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[[quoteright:350:[[WesternAnimation/TheLandBeforeTime http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/young_maiasaurs_1.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:[[Creator/DavidAttenborough "Observe how the plant eaters share their feeding time with their carnivorous companion with no fear of him turning on them. Truly remarkable!"]]]]

->'''Lex:''' Sh. Sh. Don't let the monsters come over here.\\
'''Dr. Alan Grant:''' They're not monsters, Lex. They're just animals. And these are herbivores.\\
'''Tim:''' That means they only eat vegetables, but for you I think they'd make an exception.
-->-- ''Film/JurassicPark''

This trope, along with PredatorsAreMean, are a fairly common approach to CarnivoreConfusion in fiction. Basically, all the villains are carnivores and all the herbivores, particularly if [[TalkingAnimal they can talk]], are heroes.

Like PredatorsAreMean, this trope has been around for such a long time that it may be one of TheOldestOnesInTheBook. Herbivores Are Friendly often, but not always goes hand-in-hand with PredatorsAreMean.

This trope and PredatorsAreMean are so strong culturally that people assume that many RealLife predators (whether omnivorous or carnivorous by nature) are mean, evil, and nasty, and all the herbivores are cute, cuddly, and friendly.

This trope is not TruthInTelevision for the most part. The most dangerous animals in the world are actually big herbivores; the hippopotamus and the elephant are known to attack and kill humans even without being provoked. In North America, more people are killed by cows each year than by [[BearsAreBadNews bears]], [[CatsAreMean mountain lions]], [[SnakesAreSinister venomous snakes]], [[ThreateningShark sharks]], and [[NeverSmileAtACrocodile alligators]] ''combined''. In other words, just because an animal won't ''eat'' you, doesn't mean it won't ''hurt'' you. Conversely, house cats and dogs (the two species most inclined to be friendly with humans) are inherently carnivorous, while the omnivorous whale shark is never a threat to humans.

Film/TempleGrandin's book, ''Animals in Translation'', explains that domesticated cattle can be a lot harder to handle compared to most wild felines. A bull or even a cow may attack a person in order to exert dominance, but a tiger will not do so unless its prey drive is triggered, as it is a solitary animal that does not care about social hierarchy.

One common exception for the herbivores, when they are portrayed as dangerous in fiction, is when they go on an AnimalStampede.

Goes hand-in-hand with and opposite of PredatorsAreMean. Often associated with CarnivoreConfusion. Subtrope to GoodAnimalsEvilAnimals and AlwaysLawfulGood.



[[folder: Anime and Manga]]
* ''Manga/OumagadokiDoubutsuen'' subverts this trope with [[PettingZooPeople Rodeo, the humanoid horse]] in the Circus Arc: he embraces the theory that PredatorsAreMean to the point of petty racism, calling carnivores dumb and brutal and going all out on them: when [[GentleGiant Kisazou]], whom he previously respected as a fellow herbivore, tries to protect Uwabami (a snake-woman), Rodeo doesn't hesitate to mark him as an enemy too.
* Zigzagged in ''Manga/{{Toriko}}'': most of the dangerous beasts they encounter are carnivorous and highly destructive, though the backstory of the [[SavageWolves Battle Wolf]] mentions how a colossal, herbivorous {{kaiju}} known as the "Death Gore" nearly destroyed all life on earth due to their unsatiable appetite for whole forests. Played straight among the incredibly powerful Eight Kings: non carnivorous ones like Horse King Herakles and the Deer King Sky Deer are the least aggressive of the eight (though by no mean less dangerous...)

[[folder: Comic Books]]
* ''ComicBook/AtomicRobo'': Zig-zagged in "The Trial of Atomic Robo". Doctor Dinosaur's latest killing machine is the "omnisaur" -- half ''Triceratops'', half ''Ankylosaurus'' and [[TooManyHalves half]] ''Stegosaurus''. Robo points out that those are all herbivores.
-->'''Dr Dinosaur:''' Herbivores. What was I thinking? Oh, right! The super-beams!\\
'''Robo:''' The what? ''[omnisaur starts glowing]''

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* The main dinosaur characters from ''WesternAnimation/TheLandBeforeTime''. Chomper the friendly [[TyrannosaurusRex Sharptooth]] is an exception.
* In ''Disney/SnowWhiteAndTheSevenDwarfs'', [[FriendToAllLivingThings Snow White]] quickly gains the sympathy of a large group of WoodlandCreatures, who do everything they can to help her. Nearly all of them are herbivores, with the sole exception of a couple of raccoons[[note]] which are technically omnivores, and [[MisplacedWildlife don't even belong in Europe]][[/note]].
* Another dinosaur example is the movie ''Disney/{{Dinosaur}}''. The main characters are all herbivores, and even the mean herbivore rivals are only trying to accomplish the greater good.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Film/{{Mothra}} is among the most peaceful of all kaiju and happens to be a nectar-feeding butterfly/moth. So long as you don't [[BerserkButton kidnap Her fairy companions]] or [[MamaBear harm Her children in any way]] She won't hurt you. And if you ''do'', you'll find that [[MamaBear She wrecks cities as well as any Kaiju]].
* A subversion occurs with Franchise/{{Godzilla}} Junior. Though he is shown eating leaves in ''Film/GodzillaVsMechagodzillaII'', his species is actually carnivorous. Though, compared to his more aggressive father, he is quite friendly.
* ''Franchise/JurassicPark'':
** In ''Film/JurassicPark'', Dr. Grant calms Alex down when she sees nearby ''Brachiosaurus'' by reassuring her that they're plant-eaters.
--->'''Tim:''' Veggie-sauruses!
** The ''Film/JurassicWorld'' website lists almost all of its herbivores as having low aggression, with the exception of the armor-plated ''Ankylosaurus'', whose aggression is listed as "medium". [[InvokedTrope Then again, they may have been genetically modified to be more docile to comply with visitor expectations.]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* The herbivore dinosaurs in ''Series/TerraNova'' are shown to be playful in the pilot episode. The main character's youngest daughter even feeds them treats.
* Spoofed in ''Series/{{Dinosaurs}}'' as the herbivores are presented as dinosaur versions of hippie pacifists and marijuana users, which becomes a problem when the son Robbie (think Lisa Simpson's version of the series) becomes an herbivore.
* Mix with OurWerebeastsAreDifferent in ''Series/{{Grimm}}'': all the herbivore-based Wesen like the turtle-like Genio Inocuo and the sheep-like Seelengut are esentially harmless.

* Brian Jaques's ''Literature/{{Redwall}}'' series often shows this. Squirrels (not entirely herbivorous), hares, and other herbivores, and a few omnivores such as badgers, mice, and hedgehogs, are the heroes, where wholly carnivorous species such as weasels, stoats, wild cats, snakes, hawks, ferrets, foxes (actually omnivorous, but still predatory), and the like are the villains. This is rather odd considering the fact that the most prominent species, the mice of Redwall, are omnivores but never eat any meat besides fish. One would reason that they never eat any intelligent creatures, but there has been at least one intelligent talking fish in the series.
* Discussed in ''[[Literature/PrinceRoger March Upcountry]]'': Captain Pahner sees a large herbivore on an unfamiliar planet and tells his troops not to fire. Prince Roger shoots the thing anyway, because he has actually been on safari and knows that herbivores are not harmless (and because he hadn't figured out the com software yet and hadn't heard the order).
* Played around with in ''{{Literature/Dinoverse}}''. In the first set of books, the ''Leptoceratopses'' abduct Candayce and shove Janine around, and Candayce figures out that they were trying to protect her - she's in the body of a ''Leptoceratops'' and they don't understand why she's hanging out with a ''TyrannosaurusRex''. Similarly, when they encounter a ''Triceratops'' herd, it is hostile in defense of its nests, but is less so later, realizing that a little ''Leptoceratops'' and a wounded ''[[PteroSoarer Quetzalcoatlus]]'' aren't threats. The ''Ankylosaurus'' met later on is friendly to the boy in the ''Ankylosaurus'' body, but wary at best of all the others.
* The [[TheReptilians Hork-Bajir]] from the ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' series are, when free from [[PuppeteerParasite Yeerk]] control, naturally docile and unintelligent creatures who use the numerous blades on their bodies to strip bark from trees for food. A community of Hork-Bajir who escape the Yeerks become close allies of the Animorphs.

[[folder:Myths & Religion]]
* Some Christian sects in the United States, such as those behind the Creation Museum (Answers in Genesis) believe that this was the literal truth of life on Earth pre-Fall. It's stated that animals before the Fall were friendly herbivores (one diorama depicts a ''T. rex'' chomping on pineapples) and that predation and carnivorism, being based in violence and killing, are by-products of the Fall. The Texas-based Creation Evidence Museum believes the pre-Fall atmosphere made creatures live longer, made them more intelligent and thus made them nicer. This have proven contentious, so any discussion of these views (positive or negative) best adhere to the RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ZigZagged in the ''VideoGame/MonsterHunter'' series. Most herbivores, like Aptonoths, really are friendly and peaceful. Herbivore bossmonsters like Diablos? [[PunchedAcrossTheRoom Not so much]].
* Inverted and played straight in ''VideoGame/DinosaurKing'' where while the heroes normally use herbivorous dinosaurs, one exception is a ''Carnotaurus''.
* Subverted in ''VideoGame/DinoSystem'' Unless attacked, most herbivores are usually quite placid and ignore the player. Which can make it all the more surprising during survivor mode when a calm male ''Triceratops'' enters breeding condition and suddenly starts trying to kill the human survivor.
* ''VideoGame/{{Spore}}'' has creatures evolving. The first two stages (Cell and Creature) are spent deciding on a creature's diet. Later stages have the creatures evolved more, with their own moralities. Herbivores tend to be nice and social, carnivores tend to be hostile, while omnivores tend to be neutral and economic. ''Spore'' plays with this somewhat. When you advance to a new stage, you get bonuses and special abilities depending on how you spent the previous ones. Killing and eating your rivals would tend to give you combat bonuses when you acquired sapience, while socializing with other species and eating plants would give you social abilities instead. So if you began your evolution as a carnivore, you were encouraged to develop into a warlike civilization, while herbivores would be encouraged to play peacefully. However, you could defy this by simply not making use of your bonuses in the Tribal and Civilization stages.
* Subverted in ''VideoGame/FarCry3'' and ''VideoGame/FarCry4''. ''3'' has water buffalo that generally keep to themselves, but if you walk through their territory, they'll most likely chase you down and try to ram you. ''4'' has yaks which are pretty much just reskins of ''3'''s water buffalo, as well as rhinos and elephants. The rhinos basically act the same way as the yaks, only they're faster, tougher, and do a lot more damage. The elephants, on the other hand, will not bother you at all unless you attack them -- they'll even let you ride them, provided you have the necessary perk. However, once provoked, these elephants are ''very'' dangerous -- and you can use this to your advantage, pitting them against your enemies and even riding them into battle. Despite the subversion in ''Far Cry 3'', the binoculars identify animals as herbivore and predator, giving a clear distinction on which animals can attack. The identification is based on whether or not they're aggressive as opposed to their actual diet (e.g. Buffalo are tagged as predators).
* Mammoths in ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'' are mostly peaceful, just don't annoy them or their giant owners. Otherwise, it's played very straight: bears will attack you on sight; deer (which are covered on Real Life) flee from you on sight. Unless, of course, you have any active buff preventing animals from reacting to your presence.
* Downplayed with the gurns, druffalo and brontos in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition''. They won't attacked if they aren't provoked, but they'll fight tooth and nail if wounded.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/KevinAndKell'' likes to subvert this often. Kevin and Kell's daughter is a rabbit that eats meat. Kevin himself is generally friendly, but is not above punching predators trying to eat him. In fact, for a mini-arc it ended up a problem for Kevin as one of predators sued him for "breach of nature, rabbits should run". [[spoiler:And was retorted "[[HoistByHisOwnPetard breach of nature]], predators should eat rather than sue".]] And it should be pointed out that Kevin's ex Angelique, genetically a rabbit (but posing as a rat), is one of the most vicious characters in the comic.
* Subverted in ''Webcomic/{{Freefall}}''; Sam's BizarreAlienBiology is edible and appetizing even to Terran herbivores.
* {{Parodied|Trope}} in [[http://thepunchlineismachismo.com/archives/comic/when-herbivores-attack this]] chapter of ''Webcomic/ManlyGuysDoingManlyThings'', formerly the page image. It depicts a man [[WrongGenreSavvy expecting this to be the case]], and getting stomped flat as a result.
* Double-subverted in ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'', Xeno Team is approaching a group of large stick-like alien creatures that appear to be eating moss, Ebbirnoth cautious the rest that herbivores can still be dangerous, and [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2013-06-15 then]] it turns out the big things are actually carnivorous.
-->'''Ebby:''' Let's just stick with "everything's dangerous until we've killed it."

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Something was said about this in the ''Literature/MagicSchoolBus'' episode where they went back in time and saw dinosaurs.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheWildThornberrys'' {{Zig Zag|ged}}s it. Eliza easily makes friends with plenty of herbivorous animals, but she also encounters some realistically aggressive, such as hippos and water buffalo.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' often subvert this trope quite realistically.
** In "Little Big Mom", Lisa tried to approach a herd of deer because they look harmless, but when she gets close enough they turn ferocious and try to attack her.
** Lampshaded in "Four Women and a Manicure" when the Wicked Witch of Snow White mocks a group of cute woodlands critters, most of which are herbivores. [[CurbStompBattle The critters proceed to gang up and tear the witch apart as she screams in agony.]]
** Doubly subverted in a school video starring Troy [=McClure=] in "Lisa the Vegetarian",[[note]]you might remember from such videos as "2-3=Negative Fun" and "Firecrackers: The Silent Killer"[[/note]] where he convinces Bobby[[note]]Jimmy[[/note]] that it's okay to eat meat. [=McClure=] warns Jimmy that "if a cow had the chance he'd eat you and everyone you care about," as ominous music plays and the camera zooms in on a cow's face. However, the cow's face is so placid, that the idea of a threatening cow seems ludicrous.
** In "The Seemingly Never-Ending Story", [[NestedStory Lisa's story-within-the-story]] has her encountering a goat in the forest, hoping it'll be friendly to a fellow herbivore, until it chases her into Mr. Burns' mansion. [[DoubleSubversion It turns out it was trying to bring back her necklace which she'd lost in the woods]].
* Marina's best friend in ''WesternAnimation/SabansAdventuresOfTheLittleMermaid'' is a seahorse (in a setting where all marine predator animals are evil).

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Species living in an environment without predators are indeed often very docile. The Dodo of Mauritius evolved on an island without predators and was noted for having no fear or aggression toward humans, who promptly ate them into extinction. Herbivorous species that are accustomed to the presence of predators, however, often avert this: while some herbivores will flee danger as a first resort, others can be very aggressive, and will often be the ones to attack first if threatened or surprised. Herbivores such as hippos, rhinos, bison and even cattle have well-deserved reputations for being dangerous to approach, and even deer can turn on you if you startle them.
* Some species of herbivore play this straight with ''each other'', roaming in multi-species herds. Usually this is a sign that their dietary preferences are slightly different (e.g. grass vs. shrubs), and that each species in the group has a different well-developed sense (scent, hearing, sight) with which to detect herd members' mutual predators. Less competition, more chance to pick up on danger that way.