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Where most people see danger in monstrous creatures, some see dollar signs. When a monster is the source of a substance (often a drug) that can be sold for massive profits, or bartered for power over others, then people looking to cash in on its byproducts may prove more dangerous than the creature itself. If the source-creature is non-sentient, expect it to be kept captive as a resource, until it escapes and goes on a rampage. If it's intelligent, expect it to bind hordes of Mooks to its service with its "gifts", to say nothing of people in positions of political influence... or to be kept captive as a resource anyway. Either way, expect those who crave its byproducts to stand between it and any pesky do-gooder monster hunters who might cut off their supply.


Compare Milking the Monster, where it's the very presence of the monster that works to someone's financial or social/political advantage. Cases where the monster is self-aware and its "gifts" are plot-enabling are Sentient Phlebotinum; those in which the monster is portrayed sympathetically, suffering in its captivity, overlap with Powered by a Forsaken Child. Sometimes overlaps with The Power of Blood. If it's specifically the monster's waste that's the desired substance it's Solid Gold Poop.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • If they weren't a massively profitable source of marketable food for humans, the B-Ms of Bio-Meat: Nectar would've surely been written off as a bad design and destroyed as soon as their appetite for people was noticed. Instead, the Corrupt Corporate Executive whose company created them writes off one catastrophic BM escape after another, and is perfectly content to slaughter innocents and his own son to protect his "product"'s public image.
  • One episode of Gintama is about a rural village that is plagued by hordes of monsters... RPG monsters. The town quickly learns the definition of lootsplosion and bullies away all the mercenaries that they were desperately calling for earlier. Unfortunately for them and the main characters, the gold mine runs out when they kill the final boss and the beasts' creator thanks them for their greed, leaving. The main characters discuss this and then go back to fighting over 100 yen on the ground.
  • One interpretation of what Embryo does to Aura in Cross Ange to collect "Mana" for his utiopian ideal society is this.
  • One chapter of Silent Möbius centers on the drug "Domel," a performance enhancer that has the unfortunate side effect of mutating users into monsters and then melting down when their bodies are no longer able to withstand the changes. It's extracted from a captive Lucifer Hawk, an interdimensional demon.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica: The Grief Seeds dropped by witches when they are killed are given to Kyubey for him to use to stave off the heat death of the universe. It’s too bad that the witches were once magical girls that were intentionally corrupted by Kyubey for this exact purpose.

    Comic Books 
  • In the French comic L'Imploseur, the miracle drink Ultra which boosts reflexes, muscles, etc. turns out to be the blood of a goat-human hybrid.
  • One of the reasons Gargamel goes after The Smurfs is because they are an ingredient in a formula for the Philosopher's Stone.
  • In the Alien Verse, aliens produce Royal Jelly which has the same role for this species as it has for real-life bees. However, it is also an extremely valuable substance in human society, used as a powerful and mind-enhancing drug for wealthy individuals. Since the only source of Royal Jelly is often deep inside an alien hive, collecting it can be very dangerous. The Hive mini-series details such an operation.
  • Mutant Growth Hormone was a popular drug in the Marvel Universe, and still resurfaces from time to time despite Daredevil's best efforts.
  • Marvel's original run of Ultimate X-Men has Banshee, a performance-enhancing drug for mutants that significantly increases their powers, which was created from Wolverine's blood.
  • A character in Transmetropolitan injects molecularly replicated Hitler pee.
  • In NOW Comics' Slimer! series, a pair of unscrupulous, down-on-their-luck mechanics attempt to capture Slimer and bottle his slime upon discovering that the stuff can keep a car's radiator from overheating no matter what.
  • Inverted in Empire, where the tyrannical Golgotha keeps his inner circle in line by feeding them an addictive substance known as "eucharist," which is made from the blood of the imprisoned superhero Endymion.

    Films — Animation 
  • Princess Mononoke: The Forest Spirit has power over life and death, and his blood is believed to grant immortality, which is why the Emperor of Japan has placed a bounty on it. When the Forest Spirit is decapitated during his Night Walker transformation, his blood turns into a World-Wrecking Wave that sucks the life out of any living thing it comes in contact with. After his head is returned, his blood turns into a World-Healing Wave, kick-starting a new forest as well as healing the lepers and Ashitaka's curse.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • On Pete's Dragon (1977), Doctor Terminus wants to get his hands on Elliot (the titular dragon) to be made into medicines.
  • In Pacific Rim, there's a lucrative black market selling body parts harvested from dead kaiju, and Hannibal Chau is its king. Aside from the kaiju brains (which have too much ammonia), every part of the kaiju is useful (or at least, Chau has convinced his customer base of this fact), even their feces and skin parasites. Thankfully the black market dealers are smart enough to wait until the PPDC does their job and renders the kaiju dead before moving in to make their money.
  • In Jason X, someone who got the bright idea to try to experiment on Jason to see if his unkillability can be replicated kicks off the next killing spree.
  • In Spiders 3D, the giant spider-alien hybrids were being bred in captivity because their silk would have industrial and military applications.

  • In Perdido Street Station, the slake-moths are a source for the highly addictive drug called dreamshit, and were being milked of this substance before their escape.
  • In All The Rage, blood from Scar-lip the rakosh is the sole source of the Psycho Serum Berzerk.
  • The Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries, and the TV series based on them, have vampire blood as a hot commodity. It's essentially treated like a very addictive drug.
  • Dune's sandworms are the source of the invaluable Spice, without which galactic civilization would collapse. While keeping them captive is unfeasible to say the least, the need to preserve their species runs at odds with the Fremen drive to make Arrakis more livable for humans (due to water, a necessary component of any reasonably human-inhabitable environment, being lethal to the worms), making it a major political issue.
  • In "Andy Warhol's Dracula", part of Kim Newman's Anno Dracula series, the central character is a drug dealer whose product uses vampire blood as its key ingredient.
  • In Alastair Reynolds' Terminal World, the world has been divided up into differing areas of technology, where the laws of reality are literally different from one are to the next, limiting how advanced certain items can be in certain areas. For the people of this world, traveling between these areas involves suffering from the debilitating "Zone Sickness" that, in severe enough cases (or too fast of a transition between different zones) can kill. Fortunately, creatures called Carnivorgs can synthesize a medicine that alleviates the sickness...unfortunately, as their name would suggest, the Carnivorgs are vicious carnivorous cyborgs who harvest the brain matter from the people they capture.
    • Also from Reynolds: In Chasm City, an alien marooned on Yellowstone is the only source of a drug that can suppress the melding plague.
  • Inverted — or maybe not — in one of the Sonja Blue novels, in which demons use the corpses of especially-evil humans as hard drugs. One demon gets bribed with some of Hitler's teeth.
  • Animorphs: The Venber are a sentient race with unusual physical properties, chief among them that if they are brought to a temperature above freezing, they melt. The resulting liquid is apparently an excellent coolant fluid for supercomputers, and the Venber were hunted to extinction by "The Five" for it.
  • Triffids in The Day of the Triffids are initially culled because their predatory habits pose a threat to humans, but when it turns out they can be exploited as a source of a high quality oil, they are captured, have their stingers removed, and farmed instead.
  • One of the Star Wars Expanded Universe novels had a spider monster that produced a spice called glitterstim, which needs to be harvested in complete darkness. The spider uses it to make its webs, while other creatures use it for some kind of mind reading (and just to get high).
  • Star's Tears, from "We Who Stole The Dream", a James Tiptree Jr. short story.
  • The Mercy Thompson series has vampire blood as a restorative.
  • The Red Court from The Dresden Files, whose saliva is addictive and a fairly powerful narcotic, use this to hold onto political power in Latin America.
  • At the end of The Relic, the monster-creating reovirus is used by one of the survivors to concoct a new street drug, Glaze. It turns out to have some nasty side effects in the sequel, and its derivatives are even worse.
  • The Stormlight Archive: The chamsfiends (essentially carnivorous lobsters the size of skyscrapers) have a massive gemheart, which is even more valuable because gems are the only way of storing the titular Mana. While hunting adult chasmfiends is quite dangerous, they have a pupal stage in their life cycle, during which they are briefly helpless.
  • In The Golgotha Series, Clay begins keeping some of the worm-like Tainted parasites birthed by the Mother of a Thousand Young in captivity so he can harvest their secretions as ingredients for a regenerative serum.
  • In Alien in a Small Town, kreg is a live alien virus. The human body can fight off the infection, but the user experiences a hallucinogenic high until it does; and the user's body does not gain a lasting immunity, so subsequent use will give a longer and longer high until the user may eventually be trapped in a hallucinogenic state lasting for days.
  • In Updraft, skymouths (invisible flying tentacled maws) are highly dangerous, but also provide useful materials; in particular, sinew which allows the construction of bridges between the towers which constitute the city. Singers, who are responsible for protecting the city, maintain some of their clout thanks to the prosperity this sinew brings them. It's eventually revealed that the Singers are secretly breeding a hoard of captive skymouths rather than killing them in the course of protecting the city, as they claim.
  • In the NaNoWriMo novel And Then There Were Monsters, this is the only way the people of Grandsbriar have survived so long. In addition to collecting parts from monsters they kill for potions and weapons, they've also started trying to domesticate some of the less hostile types, like leaf dancers. It's slow going, because most of the monsters don't reproduce too close to human habitation.
  • In Michael Reaves's The Shattered World, dragons are hunted through the Abyss between fragments by "dragoneers", who harvest their hide, flesh, bones and oil. This is dangerous yet profitable, as only dragon-derived materials can be enchanted to stay on course and maintain Artificial Gravity within the Abyss, so there's no other way to build flying ships.
  • One of the stories in A Simple Survey revolves around this. The narrator is a professor who specializes in researching monsters that become pests to human society. By finding ways to profit off them, he can create an incentive for peasants to hunt the monsters and keep their populations in check. In the story, he and his assistant dissect a troll and discover uses for its stomach acid and liver. But releasing this information doesn't have the intended effect. The peasants, instead of killing the trolls, gather the materials non-lethally (by forcing the trolls to vomit out acid, and cutting away pieces of the liver at a time). On top of that, they've even started setting out food for the trolls, increasing their population.
  • In Tim Lebbon's Relics, the protagonists fall afoul of black marketeers who covertly trade in fantastical creatures' body parts. And discover that such creatures are so rare they're considered mythical because humans have been butchering them for their body parts for thousands of years.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In an episode of Stargate SG-1, a civilization keeps a Goa'uld queen (actually the dying Tok'ra queen) captive in a tank so they can harvest her symbiotes to make an elixir that can cure any illness.
  • Torchwood:
    • Inverted in Children of Earth, in which the 456 want our children so that they can get high off them.
    • In an episode a small group of humans exploit a Space Whale with a Healing Factor stranded on Earth; they use it for a cheap source of meat to wholesale.
  • Doctor Who:
    • In the story "Nightmare of Eden", part of the plot involves the spread of a new addictive drug, and another part of the plot involves a pack of alien monsters roaming around after escaping while being transported by a zoologist. It turns out that the zoologist is the kingpin of the drug operation, and the drug itself is derived from the alien monsters.
    • Much, much later in "The Beast Below", we get Spaceship UK built around the monster and using it as an engine. And it's a nice, helpful monster, turns out. It doesn't mind being used as an engine and will happily take the spaceship where it needs to go... but the operators of Spaceship UK didn't know this, and thought they had to torture the poor thing to get it to move. This ends once the Doctor shows up, and the creature begins moving much faster when the torture stops.
    • In "Thin Ice", the villain arranges for people to get pulled through the frozen Thames's ice to feed a giant sea monster that's chained to the riverbed. Then he has its poop dredged up as fuel for his steel mills.
  • In The Sarah Jane Adventures first episode, the Bane Mother's excretions are the main ingredient in Bubble Shock cola "It's organic!"
  • The 10th Kingdom has rather literal fairy dust, as in the dead remnants of a fairy, which is recreationally snorted by trolls.
  • In Lexx, Kai was animated by "protoblood", a secretion from the last of the Insects. Re-animated assassins like him were part of how His Divine Shadow maintained his tyrannical grip on power.
  • On Forever Knight, a vampire doctor used injections of her own blood as a "miracle youth-restoring treatment" marketed to aging rich people.
  • Vampire dust in the short-lived Blade TV series is another example.
  • Sam on Supernatural did this a bunch of times with demon blood. Sam used it during the season 4 arc to enhance his psychic capabilities to be able to remove a demon possessing a victim without harming the host. He then becomes somewhat addicted to the substance, even keeping a victim possessed so that he can "bulk up" for the final fight.
  • In one episode of the Monsters horror anthology, barbers made a mutually beneficial pact with vampires. Vampires have apparently evolved into giant immobile leeches and need the barbers and their customers to offer them their blood. In return, the barbers and customers are given small amounts of the vampires' blood which greatly extends their lifespans. The red swirling barber poles are symbols of the "blood for blood" pact. The narrator and his friend who initially intended to expose the barbers' connection with vampires become customers after tasting the vampires' blood. It helps that nobody is really being hurt in this arrangement.
  • In the Playstation Network original series "Powers" (based on the comic book series of the same name), the ability-enhancing drug Sway is synthesized from Wolfe's blood. This normally wouldn't be a big issue, but Wolfe wants it all back, and then some.
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. reveals the Project T.A.H.I.T.I. that revived Agent Coulson revolves around draining the fluids from a Kree corpse. One of those was the regenerative serum that causes terrible psychological consequences unless the test subject's memories are changed.
  • An episode of Moonlight involves a new drug called Black Crystal, that makes a human feel the high of being a vampire for a few hours. Naturally, it's produced by "milking" vampires. Unfortunately, keeping vampires sedate involves poisoning them with high amounts of silver, which make its way into the drug, eventually resulting in silver poisoning in the humans who take it. The "drug farm" was maintained by a 700-year-old vampire named Lola (a former Pirate Girl), who has no compunctions about using fellow vampires for this purpose.
  • Inverted in an episode of Grimm, in which Wesen are killing ordinary humans in order to dry and powder their organs, which are sold for medicinal purposes, including "male enhancement".

    Tabletop Games 
  • One Shadowrun supplement's shadowtalk includes posts by a sicko who'd kept an Awakened leopard with a Healing Factor captive for years, periodically skinning it alive and selling the pelts. The same poster speculated about the possibility of catching a giant regenerating species of shark and selling its meat over and over again.
  • The World of Darkness game series treats vampire blood as a drug. Consuming a vampire's Vitae gives a mortal access to basic vampire Disciplines and stops the aging process. When the Vitae is expended, aging not only resumes, but catches up, meaning really old ghouls will spontaneously die and crumble to dust if they don't get their fix.
    • Three groups from Hunter: The Vigil use monsters in one way or another:
      • Ashwood Abbey sees monsters as good fun. One of their common reactions to meeting some new supernatural creature is, "Is there any way I can get high off of the internal processes of this being?"
      • The Cheiron Group treats monsters as sources of medicinal products. Their agents have access to Endowments that consist of supernatural transplants or chemical augmentations, all harvested from captured creatures of the night. Some are even put on the market as pharmaceuticals for public consumption.
      • The founder of the Malleus Maleficarum, Padre Ambrogino Baudolino, is a ghoul. He has Hunters bring him vampires from which to feed.
  • In the Ravenloft D&D setting, vampires from the Kargat secret police dole out their blood to human minions, the Kargatane, as a means of increasing their strength and delaying their rate of aging.
  • In Age of Aquarius, vampire saliva is used to make a Laser-Guided Amnesia inducing drug. No profit on it is made, though, since the Institute, who owns the technology, is a noncommercial organization and it needs the drug itself to enforce The Masquerade.
  • Dwarven settlements in the Forgotten Realms sometimes keep captive deepspawn as a food source, feeding them livestock so the aberrations will make numerous copies of meat animals. This can easily backfire on the deepspawn-keepers, if one of their captive monsters ever manages to sink its teeth into something more dangerous than cattle.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The Imperium hates aliens and usually deals with them by a lasgun shot to the head. However some aliens have proven themselves useful and so certain Imperial factions have corralled them for their own benefit. One example are the Jokaero, a barely sentient species of orangutan-like aliens who are somehow master engineers and technologists. The Jokaero can be used to upgrade existing equipment or produce unique pieces of technology, such as rings that pack as much firepower as their pistol equivalents.
    • The Imperium hates Chaos with a passion, and for good reason, but they won't admit that humanity needs Chaos to function. The Warp is a very effective Faster-Than-Light Travel option, and the Chaos-catalyzed mutations that led to Psykers is necessary to train Navigators and to keep the Astronomican running. And there's also the practice of creating Daemonhosts, a forced Demonic Possession that results in a Sealed in a Person-Shaped Can situation for the Demon, who can then be interrogated.
    • One main source of Imperium food is Grox meat. Grox are dangerous lizard cow dinosaurs who need to be lobotomized. Ambulls, who are strong enough to basically be a Bonus Boss in the Blackstone Fortress tabletop game, can also be quite tasty (as pointed out in a Ciaphas Cain book and The Regimental Standard publication), and some of them are raised to be used as biological components and materials for the mechanical Ambots as well.
  • The Empire of Warhammer Fantasy also gets into the act. Normally intolerant of monsters as they're seen as expressions of Chaos, they have discovered certain monstrous species like the griffin have stabilized and are fantastic for riding into battle. So the Empire either have them privately housed at a Lord's manor or they're kept in the Imperial Zoo (which even includes a dragon for the really desperate battles).
  • In Aberrant, there are several illegal drugs (most of which will temporarily give a baseline superpowers) made out of the organs of novas.
  • Pathfinder has a few:
    • Enterprising, foolhardy adventurers can extract daemonic spinal fluid and alchemically process it into a potent drug. If you don't mind drinking a fiendishly addictive concoction that's Made of Evil and the digested remnants of damned souls, it gives quite a boost.
    • Wealthy, foolhardy clientele can snort Mummy paste if they don't mind the risk of spontaneously transforming into an undead monstrosity. This is a case of Aluminum Christmas Trees: mummy powders and extracts were used as drugs on and off for centuries and as late as the 1920s, albeit — so far as anyone knows — without that particular side effect.

    Video Games 
  • In Chrono Trigger, the Kingdom of Zeal used Lavos as a power source once they discovered it, instead of the sun energy they had been safely using for years.
  • In the Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines sidequest "Thinned Blood", Vandal Cleaver is revealed to have captured a fledgeling vampire and kept her restrained to leech off her blood.
  • Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! has The Eye of Helios, a Wave Motion Gun powered by the remains of the final boss of the first game fueled by Eridium slag. It is destroyed by Moxxi, Roland and Lilith to keep Jack from abusing its power.
  • BioShock: The little sisters, creepy shells of the children they once were, are organic factories of ADAM, the substance that powers the gene-manipulating plasmids, drug of choice for the Splicers that inhabit Rapture. Even the player has a choice to harvest them for a bigger payday instead of rescuing them.
  • Ultima VII had Silver Serpent Venom as the local super-steroid of choice; The Avatar could discover and ransack the facility where the Silver Serpents were being milked.
  • In World of Warcraft, the Undercity has an engorged Blight Worm chained up that periodically vomits out some green goop, which is collected and used by the Apothacarium in developing Blight and maybe other useful concoctions.
    • A much better example is anything related to demon blood. Powerful demons are able to corrupt mortals with their blood. Though once corrupted, they seldom come back for more, they DO often server as lackeys prior to their reward of blood and, once corrupted, typically serve their masters. There are a few instances (notably Grom Hellscream) of characters who do return for another dose.
    • Kael'Thas and his Blood Elves are fond of this. They are capable of draining mana from any creature (one of the racial abilities even reflected this). Of note is their imprisonment of a Naaru to drain its energy for their paladins and of Magtheridon to drain his blood for Kael'Thas's Felsword Blood Elves. Kael'thas's master, Illidan, also used Magtheridon's blood to transform orcs and other servants.
  • City of Heroes has the island of Cap au Diable, named for an oddly-shaped mountain which resembles a pair of horns. Local legend claims that a holy man sealed a demon under the mountain centuries ago. When the resident Mad Scientist goes to sink a geothermal tap, he discovers that the legends are true... and runs the tap right into the bound demon, producing vast quantities of cheap electricity. What could possibly go wrong?
  • In Five Nights at Freddy's 3, the managers of Fazbear's Fright are former Freddy Fazbear fans who decided to create a nostalgic horror museum based upon the now-dead Freddy Fazbear's Pizza and the infamous stories surrounding it, up to and including digging up and reusing one of the killer animatronics from before the original game. Said animatronic is also the suit originally used by the child killer who gave the pizzeria its infamy, only now with his corpse trapped inside following a Karmic Death.
  • DmC: Devil May Cry has an example that is basically the same as the Futurama example below, where a popular energy drink is really just the spewings of a succubus.
  • In Dragon Age: Inquisition, it's revealed that the Qunari have captured the Ataashi, a poisonous High Dragon, for this purpose. They're extracting the venom as an ingredient in gaatlok, a form of gunpowder. The Inquisitor can either kill the Ataashi themselves, or release it and let it have its revenge on its captors. Either way, the production of gaatlok is stopped.

    Web Comics 
  • The Order of the Stick: A head-regenerating hydra which was incapacitated by the Order has become the source of meat for an enterprising goblin's hydra-head sandwich franchise.
  • This Is the Worst Idea You've Ever Had! has Nai'ka blood, which gives the imbiber magic power, at the cost of "burnout". Nai'ka are a race of naive cat-folk who usually don't comprehend hurting people. The practice is illegal, but since they're not considered people, it continues relatively unchecked.
  • Black Glass in Kill Six Billion Demons is a unique narcotic that can give a high to any species, even angels and devils. It's refined from the corpses of gods.

    Western Animation 
  • In Futurama the favorite soft drink is Slurm, which is secretly 100% slug juice. As in, it comes from a queen slug. She and her underlings have built a powerhouse corporation by marketing this highly-addictive beverage.

    Real Life 
  • The venom of snakes is often extracted, both because it's required to make the antidotes to the venom and because it may actually have other medicinal uses in very small quantities.
  • Spider and scorpion venom have potential medical uses, making "milking" them worth the trouble despite each individual arachnid's supply being minute.
  • Honeybees were domesticated because of this trope: if not for wax, honey and the pollination benefits to surrounding vegetation, no-one would want to go anywhere near a hive of venomous, swarming insects.
  • Humboldt Squid, also known as diablo rojo (red devil) is crazy aggressive during feeding, and has been known to attack humans. They're also extensively caught for calamari.


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