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[[caption-width-right:300:"Cook her while I have the little one for an appetizer. You know, 'cause I'm a meaner."]]
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This is a subtrope of CarnivoreConfusion. In fiction, particularly if the prey can talk, carnivores are often [[AlwaysChaoticEvil evil]], and all the [[HerbivoresAreFriendly heroes are herbivores]]. The predator's desire to eat the prey makes the predator a villain, or at least, a DesignatedVillain. For instance, if [[NiceMice the heroes are mice]], often CatsAreMean. In works involving talking animals, carnivores almost always fail to catch their prey. (Sometimes, their prey actually defeats them!)

This is a common way to deal with predators in talking animal fiction. This trope may be one of TheOldestOnesInTheBook, despite predators serving a vital ecological role (no apex predators=too many herbivores=ecosystem completely collapses), or needing to eat meat to live. On the other hand, to the mouse, what the owl is like inside isn't as relevant as that it's trying to eat you. When the story focuses on a prey animal, there's not a lot of ways to keep predators from being monstrous. SapientEatSapient is a justified case of this, since there are sapient predators that know what they are doing and sapient prey that has a right to live. There are still a few ways to avoid this though, the most famous being with the fish-eating characters who are often spared sympathy thanks to their targets being non-sapient (see NoCartoonFish for more about that trope).

This can overlap with HumansAreTheRealMonsters, and maybe even HumansAreCthulhu (particularly in {{Xenofiction}}). Goes hand-in-hand with HerbivoresAreFriendly and ScavengersAreScum. Contrast PredationIsNatural. May be one of the reasons why ReptilesAreAbhorrent, since most lizards (including ''all'' snakes) and all modern crocodilians are carnivores.

This trope is practically never TruthInTelevision, obviously enough. Very few predators have ever been observed to engage in apparently deliberate cruelty. Please do not list RealLife aversions - nature averts this by default, playing it straight is by far the more remarkable.


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Inverted in ''Manga/{{Toriko}}'': We're told of the Death Gore, a gargantuan herbivore beast who almost caused the end of the world by devouring whole tracts of forests and woodlands on his way. Eventually the disaster was averted when the Death Gore's pack was totally annihilated by a single predator, the [[NobleWolf Battle Wolf]], which is carnivorous.
* In the first episode of ''[[Anime/{{Pokemon}} Pokémon Diamond and Pearl]],'' Piplup is captured in the web of an [[GiantSpider Ariados]] and has to be freed by Dawn. Later on, an entire swarm of Ariados come back to trap them, and Piplup is forced to use [[DeathOrGloryAttack Bide]] in order to fend them off.
* In Creator/TatsuyamaSayuri's "Manga/HappyHappyClover" anime and manga series. While [[PunnyName Professor Hoot]] and the other owls are nice and also very strict. The opposite can be said for [[http://www.myanime.me/screenshots/115206-episode-13-screenshot-008.jpg Cinnamon the Fox, the recurring antagonist of the series]] along with his "sidekick" [[TheTrickster Twirl the Squirrel]] [[http://animelehti.fi/wordpress/wp-content/files/2012/01/bubus03.png who would spread various rumors and trick the main characters much to the Clover's disapproval.]] In earlier volumes when Shallot, Kale, and Clover were much younger Cinnamon and Twirl were actually bullies. Cinnamon's sister is a lot nicer compared to him and is also a fortune teller.

[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* For a strip that endeavors to educate us about nature, ''ComicStrip/MarkTrail'' still falls into this trope sometimes, the narration describing "villainous wolves" and similar.

* ''Series/WalkingWithDinosaurs'':
** Averted with most predators, but played dead straight with ''[[StockDinosaursNonDinosaurs Liopleurodon]]'', which is shown as a "villain" of both episodes it appears in just because it preys on other animals. A bit of a bizarre example, in that in both of the episodes it appears in ("Cruel Sea" and "Giant of the Skies") the creature it is shown preying on or trying to is itself a carnivore.
** ''Walking with Monsters'', however, plays it straight, as anything that preys upon a human ancestor is shown as a [[PrehistoricMonster vicious brute]], unless it is itself stated to be a human ancestor.
* There are a fair amount of "intense" or "edgy" nature documentaries that will often play up the scare factor of carnivorous animals.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLandBeforeTime'':
** Carnivorous dinosaurs, [[CallARabbitASmeerp called Sharpteeth]], are the main villains. In the first movie, a ''TyrannosaurusRex'' named Sharptooth is the main villain. He is a nearly invincible killing machine, killing huge apatosaurs twice his size, surviving a 700-foot drop with just a mild coma, and leaping and running effortlessly. He is ultimately dispatched by being tossed into a lake and being hit on the head with a giant rock.
** One of the many sequels does give us Chomper, a child Sharptooth who does not attack Littlefoot & co because they raised him for some time after he hatched. He and his parents show up in a later sequel, where they do refrain from eating the protagonists again (although it's implied that if the parents had found them without Chomper around, they would have eaten them anyway. The dad implies that the main reason ''he'' isn't interested is because they were hiding in smelly plants and thus were unappealing).
* The fox in ''WesternAnimation/TheFirstSnowOfWinter'' goes out of its way to try and eat Sean even after it catches the much fatter Voley.
* In ''Disney/{{Tarzan}}'', a leopard[[ViewerGenderConfusion ess]] named Sabor is one of the main villains. [[spoiler:She is eventually killed by Tarzan when he kills her by impaling her with a knife after an [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome epic]] battle.]] It helps that the bug-eyed, feral Sabor is [[WhatMeasureIsANonCute not in any way adorable]] and is, quite frankly, a bloodthirsty brute.
* Glut the Shark in Disney's ''Disney/TheLittleMermaid''.
* ''Disney/{{Dinosaur}}'': Mimicking ''WesternAnimation/TheLandBeforeTime'', none of the predatory dinosaurs ever utter a word.
* Averted in ''Disney/TheLionKing'', where the heroes are predators, and the circle of life is a major plot point. They're not actually shown killing, although Simba does mention eating antelope. Then again, the only ones actually shown eating animal bits are the villain, Scar, and his hyena lackeys. Scar tosses them a haunch of zebra (which has somehow been neatly butchered).
* Both inverted and played straight in ''Disney/TheJungleBook'' where although Mowgli's archnemesis is an evil, bloodthirsty tiger named Shere Khan, his two best friends are a sloth bear named Baloo and a black leopard named Bagheera. Mowgli was also RaisedByWolves. There is also a divergence in the book on this point, where in Kipling's version, Kaa, the giant rock python is a close friend and ally of Mowgli, but in the animated adapation he becomes [[AdaptationalVillainy a secondary villain]], because PredatorsAreMean, ReptilesAreAbhorrent, and [[SnakesAreSinister Sssssnakess are ssssinisster]].
* Inverted and played straight in the ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda'' films where the main character is a presumably omnivourous giant panda, who is trained by a similarly omnivorous red panda, who is partnered with a tiger, a Chinese viper, a praying mantis, a golden langur, and a Chinese crane (though the last two are technically omnivores). By contrast, while the villain of the first film is a clearly carnivorous snow leopard, the villain of the sequel is instead a presumable omnivorous albino peacock, whose minions are either carnivorous wolves or presumably omnivorous gorillas. However, none of the characters are actually shown eating meat, only vegetables, noodles or tofu, regardless of their natural diet.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheRugratsMovie'' has a huge vicious wolf that keeps targeting the babies.
* Deconstructed in ''Anime/YouAreUmasou''. The protagonist, a ''TyrannosaurusRex'' named Heart, was adopted and raised by a herd of ''Maiasaura''. Later, when he discovers the taste of meat, he's horrified to learn that he finds it delicious. By the end of the movie, however, he has come to grips with it. Even better, after being reunited with his adoptive family one of his relatives asks if he has become a meat eater. His response is basically, [[BrutalHonesty "Yes, because if I wasn't I would starve to death."]]
* Played straight with Soto, Cretaceous, Marlstrom and Rudy, but averted with Diego and the Mamma Rex in the ''WesternAnimation/IceAge''-series. It is important to note, however, that the latter two made a HeelFaceTurn.
* ''Disney/{{Zootopia}}'': This stereotype plays a major role in the movie. The rabbit Judy Hopps stands up to a fox bully in her EstablishingCharacterMoment and her parents express serious prejudice against predators. [[spoiler: Ultimately averted, as predators are just as diverse as prey. It doesn't matter what their origins as true animals were, predators do NOT eat other citizens and are just as likely to attack and use violence as prey is. The main villain is a sheep politician trying to exploit this stereotype for power.]]
* Subverted in ''[[Literature/ArashiNoYoruNi OneStormyNight]]''. Most of the antagonists are wolves however they're not mean because they're wolves, they're just mean wolves. Gabu and some background wolves aren't portrayed as malicious. Gabu is a sweet wolf who becomes best friends with a goat named Mei. Gabu tries to become a vegetarian and, even though Mei dislikes Gabu hunting, they both realize that is impossible.
* In ''Animation/LeafieAHenIntoTheWild'', the closest thing to a BigBad the film has is the one eyed-weasel who nearly kills Leafie and kills both of Greenie's biological parents. [[spoiler:The film subverts this near the end as Leafie learns the weasel isn't any worse than she is. The one-eyed weasel s a mother who needs to feed her newly borns. Leafie [[HeroicSacrifice lets the weasel]] [[TheHeroDies eat her]] so her children can live.]]

[[folder:Film -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/JurassicWorld's'' website lists most of its carnivorous dinosaurs, pterosaurs and sea lizard as having high "Aggression Indexes" (in layman's terms, the carnivores have {{Hair Trigger Temper}}s). Plot relevant ones include the infamously carnivorous ''TyrannosaurusRex'', long-time villains ''[[RaptorAttack Velociraptor]]'', the fish-eating pterosaur ''[[PteroSoarer Pteranodon]]'' and [[{{Badass}} SHARK-eating]] sea lizard ''[[SeaMonster Mosasaurus]]''. Given what Jurassic World is like, it's possible that they did this on purpose so the animals could live up to the expectations of the public, as most of these animals would have been relatively docile in real life[[note]]Amusingly, ''Pteranodon'' is the one that would most likely have had a bad temper in reality, though this would have had less to do with it being a carnivore and more to do with it being a polygynous breeder (and all of the park's specimens are female)[[/note]]. In the raptors' case this is consistent with how they were depicted in the previous films and the ''Pteranodons''' high aggression level is a plot point in the film, seeing as the saurian BigBad of the film frightens them into a maddened frenzy and sics them on a helicopter that was pursuing her. There are exceptions, though; the fish-eating ''Baryonyx'' and ''Suchomimus'' have a medium Aggression Index, as does the opportunistic pterosaur ''Dimorphodon''. ''Gallimimus'', the one omnivore of the mix, has a low Aggression Index.
** The ''[[MixAndMatchCritter Indominus rex]]'' herself was specifically bred to be mean, because that makes for a more thrilling attraction [[spoiler:and a better LivingWeapon]]. [[GoneHorriblyRight It works]]; she breaks out and goes on a killing spree, ForTheEvulz as much as for food.

* The ''Literature/{{Redwall}}'' series tends to do this a lot, with the villains almost always being predatory or omnivorous species such as weasles, foxes, stoats, snakes, rats, hawks and other 'vermin' species, and explicitly eat meat-often making comments about eating the hero or hero's friends. The heroes, however, are never said to eat any kind of meat, fish being the only animal they will consume, otherwise being completely vegetarian, even though mice, badgers, hedgehogs and otters, commonly featured among the heroes, are omnivores, domestic cats (which are carnivores), rabbits (herbivores), and dormice (herbivores) don't take sides, bees (herbivores) are bad, and many normal, non-sapient herbivores have been seen. This does bring morality into question as there has been at least one talking, intelligent fish.
* Brilliantly handled in ''Literature/WatershipDown'', where the the rabbits refer to their multitude of predators as "''u embleer hrair''" -- "The Stinking Thousand." The rabbits live in constant fear and hatred of their predators, casting them as demon-like entities in their mythology. But when confronted with the wanton destruction that humans inflict [[HumansAreCthulhu for no comprehensible reason]], they acknowledge that their predators only kill because they have to and that they are struggling for survival not unlike themselves.
* Perhaps one of the most famous examples is ''Literature/ThreeLittlePigs''. The villain is a TheBigBadWolf who huffs, and puffs, and- well, you know the story. Anyways, the three little pigs defeat him at the end of the story. In reality, however, pigs and wolves are both omnivores, like humans, eating both animal and plant material.
** This is very well understood in the older version of the story, where the only surviving pig cooks the wolf for dinner.
* In Larry Niven's ''Literature/KnownSpace'' novels, the carnivorous alien Kzinti are aggressive conquerors who nearly defeat humanity.
** Averted with the cowardly, herbivorous Puppeteers -- who are possibly the most ruthless and dangerous beings in the Galaxy.
* Played with in the ''Astrosaurs'' children's series. While most of the villains are carnivorous dinosaurs and most of the good guys are herbivores, there are exceptions on both sides. Some carnivores are outright heroic while others are NobleDemons at worst, and there are more than a few evil herbivore characters.
* Played with similarly in ''{{Literature/Dinoverse}}''. In the first book Bertram and Mike repeatedly, firmly consider school's bullies "predators". When they're dinosaurs in the Cretaceous era, most of the ''{{Tyrannosaurus rex}}es'' and others they meet are mostly portrayed as just hungry animals going for prey. Only one is really considered as ''cruel'', and becomes a SuperPersistentPredator. In a later trip to the dinosaur age a ''Deinonychus'' pack is seen as extremely cliquish and harsh that way, but not ''evil'', and a clan of ''Acrocanthosaurs'' are seen as noble -- even the one who took a bite out of one of the main characters is considered chivalrous and later travels with said character without even eyeing him.
* Averted in the ''Literature/HarryPotter'' series. Owls are an integral part of wizarding society (being a huge part of their postal service, at least in Britain), and the lead character even has his own, very beloved pet owl, who's shown to be affectionate -- if not a bit haughty and standoffish when she's mad. Ron also has a very friendly, excitable owl that can be described as downright adorable.
** Hermione's cat, Crookshanks, is also an aversion, although he doesn't necessarily seem so at first since he keeps attacking Ron's pet rat, Scabbers. [[spoiler: He has good reason, since that rat is actually a wizard long presumed dead, who betrayed his closest friends and caused their deaths, as well as the deaths of many others and the imprisonment of another one of his best friends. Since Crookshanks can sense that Scabbers is untrustworthy, he goes on the offensive.]] Later installments find him perfectly friendly and gentle.
** Also averted with the thestrals, skeletal winged horse-creatures visible only to those who have witnessed someone's death. They're lured in with a carcass during one of Hagrid's classes, which they happily munch away on, and are perfectly benevolent, if rather uncomfortable to ride on. Also averted with Hagrid's hippogriff, Buckbeak, who routinely chows down on animals. He's proud and haughty, but otherwise gentle unless you insult him. Then, he'll attack -- but given that Draco's a dick and he knew better than to insult Buckbeak, it's really hard to blame the hippogriff for attacking him.
** Played straight with dragons, as even the hatchling Hagrid attempts to raise with the utmost kindness is a snapping, dangerous creature that injures him repeatedly.
* ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'', ''Literature/FoolMoon'': Played straight and averted. The hexenwolves [[spoiler: revealed to be FBI agents driven insane with power]] are killing to fulfill to own bloodlust. Tera West, another werewolf [[spoiler: actually a wolfwere, a wolf that becomes a human]] however, points out that wolves don't kill for pleasure, only for food and defense.
* Inverted with ''prejudice'' in ''Literature/TheLostFleet''. During the series, the protagonists meet a sapient race of apex predators that resemble a mix between angry wolves and giant spiders. This species, the Dancers, is substantially ''[[DarkIsNotEvil nicer]]'' than humans on average, for the exact reason this trope is normally averted in RealLife-they, instinctively, are not actually wary of any bigger threats than they are, and thus aren't as suspicious as direct-middle-of-the-food-chain humans are by nature. By contrast, the herbivorous, bottom-of-the-food-chain klicks are a cute, cuddly, almost cow-like race of...[[AbsoluteXenophobe utter]] [[OmnicidalManiac psychopaths]].

* Played straight in Imaginext's dinosaur toyline. The evil dinosaurs, the Predators, are destroying the environment ForTheEvulz and are all [[CarnivoresAreMean carnivorous species]] like ''Spinosaurus'' or ''Velociraptor''. Meanwhile, most of the good dinosaurs, the Ecovores, are herbivores.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Averted in ''Putt-Putt Travels Through Time''. One carnivorous dinosaur does appear and is just as friendly as the herbivores. It's also one of few of the dinosaurs to seriously wonder [[FridgeLogic about the car traveling in prehistoric times]].
** Also pretty much every carnivore in the games are friendly.
* Both inverted and played straight in ''VideoGame/DinosaurKing'' where even though the villains primarily use carnivorous dinosaurs, one exception is a ''Saichania''.
* Played mostly straight in the ''VideoGame/MonsterHunter'' series. Predators are likely to attack you on sight while herbivores tend to shy away and get killed.
* Played annoyingly straight in ''VideoGame/FarCry3'' and even worse in ''VideoGame/FarCry4''. In the third game in the franchise, some of the predators will hunt you with deliberate intent to kill you over [=NPCs=] that might be closer to them. And in some cases, two (or even three) different predators might gang up on you in favor of killing each other [[note]] the animal AI is designed to act like a normal circle of life and predators will attack other predators if they are "in their territory"[[/note]]. In the 4th game it gets worse still as they add a giant eagle that will swoop down on you with little warning (a slight screech indicates a black eagle is about to attack and you have approximately 2 or 3 seconds to find it before you get attacked and lose half your health) and honey badgers that are not only tiny and vicious, but also extremely tough to kill with anything less than a machine gun. At least the honey badgers do not come in packs. The honey badger's toughness and viciousness is lampshaded in a hunting quest where you are given a heavy machine gun to hunt it down, and before you can fully accept the quest, you must say "yes" no less than 4 times to start the mission.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheLandBeforeTime'' [[{{Sequelitis}} TV Series]], the main villains are, again, carnivorous dinosaurs. Well, at least they get ''names''. The main villain is a ''T. rex'' named Red Claw who has two ''Utahraptor'' henchmen named Screech and Thud. Anonymous "[[CallARabbitASmeerp Sharpteeth]]" also appear in the TV series, including two ''Acrocanthosauruses'' and several anonymous deinonychosaurs.
* ''WesternAnimation/DinkTheLittleDinosaur'' is a complete rip-off of ''The Land Before Time'', so it's no wonder that it also has meat-eating dinosaurs as villains. The main villain is, guess what, a ''T. rex'' named Tyrannor.
* In ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'''s ''Woodland Critter Christmas'', most of the titular critters were prey animals (though there was a bear and a fox among them) and had a conflict with a [[CatsAreMean mountain lion]] who would always come down before Christmas and eat the poor little virgin critter impregnated with their lord and savior. Stan, hearing their story, goes out to kill the mountain lion. [[spoiler: It turned out that the predator was good all along because she was stopping the birth of the ''Antichrist'', and it had three cubs who came to mourn their mother's [[Disney/TheLionKing Mufasa]]-style death.]]
%%* Averted in ''WesternAnimation/DinosaurTrain''.
* Subverted, averted, and played straight in WesternAnimation/TheWildThornberrys. Depending on the episode Eliza would either befriend or run away from a predatory animal; this ranges from [[TheWizardOfOz lions, tigers, and bears, oh my]]!
* In ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'', this trope might be better called "Predators are Jerks" -- there don't seem to be many creatures that actively go out of their way to prey on ponies, but it's noteworthy that several episodes' worth of more unsympathetic antagonists like Gilda the griffon, the diamond dogs, and assorted dragons at the very least ''look'' quite carnivorous. On the other hand, the ponies' ''pets'' are quite naturally immune and the trope has an occasional habit of getting (sometimes hilariously) subverted around Fluttershy...
* The spider, the cat, and Pete (who plays a dogcatcher here), in the 1937 MickeyMouse short ''The Worm Turns.'' Mickey gives their victims, a fly, a mouse, and Pluto (don't think about [[FurryConfusion that second one]] too hard), a serum to make them more powerful and beat their tormentors up.
* The introduction of Bullet the Super Squirrel in ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls'' has this, with the eagle that originally tries to kill Speedy for food is treated like a monster for, you know, being a predator. But then, Bubbles never did care much for animals that werent cute.
* In ''WesternAnimation/AlfredJKwak'', almost all heroic characters are herbivores. [[CatsAreMean Krabnagel the cat]] is the only anthropomorphic animal that eats other animals, and although not specifically called out for it is therefore considered especially vicious. The only other predatory animal is [[KingOfBeasts the lion King]], who averts it.
* In Polish animated series ''Animation/MiedzyNamiBocianami'' (Between Us Storks), a hawk, major Kirkor, is the most usual antagonist.
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Witch}}'' has Hay Lin saving a rabbit from what she deems to be a "mean" fox. All the fox was doing was hunting for food.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* This trope had a major distorting effect on early conservation efforts in late 19th and, to some degree, in early 20th centuries. Many early conservation advocates felt that, while "moral" species like the deer were worth preserving, "immoral" species like wolves were not and deserved to be hunted to extinction.
* A rare real-life example would be the monstrous [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gustave_(crocodile) Gustave]], an enormous Nile crocodile who's been observed killing for the sake of killing rather than just for food. Gustave is belived to be atleast 60 years old, but might be closer to a hundred, has been the target of several hunts that have all failed, and was last seen in June 2015 while dragging an entire bull buffalo into the water. He's suspected to have killed around 300 humans as well.