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Ascended to Carnivorism

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"That means you eat... wolves?"
"Just the pups. Grown-up wolves are way too chewy."
Sometimes, with Carnivore Confusion, all animals are omnivores. Sometimes, only the evil characters eat meat; herbivores eat plants, and "good" carnivores go vegan or eat bugs/fish. Sometimes, carnivores eat meat, herbivores eat plants, which is accepted as the law of nature as there's nothing anyone can do short of replacing their digestive system. But in some cases, one of the herbivores, a prey animal, might get upset... might get a little obsessive about the injustice... might "crack" a little. Followed by the terrifying (or hilarious) sight of a wildebeest trampling a lion to death and feasting on the corpse.

This trope need not be invoked in vengeance or uprising, but does usually affect a herbivore character that is least a little insane. Often appears in Scavenger Worlds, where scavenging carrion is even considered normal for herbivores.

A subtrope of Carnivore Confusion. Contrast Vegetarian Carnivore for when a normally meat-eating animal decides to switch to a vegetarian diet. No direct relation to Extreme Omnivore however, since the latter refers to actual omnivores.

Truth in Television — most herbivorous animals will eat carrion if they get the chance because it provides nutrients (such as calcium) that are hard to find elsewhere.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Beastars: When Louis the deer ends up as the leader of a carnivore criminal gang, he smokes cigarettes and eats meat to fit in and make himself seem more threatening, even though both of those things make him sick, because he's afraid they will kill him if he doesn't. He ends up starving because he can't digest meat until one of the gang members recognizes what is happening and brings him salad. This is a bit of a case of Artistic License Biology, since in real life his species actually can and occasionally do eat meat.
  • In Tales of the Dark Forest, a half-crazy unicorn decides that if he eats the corpse of a human, he can gain human powers, including a digestive tract that can handle meat. He's right, by coincidence.
  • The Sheepwolf from Kirby: Right Back at Ya!.
  • In Pet Shop of Horrors, a breed of rabbits go about attacking and devouring people. And the other species these rabbits take after, the aphid, is herbivorous as well...
  • In The Island of Giant Insects, every single one of the titular giant insects is carnivorous, even the ones that are herbivores in real life.
  • Episode 6 of Michiko & Hatchin briefly features a fighting bull eating a steak made from an ex-bull.
  • Episode 6 of Pui Pui Molcar ends with Shiromo (a large guinea pig) turning into a zombie, as well as immediately switching from nibbling on a lettuce leaf to stealing a giant beef patty from the human zombies that turned him.
  • Rurune the donkey in The Fruit of Evolution happily eats anything, and that includes meat. Her first taste of human food (after which she refuses to graze like an animal ever again) is a meat-stuffed dumpling dish called a "Bomb". Then she enters a race hoping to win the fifth place prize; the right to eat a giant fish monster called a Bahamut. When several other racers make the mistake of trying to use Deer-Horses in the race, only for them to drop dead at the starting line, she starts drooling whilst excitedly musing about getting to stuff her face with horse meat sashimi at dinner. And this is before she eats a Fruit of Evolution and turns into a human girl!

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 
  • The 61st Annual Hunger Games: On the fourth day of the Games, a thirteen-year-old boy from District 11, Emmer, tries to go hunting in the forest. He comes across a deer muttation eating off the ground and prays that it's just a normal deer. But when he realizes that deer don't eat meat like this one was, he backs away as it reveals its Glowing Eyes of Doom.
  • The Lunar Guardsman: Luna has long now learned to eat and enjoy meat, a result of her obsession and fear of disappointing her sister that drove her to return to her as rarely as possible, thus learning to subside on the flesh of the same monsters she hunted.
  • The Immortal Game: Esteem indulges in eating meat, which is anathema to most ponies.
  • In Fallout: Equestria, plenty of ponies (including some protagonists) rely on meat for sustenance, as plantlife tends to be scarce in the post-apocalyptic setting and the other alternative is centuries-old pre-packaged food. Some even prefer it. Cannibalism also occurs, although it's treated as a clear atrocity.
    • In the Recursive Fic Project Horizons, there's an actual cannibalism virus, which combines increasing mental instability with an extreme hunger for protein. note  Victims are irresistibly compelled to gorge themselves on meat, be it from animals, fellow ponies, or their own limbs.
  • Left Beyond: In the Millennial Kingdom, humans are obligate herbivores, with few exceptions, by Divine decree. One of the hints that the world is finally getting Off the Rails is Jenny being able to eat meat, after a few tries. Later on in the timeline, synthetic meat and fish are reinvented, making it easier to disguise the fact that only Jenny and the Dwarves was able to fully make the leap.
  • In the Pandoraverse, ponies from the Oatstralian Oatsback tend to be more omnivorous than your average pony, due to the harshness of their home environment, and even have pointier canines to help eating meat. Bruce, for instance, sees nothing wrong with his catching and eating fish. This doesn't translate very well, culturally—Aerostorm once fainted dead away when he came across a rather bloody Bruce filleting a large trout.
  • Remmy Cormo of Pack Street is a ramnote  with a taste for Bug Burga, fast food made with arthropod meat. Later on he finds out he's an even bigger fan of fish.
  • Though not shown in her actual art, Earthsong9405 views My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic's ponies as more omnivorous than real horses. They even actively hunt other animals.
  • In Tiny Sapient Ungulates The ponies gained sapience partially due to feeding on dairy and eggs (which is canon to the show).
  • Triptych Continuum:
    • As in Real Life, ponies can eat meat. It's borderline nonexistent in Equestria for cultural reasons, but the pony population of Protocera (which is griffon-majority and as such has a primarily meat-based cuisine) will eat small amounts of meat on a regular basis.
    • Also lightly inverted with most Protocerans. While griffins do need to eat a certain amount of fruits and veggies for nutrients and quick sugar, they don't like doing so because they feel that it relegates them to the status of prey. As such, a lot of Protoceran cuisine is an elaborate game of Hide The Vegetables. And it's even worse for ponies, who are built to survive on a primarily plant-based diet.

    Films — Animation 
  • Finding Nemo ends with the little green fish from the sharks' meeting gobbling up the Anglerfish.
  • Happy Feet Two features a krill who's tired of being at the bottom of the food chain and wants to "eat something that has a face".
  • We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story apparently features a Triceratops named Woog and a Parasaurolophus named Dweeb, who both for some reason actually like to eat hot dogs. Amusingly a potential example of Accidentally Correct Writing, since there's now a theory that some ornithischian dinosaurs may have occasionally consumed carrion and small vertebrates for extra protein (as mentioned under Real Life examples below).
  • In the Disney film The Wild, the wicked wildebeest Kazar is tired of always being hunted by predators, so he decides to make himself the top of the food chain — by eating a lion, no less. Kazar's Lieutenant, Blag and the rest of the wildebeests, on the other hand, don't really want to become predators, but Kazar abuses and threatens them. They stand up to him at the end of the climax.
  • The "Rite of Spring" segment in Fantasia featured Plateosaurus (possibly omnivorous also in Real Life) and Kannemeyeria digging for clams to eat.
  • Ringing Bell: The last part has Chirin turn into a demonic, flesh-eating ram upon becoming an adult.
  • The Dingo Pictures movie Dinosaur Adventure has some herbivorous dinosaurs led by Ark turn to meat-eating after the volcano erupts.
  • Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs has an Ankylosaurus that attacks the main cast, which would be typical aggressive herbivore behavior if it weren't for the fact it is depicted with jaws full of razor-sharp teeth like a carnivorous dinosaur, even attempting to bite the protagonists with them at one point. Plus the novelization outright states it was trying to eat them. However, that doesn't explain why it didn't try to eat Crash and Eddie when it got the chance (it just tried to smash them with its tail).
  • A Bug's Life: While Hopper and most of his gang are herbivores like real grasshoppers, Thumper is the exception; he's creepily preferential towards meat and tries to eat Dot multiple times. Tellingly, he more closely resembles a species of weta (grasshopper-like crickets that consume meat regularly) than anyone else in the gang.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey: In the first act, The Monolith is sent by unseen alien Precursors to teach the ancestors of the human species to eat meat so that they can survive a drought. (While doing research for the novel, Arthur C. Clarke consulted Isaac Asimov about the biochemistry of turning herbivores into carnivores, but none of this shows up in the final story.)
  • Congo: The gorillas were forced to eat meat to make them the perfect guards for the temple of Zinj.
  • Raw: The lifelong vegetarian Justine gets her first taste of meat during a hazing ceremony, and discovers that her mother's dietary insistence wasn't military veganism — it sparks a fanatical obsession with eating meat, especially human flesh...
  • Zoombies blends this with your standard flesh-eating zombie, in that all the infected animals at the zoo crave the flesh of the living, including what would otherwise be herbivores.
  • Godzilla (1998): Marine iguanas are strictly vegetarians dining on seaweed, but Zilla's diet consists mainly of fish.
  • King Kong (1933): One of the crewmembers looking for Ann is eaten alive by a sauropod.
  • Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle depicts the hippopotamus as omnivorous inside the game, with one even eating Professor Sheldon Oberon alive.

  • After Man: A Zoology of the Future: After the carnivorans mostly went extinct, rats filled their former niches to become the dominant predators in most environments. Similarly, the African plains are dominated by predatory monkeys.
  • Evolution: The Antarctican descendants of the herbivorous Leaellynasaura adapted to eating meat and became scavengers.
  • Miss Bindergarten: Animals like quokkas are shown to be also capable of eating meat products.
  • Watership Down: The creation story has all animal species start out as grass-eating herbivores, some of which were transformed into carnivores by Frith (God) to keep rabbits' numbers in check.
  • James and the Giant Peach: In the backstory, a rhinoceros eats James' parents.
  • Cryptid Hunters: Mokele-mbembe, a living genus of sauropod, has apparently evolved to be a carnivore in the 65 million years since the dinosaurs' extinction.
  • The tie-in illustrated book A Natural History of Skull Island features animals that shared Kong's Death World ecosystem, including a genus of parrots that gave up on the nut-cracking and became scavengers, complete with vulture-like bald heads.
  • Forest Kingdom: In the Hawk & Fisher spinoff series' book 6 (The Bones of Haven), the ghosts of animals that were killed at a slaughterhouse are summoned up en masse and rampage through the city. Crazed and furious, they retaliate against humanity by killing and eating people: a gruesome act of vengeance that even the sheep take part in.
  • One BattleTech Expanded Universe novel features homicidal oversized carnivorous deer. These animals are used to inflict a Cruel and Unusual Death on some Drop Ship crewmen who raped and abused local girls. Their antlers and hooves are noted to be exceptionally hard, and the animals themselves are too vicious to be stopped by casual gunfire, ultimately trampling and goring the offending rapists to death before eating the victims down to the skeleton.
  • Tarzan: The Gryfs from Tarzan the Terrible are descendants of Triceratops that evolved to eat meat as well as plants.

    Live-Action TV 
  • One episode of River Monsters features a herbivorous fish from the Amazon that got transplanted to Papua New Guinea, and after depleting the vegetation the way invasive species do, began supplementing its diet with flesh. This fish, the Red-Bellied Pacu, has human-like teeth in a piranha-like body, though its bite is considerably more painful than that of the piranha, due to it not being designed for that particular dietary practice.
  • In season 17 of the American version of The Amazing Race, Kat who hadn't eaten meat since she was a child didn't hesitate to eat half a sheep's head to get a Fast Forward (all but a guarantee for first place in the leg). She said that while she's proud to be a vegetarian, a million dollars was on the line and she wanted to pay off her substantial medical school debt. Meredith in season 7 and Terrence in 13 were both vegetarians but complained about having to eat meat.
  • One surprising development on the rehabilitating-apes-to-live-free documentary series Orangutan Island was when one of the young adult females discovered how to catch and eat catfish from the river surrounding the island.
  • Happens to Spock in the Star Trek episode "All Our Yesterdays." Trapped 5,000 years in the past, back when the Vulcans were "less evolved," Spock falls for Zarabeth, a political prisoner sent back to that planet's Ice Age. Since there are no plants anywhere nearby, Spock is forced to eat "animal flesh" to survive, which he finds initially repulsive (modern Vulcans are vegetarians). As the episode goes on though, he admits he likes the taste and chalks it up to a psychic link with the past Vulcan society.

    Myths & Religion 
  • In the "Just So" Story The Deer and the Panther Share a House, after Panther brings home the leftovers of a dead deer, Deer goes out and (with the help of an anteater) hunts down a panther for dinner.
  • According to one version of legend, the Minotaur from Greek mythology was given live humans for food because, as the result of an unnatural union of a human and a bull, it had no natural food and therefore had to eat manflesh.
  • The mythical Thracian king Diomedes had a herd of man-eating horses. Stealing them was among the Twelve Labors of Herakles/Hercules, who ended up feeding Diomedes to them (which rendered them tame).
  • Another Greek mythology example, in the tale of Psyche there were wild sheep with gleaming wool that not only inexplicably possessed a venomous bite, but were carnivorous and would have eaten Psyche if she gave them the chance.
  • According to certain interpretations of the Book of Genesis, humans, and possibly all other animals, started off vegetarian. After the Flood, God told Noah that he could start eating meat.
  • Drop bears are described as large carnivorous koalas. Actual koalas live off leaves from the eucalyptus trees where they make their homes. They can become surprisingly aggressive if you piss them off, and as tree-climbing animals, their claws are nothing to sneeze at (and filthy, which means a high risk of infection from scratches). But they won't eat you.

    Puppet Shows 
  • In Dinosaurs, Earl's boss, BP Richfield, is a triceratops who has been known to eat employees who disagree with him (and his daughter's exes).
  • An unusual human variation occurred in Mr. Meaty in which a group of soy-centric vegetarians were supposed to eat their new employee, as part of a plan that even they didn't really understand due to their extremely confusing "circle of life" chart that made no sense whatsoever.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dinosaurs Attack!: All of the dinosaurs — carnivorous or otherwise — are depicted as ravenous, bloodthirsty killers with a taste for human flesh. This leads to such sights as a Parasaurolophus eating a baby!
  • Dungeons & Dragons: In "The Curse of Xanathon", one of the screwy proclamations issued by an insane king is that horses in his kingdom should be fed nothing but meat, supposedly to make them strong. This is one of several such orders intended to weaken the kingdom in preparation for a takeover by the evil priest who caused the king's insanity.
  • Exalted: The Dragon Kings, creatures resembling sapient Mesozoic reptiles, are all carnivorous regardless of species. What's particularly odd is that the one species noted to be partially omnivorous and willing to eat plants are the Raptok, who are based of the actually predatory dromaeosaurs — the Anklok, the only breed based on strictly herbivorous animals, are pure meat-eaters.
  • Fairy Meat: In the backstory, fairies were once peaceful creatures that fed only on honey and fruit. However, a curious fairy named Merryzot tasted the flesh of a dead mouse, and found the taste of meat to be ferociously addictive... and it was eventually discovered that the meat of other fairies was the tastiest of all.
  • Traveller The New Era supplement Aliens of the Rim: Hivers and Ithklur: During a military campaign between the herbivorous K'Kree and the Ithklur, the fighting became so bitter that each side started performing atrocities on the other, including the K'Kree eating dead Ithklur bodies. This is particularly notable because K'Kree are not just herbivores by nature, but consider carnivory to be a moral evil.
  • Warhammer Fantasy:
    • Stegadons, large dinosaurs resembling monstrous stegosaurs with spiky tails, are described as omnivores that will devour everything they encounter as they travel through the jungle, including creatures too slow to get out of their way.
    • One of the random attacks provided for the Chaos War Mammoth in the Storm of Magic supplement has it pick up a human-sized victim, pop it in its mouth, and eat it "with obvious satisfaction".

    Video Games 
  • A recurring character in the Animal Crossing series is Chip, a beaver who eats fish. In real life, beavers mostly eat wood.
  • In Overlord I, The Corruption that has swept through the Elven forest has driven the local unicorns mad, causing them to become murderous carnivores — they're introduced ripping out the guts of dwarven corpses and gorging on the entrails.
  • In D2, protagonist Laura discovers that she was cloned from the remains of a prehistoric Winged Humanoid that was found preserved in a glacier...inside the stomach of a woolly mammoth.
  • Banjo-Tooie has a baby Styracosaurus with a taste for meat. This became retroactively poignant, as some scientists now consider ceratopsians to be omnivorous.
  • Happens to a human in Pandora's Tower. The heroine, Elena, was formerly a devout Miko of a religion that prohibits the consumption of meat. Unfortunately, Elena is suffering from the Curse of the Beast, which slowly transforms her into a hideous monster and can only be temporarily quelled by eating the flesh of beasts. While meat initially makes her disgusted and nauseous, she eventually adapts to eating it over the course of the game. If the player neglects to feed her, she becomes desperate enough to start eating animals like birds.
  • Fallout 4 features Radstags, deer mutated by nuclear fallout into the animal equivalent of Conjoined Twins — the creature(s) split at the middle of the spine, so they have two heads and a total of four forelegs, though the middle two are too atrophied to function. The ones encountered in the main game are harmless, with the exception of males or certain variants like Rabid Radstags that will initiate combat if you get too close, but the Far Harbor DLC introduces Devolved Radstags, which sport pronounced fangs and are actively predatory, attacking anything they encounter.
  • In Path of Exile, Yeena in Act 2 mentions that the murderous packs of apes you encounter used to feast on nuts and berries before turning to full-blown cannibalism and hungering for flesh in general.
  • Primal Carnage: The Pachycephalosaurus is the only non-carnivorous playable dinosaur, but it heals by feeding from carcasses just like all the others. That said, Pachycephalosaurus is sometimes theorized to have been omnivorous based on its sharp teeth, and it is explicitly justified in-universe by being genetically modified to tolerate a more meat-rich diet. It also has a taunt where it grazes vegetation (although it doesn't regenerate health).
  • One method of eliminating targets in Hitman 2 is to feed them to a hippopotamus. Hippos, while quite violent and territorial, are herbivores in real life. Said hippo grew a taste for meat after being fed one too many of the cartel's victims, and a handler is trying to switch its diet to normal when we see it.
  • Gorila Grodd in Injustice 2, who is occasionally implied to eat people — or at least their brains.
    Blue Beetle: Scarab says gorillas are herbivores.
    Grodd: Most are. I'm not.
  • Tooth and Tail: The game's premise is based on a cultural version of this trope. The Funny Animals in the game are all omnivores, but view vegetables as "the food of beasts" and view meat-eating as a virtue and a necessity for civilization. Consequently they had a Slave Race of pigs (the pigs being fed all the vegetables) that provided the meat needed to keep this going, but the pigs are going extinct. The result is a Lottery of Doom over who gets to get eaten, and when that inevitably failed, a civil war because the animals refuse to stop eating meat and would rather kill each other for food than turn to a sustainable diet. In the end, the remaining pigs start a Slave Revolt and kill all the other animals.

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 
  • Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures: The demons Kira and Lorenda Soulstealer are voracious cannibals who eat countless other Beings — at least, in the early days of the series. They also happen to be an anthropomorphic zebra and a cow respectively.
  • Digger:
    • Digger the wombat is forced to do this at a Hyena funeral, but is horrified by the idea. Turns out her fears were justified; she then gets very, very ill.
    • The hyena tribe also has an inversion of this in one of their origin stories. In hyena mythology, hares were originally carnivores and descended to herbivorism.
  • Dominic Deegan: Subverted when a character who failed to realise the difference between orcs being herbivores and vegetarians (in this universe they're the former) tries to convince an orc character to eat jerky to prove that they can eat meat. Vomiting ensues. The reason for the confusion is because orcs have massive tusks. The reason for that is because plant life in their native land is impossibly tough (when Luna saw an orc plant at one point, she thought it was the cutting board).
  • Freefall has a truly surreal example: Dvorak's waffle irons. He programmed them to recharge when their batteries ran low; he never specified how.
  • The Kenny Chronicles: Lagomorph Fuego accidentally eats Kenny's meat pizza, but his interior is mostly human guts so it's all good. Then he gains an addiction to meat in general.
  • Kevin & Kell:
    • Sort of happened in when a dimensional traveler who was "furrified" into a rabbit on arrival maintained her omnivorous diet. This caused some shock to the local herbivores when she killed and ate a panther that attacked her.
    • Coney the Killer Rabbit, justified as she's half-wolf.
    • Inverted by Bruno, a wolf who turns herbivore and has a suitable digestive tract surgically installed. He also later gets herbivore teeth implanted after a fight with Rudy costs him his carnivore teeth.
    • Zigzagged with Lindesfarne. As a hedgehog, she was naturally inclined toward being an insectivore, but her adopted mother Angelique forced her to register as a herbivore because she found hunting for bugs too much a hassle. Eventually, after living for years as a herbivore, she converts back to being an insectivore so she can become nocturnal and on the same circadian rhythm as her love interest Fenton. (She does note that even when she was a herbivore, she only felt hungry when bugs were around.)
    • For a brief moment, Corrie the sheep was able to do this in order to save her stepsister's life. (It did help that she's half wolf like Coney.) Her ability to do this later comes up when Bruno is nearly disqualified from hunting for transitioning to herbivorism when she suggests sneaking into his eligibility hearing and eating the meat for him. They don't go through with it because the 'meat' Bruno was supposed to eat turned out to be Corrie's clone Mary, and Bruno ends up eating the sheepskin sewn onto an old carpet patch he wears to hide that they snuck Mary out of the exam. At least he got his fiber for the year.
  • Sandra and Woo: Sid encounters Ruth, a squirrel who wasn't happy with her place on the food chain. She acquired a gun and only eats apex predators.
  • Sluggy Freelance: The cast always makes sure the literal Killer Rabbit Bun-Bun doesn't get hungry, fearing he might say "what the hell, let's give meat a try."
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: All Rash-infected creatures, including ones that used to be herbivores before succumbing to the disease, are carnivorous and will readily prey on healthy and diseased beings alike, something seen in the coming in the form of cows feeding on wolf corpses and a moose that later tries to prey on three bears.

    Web Original 
  • In the Furry Fandom, vore stories and artwork, sometimes feature animals not known to be predators in real life acting as the predator. One example is Fomo from Sibylline Sounds, who is a mouse who loves to eat cats.
  • This shirt and the accompanying description is not about retribution or turnabout, but is worth noting.
  • Serina
    • Only 10'000 years after being transplanted to the titular moon, some canaries take to eating insects and the eggs of other canaries. Eventually some of these egg eaters escalate to eating unattended chicks and fledglings and later still they graduate to hunting other adults and become Serina's first predatory birds.
    • 188 million years after establishment, some of the herbivorous circuagodonts quickly develop into full carnivores thanks to their unique slicing jaw parts being just as adept at cutting through meat as they are through grass. This more effective method, their higher intelligence and social hunting allow them to completely displace the more traditionally predatory dogbeasts by the time of the Ultimocene.

    Web Video 
  • Uncle Al: In "Donkey Kannibal", Donkey Kong gets rid of his banana hoard after he decides he no longer needs bananas in his diet and shifts focus to eating meat, much to the concern of Diddy.

    Western Animation 
  • The Simpsons:
    • In "Helter Shelter," the retirement home residents are watching a nature show about elderly animals. An elderly lion runs out of energy, whereupon the zebra turns around and takes a bite out of it.
    • The Simpsons also sometimes portray koalas as savage carnivores, often gnawing on bones during panning shots of a zoo.
    • Same can go for elephants, in which they've been depicted as grabbing people with their trunks to eat them whole. Principal Skinner even lost an entire platoon to an Asian elephant during the Vietnam War. One exception being Stampy, who only puts them in his mouth.
      "Now I've had my head in an elephant, a hippo, and a giant sloth."
    • In an educational film Troy McClure tells Little Jimmy about the food chain. "If a cow ever got the chance he'd would eat you and everyone you care about!"
    • In "The Scorpion's Tale", a shark consumes a tube of chemicals that turns an animal docile making it harmless. This causes a school of herring it was chasing to swarm up on it and devour it like hungry piranhas, leaving it nothing but cartilage.
    • One "Treehouse of Horror" segment, "Burger Squared", had Krusty Burger feeding Grade A ground beef to cows and then making burgers from those cows. They turned people into zombies.
  • A throwaway joke in Futurama included a fast food vendor at a ball park announcing that his horse meat (cows are apparently extinct) comes from horses that are "100% horse-fed for that double-horse juiced-in goodness!"
  • A Looney Tunes short in which Sylvester and Tweety are Snowed-In featured a mouse who hasn't eaten in so long he "forgot what food looks like." He takes one look at Sylvester and decides to have him for dinner. The same plot was reused later in a Pink Panther short.
  • The Mickey Mouse short "The Worm Turns" is actually about Mickey Mouse inventing a spritzer that can cause prey animals to turn against their respective predators: A fly attacks a spider, a mouse attacks a cat, a cat attacks Pluto, and finally Pluto attacks Pete the dogcatcher.
  • In the Family Guy episode "Road to the North Pole", Santa's reindeer had started eating elves and tore apart any elf that wandered near them.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
    • Downplayed in the series as a whole. Ponies eat things like daffodil sandwiches and hay or oat burgers, and while they do consume a few animal derivatives like eggs, milk and honey, they are never actually shown eating meat or products made from slaughtered animals.note 
    • "Magical Mystery Cure" plays this as a joke when Rainbow Dash tries to take care of Fluttershy's animals: she does such an awful job at feeding them that the animals — primarily herbivores such as squirrels, rabbits, and chickens — end up rebelling and putting her in a pot to cook her.
  • Kaeloo:
    • In the episode "Let's Play Trap-Trap", Quack Quack gets hungry after not eating any yogurt for one hour. He then tries to eat Stumpy and Kaeloo.
    • In Episode 61, Stumpy (who is a squirrel) and Kaeloo (a frog) get stranded on an island together. Before long, Stumpy attempts to cannibalize Kaeloo. Also, in the English dub, Stumpy's Trademark Favorite Food is changed from paninis to hot dogs.
    • Eugly the rabbit eats sheep.
  • In the Terrytoons cartoon "Silly Sidney", the eponymous Sidney (an elephant) tires of eating vegetable material, and asks a lion how to turn carnivore; he balks at the work involved in chasing down prey.
  • In Llama Llama, despite the cast mainly consisting of herbivorous animals like llamas, sheep, goats, and giraffes, the characters often mention eating meat products like fish casserole and sausage.
  • Leslie from The Amazing World of Gumball, who is a strict carnivore despite being an anthropomorphic flower. He reasons that this way he's "not eating [his] own kind", and tries to get his cousin (a peanut) to do the same by taking an outraged tone while describing the way vegetables are prepared (in a parody of the way a stereotypical vegetarian talks about how livestock are treated). If Leslie also lives off sunlight like an actual flower isn't stated here, but is shown in later episodes.
  • In The Fairly OddParents!, hamsters and gerbils are frequently depicted as loving steak. Interestingly, this ain't too off the wall, as both of those rodents are omnivorous.
  • Heffer from Rocko's Modern Life is a steer who loves to eat meat (and anything else, too). Justified by the fact that he was raised by a family of wolves.
  • In the OVNI episode "Mesozoïca", the group of baby sauropods accompanied by Coda the alien gets suddenly eaten by a triceratops, right before Coda gets munched by another triceratops from behind.

    Real Life 
  • Bucephalus, Alexander the Great's horse, was described in some accounts as a man-eater, and much more modern accounts of the life of Alexander the Great have consistently decided that Bucephalus did not eat the flesh of humans he killed, but was instead a bad-tempered stallion, prone to biting. Other accounts of deer, sheep, cattle, and other grazing animals eating some meat have been similarly dismissed until recently when the uncommon behavior was caught on camera.
  • Carnivory is frequently reported in deer, but what is often left out in these descriptions is that the animals were males in the process of growing antlers for rutting season. Deer shed off and regrow their antlers every year. To grow the antlers back in just a few months and make them as large and strong enough to impress females and fight rival males, the animal must consume a great deal of nutrient-rich food. And it happens to be the protein and calcium of small animals excels at accelerating antler growth.
  • A rogue Asian elephant killed 17 people in India. Once it was killed, DNA tests on the contents of its stomach revealed that it had consumed human flesh. In a sad twist, the elephant in question had gone rogue because its calf was killed by hunters. Considering how mentally complex elephants are known to be, this suggests the consumption of meat in this case was a result of the animal going mad with grief.
  • According to one study, Galapagos Tortoises (yes, the beloved and humble Gentle Giant of reptiles) will take advantage of their relationship with Galapagos finches and eat them for protein. To do this, they rise and extend their limbs so that the finch could look for parasites to feed on, only to be crushed to death when the tortoise withdraws its limbs.
  • Even the humble sea sponge gets in on this. Most filter feed on whatever microscopic food particles float their way. Some, such as the genus Chondrocladia, capture and feed on small crustaceans.
  • Some horses have been known to eat meat—including grisly insane man-eating killers.
  • Many arctic hares will resort to scavenging during the winter, including eating the carcasses of other hares and lynxes, which normally eat them. One was even caught eating the feathers off of a dead grouse (something even predators rarely do)!
  • While squirrels usually stick to eating nuts and seeds, they are not above eating birds, smaller rodents, eggs, lizards, and young snakes when desperately hungry. In fact, some tropical species eventually became primarily insectivorous.
  • "Oportunistic carnivorism" is the term used to describe any animal that will eat other animals if the opportunity presents itself, but do not need meat to survive. This term applies to many herbivores, like chickens, horses, cows, and hippos.


POW-eating elephant

That elephant ate my entire platoon.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (16 votes)

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Main / AscendedToCarnivorism

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