and started killing carnivores, police got involved and investigated it as a crime. K&K is very odd in this way.
      • Did the rabbits consume the dead? If not, it's just murder for the sake of murder, and that's probably a crime.
      • This one's explicitly stated in a story arc where the family finds a cheetah skeleton; Kell states that since the bones didn't have that distinct a-wild-animal-ripped-the-flesh-off-with-its-teeth look, it was their equivalent to homicide.
      • This doesn't even follow the law of the jungle very well. The prey species are always at risk, so what the point of self-defense claim? Also, why can't they just sell the victim?
      • I've only read a couple strips, but that goes up to Wall Banger level. As said above, doesn't the lead work for a corporation based completely on that principal?
      • What I meant was why can't the prey species that killed something and was accused of murder can't just sell the victim.
      • Possibly overlooked question in that although clearly they are all various species of animal, they are able to intermingle relationally in ways which are physically impossible in real life. One could dismiss this merely as that the cast is actually human/ethnic composites and drama exaggeration. Alternatively, it could be the author has intentionally chosen to suspend the obvious physical impossibilities for the sake of character variety (more so than simply the anthropomorphic/toon nature of it). Another way of wording what I mean being that the author invoked a treatment of all the creatures as though they were one race with a broad ethnic diversity. By this same logic, one could conclude any carnivorous activities are equivalent to cannibalism. This makes matters all the more confusing.
  • Possible subversion of this Trope (or adherence to the "It's a fact of life, we have to deal with it" approach, though I don't see how this is confusing in any manner) in the "Law of the Jungle", which makes explicit that there is no wrong in killing in need, but without doubt there is in killing for pleasure. Although the cast of Kipling's stories are almost exclusively animals, they are portrayed with reasonable intelligence. By this standard it is not in possessing intelligence that differs a kill from murder, but intent. No confusion about it, a predator has to eat, and its prey the choice to steer clear, run, or take defensive measures. This complex concept may be a little too much for a young audience though, perhaps the reason why it is so often turned from. This can be easily taken with a few grains of salt - committing the predatory act is considered nothing personal from the vantage of the predator - it is an act of survival and dietary necessity. Additionally, it does not preclude an intelligent predator's ability to interact with other intelligent creatures which would be considered "prey"; some may even make casual exception to those it considers friends - within reason. This build is probably the most true to life, since many animals are physically unable to ingest or else be sustained by anything otherwise. A step to make this easier to swallow might be to consider "language" barriers between most species. Consideration to risks to both the predator and prey in the hunt is also suggested. Lastly, it would be in most "good" aligned characterization to commit such an act in as quick and efficient method possible, although a predator toying with its prey in ignorance to its intelligence can be cast as childishly innocent cruelty; whereas a predator toying with its prey in full knowledge of its intelligence an act of sadism (and as per the basic fundamentals of the "Law of the Jungle", morally wrong).

Somebody hasn't watched The Lion King in a long time! The hyenas aren't the bad guys because they scavenge, it's because they hunt for sport. In the Pridelands, it's against the "law of the jungle" (so to speak) to hunt for reasons other than to feed yourself, which I'm sure was created to address this trope, what with the prey animals being as capable of thought as the lions (I assume, since they talk and everything). Scavenging isn't even brought up in any of the films.