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People Farms
aka: People Farm

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"The machines had found all the energy they would ever need. There are fields, Neo...endless fields, where human beings are no longer 'born': we are grown."
Morpheus, The Matrix

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Want to show that the bad guys (or possibly the Alien Invasion) are really, truly evil? Want them to cross the Moral Event Horizon without having to do much work? Want them to just terrify everybody into oblivion? Easy! Just state — or really heavily imply — that they breed humans like livestock, or keep them like animals in vast People Farms. Their purpose needn't be specified. Eating us? Harvesting our souls? Being bred for our skills in magic? Human Resources? Because they like to watch or more sinister reasons? Doesn't matter. Just the implication is enough to squick people.

While it's true that humans are just another species of animal on this Insignificant Little Blue Planet, we tend to think ourselves above mere animals — among other things, we believe that all of us have an inherent right to freedom, safety from imprisonment without due cause, or abuse both physical and emotional. People Farms play to lots of Primal Fears and Squicks at once — fear of imprisonment, enslavement, death (if we get treated to a culling of unfit stock), rape (if there's a "breeding program" going on, which participants have no choice in), mutilation (branding/tattooing/tagging with a number or Mark of Shame, neutering on occasion, and so on) and the general sense of being controlled. If it's our fellow humans doing this, you can be certain that their contempt for their fellow men is absolute. If it's an alien race, you know they obviously didn't get the memo that Humans Are Special. Of course, other sapient species can be substituted for humans, provided that they're sympathetic.

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In reality, though, humans do not make a good farming animal for anything, even if you somehow manage to keep them from trying to escape or fight back every now and then. Humans are slow to mature and reproduce, while economically an animal that requires over 3 years of growing is largely inefficient. We cannot convert inedible biomass such as grass, as human body needs a complex diet to develop properly. A huge part of our energy is wasted on the brain, and it cannot be just shut down and prevented from growing. Unless humans are literally the only available source of a given product, it makes no sense whatsoever; and the price of any human cultivated product would be obscene for any mass production.

What really is scary about the idea of wide-scale human imprisonment and abuse puts people in mind of historical setups resembling this trope, including The Holocaust, The Gulag, and many other infamous instances of slavery, hellhole prisons, and Final Solutions, where—except in some instances of chattel slavery—the goal was not to farm people but to punish or exterminate them.

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A major example of Industrialized Evil.


Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Attack on Titan: Discussed. While talking with Grisha Yeager, Eren Kruger states that this is the true purpose of the Eldian Internment Zones. While Marleyan propaganda presents the camps as merciful, in reality the camps exist to maintain a captive population of Eldians under the government's control. Since Titans are a cornerstone of the nation's military, every single Eldian born within the camps is a potential weapon. Furthermore, Kruger points out that once military technology renders the Titans obsolete, it's likely that Marley will simply carry out a Final Solution against the now-useless Eldians.
  • Gantz: In one arc, giant four-eyed aliens capture any humans they don't kill outright, only to kill some of them in alien slaughterhouses for food. Other are kept in zoo exhibits or as pets.
  • Human Ranch, a web manga by Kankitsu Yusura has elves abducting a bus load of Japanese students to another world. There, to their horror, the high school students find themselves in a ranch that specifically raises humans as livestock. Humans that were taken have either joined as collaborators or ended in pens. Those in the pens have been stripped of their clothes and minds behaving like cattle.
  • Kemono Jihen: Ogreham includes 30% human meat in their meat products for Kemono consumption. The facility visited in the manga has an on-site human farm to process this meat, and the humans are shown to have their own Promised Neverland-esque free-range environment to be raised in. However, the handlers seem to genuinely care for their livestock, and when one of the workers brings up the comparison to animal livestock, Kabane (having worked for a farm himself) sympathizes.
  • Macross 7: Setting one of these up was the reason the Protodeviln were trying to trap the titular colony ship.
  • Overlord (2012): With his master Ainz in need of high-grade materials for magic scrolls, Demiurge sets up a "vellum farm" where kidnapped humans are repeatedly flayed alive then magically healed, while fed mainly on their own flesh. When Ainz asks where the vellum comes from, Demiurge jokingly answers that it's a species of "two-legged sheep" he discovered, wrongly assuming that his master is The Omniscient and asking only out of formality. Ainz accepts Demiurge at his word, and it's left ambiguous whether he completely missed the implications or just decided not to think about them too hard.
  • The Promised Neverland: The First-Episode Twist is that the idyllic orphanage the main characters live in is in fact a meat farm. The children that leave the home to be adopted are in fact being killed and collected by demonic looking creatures. Following this discovery, Emma and Norman set themselves to discovering the ins and outs of their captivity in the hope of setting everyone free before the next shipment is due. They later discover they were relatively fortunate since they were raised in one of the free-range farms. Most children are raised in the demons' version of factory farms.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica: All Magical Girls are basically the livestock of an alien race called the Incubators, who harvest their very souls to stave off universal entropy, basically turning the girls into liches as a result, and, usually as eventuality, into the very despair-spreading monsters they fight, Witches. The one who calls itself Kyubey even tells the protagonist, "You don't feel sorry for cows, do you?" Regarding the Holocaust allegories, it does not help at all that one Puella Magi was none other than Anne Frank.
  • This is the starting point of the horror manga Starving Anonymous. A teenager gets kidnapped with his whole class while going on a school trip... He wakes up in a facility treated human beings like cattle for mysterious purposes, and teams up with other "survivors" to avoid the numerous traps and dangers of the facility - from addictive and mind-erasing hyper-fattening drugs to humans broken and re-shaped into becoming perfect "breeding" machines to the point of insanity. While at first a gruesome denunciation of the industrial cattle-farming industry, the plot proceeds to fall into a different kind of horror when it is revealed that the facility is part of a government conspiracy to feed monstrous aliens that secretely landed on Earth...
  • Vandread: All non-Earth humans are supplies of "spare parts" for the hyperadvanced Earthlings. Each is actually dedicated to a specific body part, to the point where their societies are set up specifically to nourish that particular part. Inevitably, harvest time comes before the end of the series...

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering has the entire plane of Amonkhet. Nicol Bolas corrupted a plane where everything comes back as a zombie, and where the people occasionally practiced voluntary Human Sacrifice, and set it up so that everyone's goal in life is to prove they're strong enough to go to the best afterlife — which is actually them becoming magically preserved mummy warriors. The populace even refer to themselves as "crops".

    Comic Books 
  • In Marvel Zombies, Zombie Giant Man suggests creating a human breeding program, so that they would have more live people to eat. In Marvel Zombies 4, there is a cloning facility serving as this.
  • Transmetropolitan has bastard farms, where humans without a functioning brain are grown to serve various needs: to be sold as food to Long Pig, to be brain-dead sex slaves, and to be a candidate for Vice President. That third example is not a joke, by the way. The Smiler wanted a Vice Presidential candidate with strong credentials, absolute loyalty and no scandals that would drag down his campaign. After searching for such a candidate to no avail, he just decided it would be easier to grow a candidate and establish a fake record for him. It might have worked, if not for Spider Jerusalem.
  • Venom: The End depicts a far off future where Venom, with access to the genetic abilities of everyone they ever bonded with (which through time travel is everything that has ever lived), builds "Meat Gardens" out of entire planets to birth armies of genetically engineered superhumans in his Hopeless War against machines for the fate of the universe.
  • Welcome to Hoxford, featured this in the form of a Bedlam House for the absolute worst criminals in which the warden and all on-site staff were actually werewolves who needed the prey.

    Fanfiction 
  • In The Swarm of War, after the first planet is conquered, about a million humans are allowed to survive because the Swarm needs workers to build machines, as well as psykers.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Attack of the Clones: The Kaminoans breed Expendable Clones on an industrial level to serve as The Republic's Redshirt Army.
  • Blade: Trinity has the Nightstalkers stumble upon a factory run by vampires that has comatose humans being drained if their blood. This is revealed to be the Big Bad's plan to survive in the future vampire-dominated world.
  • In Conan the Barbarian (1982), when Conan was enslaved as a gladiator, he got his first taste of the "pleasures of women" when he was "bred to the finest stock".
  • In Danger Diva, the poor, under Stanley's control, are used to power machines with their brainwaves. They're termed 'brain cattle' to the point where they even graze, and any activity they take place in is strictly VR to keep them placated.
  • In Daybreakers, humans are kept suspended in huge halls and farmed for their blood. That said, the plot revolves around the problem that Vampires are consuming their stock faster than they can breed them.
  • This is the main premise of the horror movie The Farm. Roadside travelers are kidnapped by the Cannibal Clan that runs the diner and motel, and they are then kept in cages and stocks to be raised as food.
  • In Godzilla: Final Wars, the Xilliens claim they intend to farm humans for their mitochondria and that they are mind controlling Kaiju to invade numerous human cities to lure in the earth's militaries and crush them so that the human race will be defenseless to the Xilliens capturing and farming them.
  • In Jupiter Ascending, the sole point of Earth (and countless other planets seeded by the Abrasax family) is to grow a sizable population and then kill the entire planet overnight, turning them into immortality bathwater.
  • In Killer Klowns from Outer Space, the titular antagonists enact this upon humans living in a Californian town called Crystal Cove. They either snatch up living humans by stuffing them inside balloons and putting them in a refrigerator room to keep them fresh, or blast them with rays that encase (and kill) the human victims inside cotton candy cocoons.
  • Mad Max: Fury Road: Immortan Joe is using captives as living blood banks, breeders, and even breast milk which he uses to trade. When Max is captured at the start of the movie, his back is forcibly tattooed with relevant information such as: he's a universal donor, he has no apparent radiation scars, and his eyes and testicles are intact.
  • The Matrix: The machines combine this with People Jars; humans are used as Living Batteries to power the machines.
  • In Motel Hell, Farmer Vincent buries people in his garden, removes their vocal cords, force-feeds them for a while then pulls them out of the ground and turns them into Farmer Vincent's fritters. Yummy.
  • Parts: The Clonus Horror — made famous by MST3K — and The Island, which was inspired by it, both involve breeding grounds for human clones (in order to harvest their organs).
  • Prime Cut: A cattle rancher, among other felonies, keeps women in pens, like animals, for sale as sex slaves.
  • They Live!: One of the resistance's video speeches claims that this is what Earth has become. To be more accurate, humans have been converted into slaves, used for sex, labor, and food, by aliens disguising themselves as humans in order to keep the wealthy elite, decision-makers, and authorities at the top of the social pyramid. There are some humans who are rich and in power, but only because they're collaborating with the aliens.

    Literature 

By Author:

  • Larry Niven:
    • Subverted in the Draco Tavern short story "Assimilating Our Culture, That's What They're Doing". The alien race in that story enjoys eating humans and other sapient species, but is horrified at the very idea of taking sapient life. So they grow human bodies without functional brains in vats and then eat them.
    • "Bordered in Black" strongly implies that a very humanlike population on another planet was being maintained for food by unknown aliens.
  • H. G. Wells:
    • The Time Machine Both the Eloi and Morlocks descend from humans. The Morlocks spend their lives underground, operating the machinery that lets the Eloi live lives of leisure. What do they get out of it? Cattle.
    • The War of the Worlds: The soldier speculates that the Martians, if victorious, will set up People Farms and raise human livestock for their blood.

By Work:

  • Animorphs: In one book showing a possible future where the Yeerks have taken control of Earth, there's at least one mention of humans being bred.
  • Coma is about people who come in for minor surgeries and are put into a coma so their organs can be harvested.
  • Cthulhu Mythos: In "The Preserved Ones" by Christopher Geeson, after World War III breaks out, the President of the United States makes a deal with the Mi-Go to defeat the Dirty Communists. In exchange they're allowed to mine Earth for its minerals and feed their Servant Race with all the Americans penned up in nuclear bunkers like so much canned food.
  • Discworld: In Feet of Clay, it's revealed that a vampire has been selectively breeding the noble houses of Anhk-Morpork for centuries, by manipulating marriages through his role as leader of the Heralds. Not so much treating people as livestock as treating them as show-dogs, but still darn rude.
  • A Distant Sound of Hammers takes place in a post-Zombie Apocalypse world where zombies are so widespread (and church-promoted!) that normal humans are treated as animals and kept in pens inside gigantic slaughterhouses to be kept for food production.
  • The Dresden Files: Referenced in one of the books; Lara Raith dismisses the idea of humanity being kept and bred in livestock pens... because "We don't need to pen in our food, it's already been done. They're called 'cities'."
  • One of the many Wacky Wayside Tribe villages in the Dying Earth stories keep "oasts" as mounts and meat animals. "Oasts" look exactly like oversized human beings, albeit with dull, uncomprehending expressions.
  • Evolution: The mouse-raptors thirty million years in the future domesticate, protect and farm a species of elephant-like descendants of humans for food.
  • The Family Tree by Sheri S. Tepper, has the umminha where humanity voluntarily became animals and beasts of burden to atone for their crimes that their ancestors did to the Earth. They allowed the intelligent animals that arose after mankind's fall to assume the role of the dominant species.
  • In the post apocalyptic society of Farnham's Freehold, lower castes of people are often used for food.
  • Firefall by Marcus Malone, taking place in an isolated plateau known as Mure, infested with carnivorous plant and a race of peaceful humanoids known as the Lily People. When they reach their prime they are selected by the chimp-like willots to be taken back to the Tower to be butchered for meat by the reigning rulers of Mure, the Tower People.
  • Gor: In Kur of Gor, the Kur (an alien race) h ave bred humans for food so much that they almost could be considered another species. The food-humans are penned and are barely sentient, more like two-footed cattle. Even so, many Kur don't like the taste of human, preferring tarsk (pig) or verr (goat).
  • In Hexwood, the Reigners specifically "breed" their Servants, ordering "chosen" girls to "breed" with their Servant, and then "farming" the offspring until they find out which ones they have to cull. Yes, it is freaky as all get out.
  • In House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer, clones are deliberately brain-damaged and kept locked up until the original needs an organ transplant.
  • I Binder: An entire hidden culture of human traffickers actively convert humans into ponies and cattle. They live in hidden enclaves taking the disguise of backward towns and capture any wayward traveler that comes rolling. They are very selective, only targeting those that they deem possess "the soul of a pony". Or those stupid enough to be fooled by promises of sex and remove their clothes and leave themselves helpless to their captors. Once they are at their most vulnerable they hogtie them and ship them to a ranch for training.
  • Piers Anthony's "In the Barn" features an example focused on milk production. In an author's note, he says that he considered writing a sequel, "In the Abattoir"...
  • In In Death Ground and The Shiva Option by David Weber and Steven White the invading aliens are a classic example of this trope. Referred to as "Bugs", the aliens raise ranches of species they've conquered as they view other sentient life-forms as food sources.
  • In The Realm Of Carnal Horror: started as result of a proof of concept instigated by a bet. It is kept going because it was expensive to set up and is considered to have perks.
  • Jackelian Series: In The Court of the Air, an ancient civilization of cannibalistic demon-worshippers got around the inconvenience of keeping their victims-to-be confined on People Farms by mutating them into Plant People. They were still sentient and aware of their fate, and still bled when devoured, but were rooted to the spot and powerless to escape.
  • Land of Oz: The original draft of The Patchwork Girl of Oz had a chapter where a colony of Plant People similar to the Mangaboos who had a garden where humans were literally grown, presumably for food. A surviving illustration Neill's show plants with the heads of humans (children included) being watered by their growers. Baum eventually considered the chapter too morbid and omitted it.
  • In A Modest Proposal, Jonathan Swift used this trope as an exaggerated satire of how abysmally the English crown treated its Irish subjects.
  • Never Let Me Go is another work with clones-as-organ-donors. The protagonists get to live a semi-normal life before it's time for their donations (thanks to being raised at an experimental school whose owners are trying to prove that clones have souls), but it's implied that most clones aren't so lucky.
  • Old Man's War: One possible fate of a human colony conquered by aliens who think human meat makes good eating. The Rraey even capture a few breeding specimens so they can raise babies as veal.
  • Oliver Twisted: The place where orphans are sent to be “farmed” possesses a more literal meaning in this retelling of Oliver Twist. Leeches are used to suck the blood out of orphans’ necks, then the plump leeches are packed in hay and sent to vampyre higher-ups who enjoy feasting on young blood.
  • Perdido Street Station includes mention of Cactus farms during the tenure of a previous mayor. In this universe, Cacti refers to large humanoid plants.
  • A Planet Called Shayol: The story focuses on a a prison planet where people are harvested for organs. They're infected with a symbiotic virus which works a bit too well, not only making them immortal, but also causing them to constantly grow extra organs and limbs to harvest.
  • A Planet Called Treason by Orson Scott Card has something similar done to mutants that have an out-of-control Healing Factor.
  • The Rats in the Walls has this as the horrible secret of the degenerate de La Poer family. Beneath their ancestral mansion, Exham Priory, lies an ancient underground city which has been used as a breeding pen for centuries, if not millenia, predating Roman times, where countless generations of humans have been raised as cattle to feed the cannibal appetites of the family. The breeding stock was so inbred and twisted towards the end that some of them had devolved into quadrupeds. This practice was finally ended when the main character's great-grandfather massacred his evil family and fled to America. Unfortunately, the main character is not aware of the true nature of his ancestors, as a letter explaining the secret that had traditionally been passed from father to son had been destroyed in the American Civil War, along with the only living relative who knew the truth.
  • Repairman Jack: In Hosts, The Virus would've turned the planet into a host-body farm if Jack hadn't stopped it.
  • Sime Gen: The Gen Farms in Sime Territory (pre-Unity) where Gens are confined for sale to Simes for killing. Children born there are raised like livestock, and the few who change over into Simes at puberty instead of establishing as Gens are released into society, but their prospects aren't good.
  • The Stormlight Archive: For millennia, the humans bred the barely-sapient parshmen like animals for use as slave labor, including breaking up pseudo-families if one or the other parent seemed like good breeding stock. Needless to say, when the parshmen regain full sapience, they were furious.
  • Sword of Truth: What the Sisters of the Light might have been doing with Taminura. YMMV whether it was intentional or merely a nice side-effect of their incompetent policies on raising wizards.
  • In Through Darkest America, this has mostly replaced traditional agriculture. After the (implied to be nuclear) war that destroyed the previous civilization, most animals large enough to raise for meat died out, and so have been replaced with semi-feral (uneducated to the point of not possessing language skills) humans that are referred to as "stock". Most people are reliant on "stock" as part of their diet, making them not so much People Farms as People Ranches. While it can be inferred that "stock" are somehow less mentally developed than normal humans, the end of the book confirms this is not the case when the protagonist learns that the Government has been adding new people to the breeding pool to prevent excessive inbreeding, under the guise of it being a program for getting society's best and brightest to rebuild technology from before the end. The protagonist's sister entered this program at the beginning of the novel.
  • In Vamped by David Sosnowski, illegal farms of this sort provide blood for vampires.
  • In Veniss Underground, Quin runs a people farm, which he uses to procure materials for his Living Art creations.
  • In The Warrior Heir, there are a number of classes of magic user, all oppressed by the wizards. The protagonist, who is a warrior (with magically improved fighting skills) finds out the villains want to use him for breeding new warriors, who can then fight to death to settle wizards' conflicts. He has already escaped their clutches when the nagging suspicion that that's what they want is confirmed.
  • In When the Wind Blows, it was revealed that the evil scientists had genetically engineered some babies to be born without faces, to be used for "parts". In the sequel The Lake House, the Hospital keeps people sedated and hooked up to virtual simulators while they harvest their organs.
  • The Wild Boy, where humans were bred and kept like dogs to breed them for empathic abilities.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who:
    • "The Parting of the Ways" reveals that the Daleks have been doing this with Earth in the future. They control the media, and have set up reality television programs that appear to disintegrate the losers, but actually transmat them to Dalek ships. The humans are "filleted, pulped, sifted" for the occasional cell fit to be nurtured into a new Dalek.
    • "New Earth": The Sisters of Plenitude, an order of Cat Folk nuns running a hospital in the far future, have one of these, with the purpose of using the bred humans for medical experiments.
    • "The Angels Take Manhattan": Most Weeping Angels are predators, which feed on other species by touching them, sending them back in time, and then draining the time energy from their lost future. The ones in Manhattan, however, made their lair out of an abandoned hotel: they keep humans captive in there, and repeatedly send them back in time to the same hotel so they can feed on them over and over again. The Doctor explicitly compares it to a battery farm.
  • The Goodies: In "Animals", Graeme sets up a farm to breed humans so he can serve their meat in his restaurant after he runs out of animals.
  • Not seen directly, but in the fourth season of The Handmaid's Tale, June is captured again by Gilead, and about to be shipped off to a "Magdalene Colony", where "fertile" women are forced to do backbreaking physical labor during the day, and be systematically raped to produce offspring by night. Fortunately for her, she and a group of women escape their transport before they reach it, but it's implied that others have not been so lucky.
  • Hunger Z has this as its premise. The Zombie Apocalypse occurs and humanity is on the brink of extinction, leaving the zombies hungry. The zombies are smart enough to realize this and scoop up Human survivors to breed for them, two of which are the main characters.
  • The Outer Limits (1995):
    • "The Human Operators" had humans kept as slave-mechanics by sentient spaceships, apparently for many generations. The protagonist's ship docks with another so that he can mate with the second ship's female slave-mechanic, to provide yet another generation of repairmen.
    • "A New Life" had a group of humans decide to go live in a colony out in the woods, starting families away from civilization. At the end of the episode, it's revealed that the "colony" is actually inside a disguised alien spaceship, and the humans are being bred for slavery.
    • In "Fathers & Sons", the memories of the residents of the retirement home Silver Sunset are systemically removed by the staff and sold to other people bit by bit. They are kept in stasis except for when their families arrive for prearranged visits.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series: This was the Talosians' original intent. It was quickly abandoned when they learned, through their observations of Capt. Pike and their assimilation of Earth history, that humans preferred death over captivity, even when it was pleasant.
  • Stargate Atlantis: The Wraith regarded every populated planet in their corner of the galaxy as one big people farm. But hey, at least it's free-range!
  • Supernatural: It is ultimately revealed that this is the plan that the Leviathans were working on all through Season 7 — they create a food additive drug that, upon ingestion, makes humans slothful and complacent, causing them to fatten up and dull up, so that they can be marched into the slaughterhouses the Leviathans are building under the guise of agricultural factories. Oh, and the drug is lethal to any other monsters that feed on humans, since the Leviathans don't want any competition for their food.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): The crux of "To Serve Man" is that the "benevolent" aliens made a utopia out of Earth specifically to transform the entire planet into one big People Farm.
  • V (1983): The original mini-series and subsequent series had reptilian aliens disguised as human-like beings bringing peace and love, only to secretly harvest the human race as a) cannon-fodder foot-troops for their wars and b) food.
  • Kamen Rider Revice: This is the ultimate goal of the Big Bad, Giff. This is because he feeds off of the energy from negative emotions. This energy can be manifested from humans in the form of their 'demons'. As such, this goal would provide him with an unending food supply. As of Episode 36, these farms have started to form under the guise of safe havens from demon attacks.

    Music 
  • In the Jimi Hendrix song "Up From the Skies", the Ancient Astronaut revisiting Earth in the present after a thousands-of-years absence, refers to the planet as a "people farm", though not with the same sort of evil purpose the trope implies, but maybe a little self-inflicted by the people themselves:
    I just want to talk to you, I won't do you no harm
    I just want to know about your different lives, on this here people farm.
    I heard some of you got your families living in cages tall and cold,
    And some just stay there and dust away, past the age of old.
    Is this true? Please let me talk to you.
  • German Band Samsas Traum released the audio play 20 Schritte Freiheit (20 Steps of freedom) in four parts on four of their albums. It tells the story of a bunch of humans which are kept in cages, to pillory the problems of lifestock farming.
  • Poppy's song "Meat", as part of her E.P. "Choke", describes an alien invasion in which Earth basically becomes this for the human population. The singer herself has confirmed that, by drawing parallels between the treatment of humans and the living conditions of animals on modern-day factory farms, the song is meant to raise awareness about animal cruelty and the meat industry.

    Tabletop Games 
  • CthulhuTech:
    • The Rapine Storm hasn't much use for the Asian human masses that it conquers, except for some recruitment (let's just say their army duty is... a little stressful). That doesn't stop them from creating the so-called Rape Camps and have their own version of fun. In a sense, the invading Mi-Gos are way more "human", they just seem to attempt direct extinction of the entire human species.
    • The Esoteric Order of Dagon is also mentioned to have Breeding Camps on the shorelines of their conquered territory, though in this case recreation takes a backseat to procreation (duh) as it's more a way to replenish their ranks faster to compensate for full Deep Ones' extremely slow reproductive cycle.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Illithids may resort to "farming" sapients in order to fulfill their dietary requirements, though the practice is not very efficient for them. Assuming a human brain is "ripe" by the age of twenty, this would mean that each illithid in a community would require a minimum breeding stock of 250 human "cattle" to survive. Orcs, goblinoids and other races mature faster but taste worse, which isn't to say that the brain of someone who lived their whole life in a holding pen would taste good to begin with — the best brains are "flavored" with a variety of strong memories to savor, which is why adventurers are such a delicacy. So in most cases, an illithid stronghold keeps as many prisoners as it can manage, and launches "brain raids" to round out their supply. And to get the most out of the best brains, Illithids will engage in the spectacle of "performance eating," where one lucky mind flayer will psychically broadcast the sensations of their meal for an audience to share.
    • Planescape: The xill are evil humanoids from the Ethereal Plane who are notorious for implanting their eggs in humanoid beings to spawn their young. However, the more civilized High Clan xill cannot do this as a combat ability, and claim it is only done by the barbaric Lower Clan xill. Still, there are quite a few in-universe Urban Legends about High Clan xill having nightmarish strongholds where mortal races are raised from birth for just this purpose.
    • The slaadi of Limbo — who have a similar reproduction method as the xill's — do indeed have a variety of that, although they're more like prison camps where they put captured victims.
    • In Ravenloft, Vladimir Ludzig is a vampyre (a predatory species that once had the same ecological purpose as wolves, except they preyed on humans) from an alternate world where his kind conquered humanity, and uses this system to feed themselves. Having been transported to the Demiplane of Dread via the mists, his rather ambitious goal is to do the same there.
  • Exalted: The Wyld mutants known as the hushed ones often keep "herds" of captured as living food stores for lean times, trapping them in pits after breaking their arms and legs and feeding them on scrounged vermin until they wish to harvest a captive to eat.
  • New World of Darkness: The Blood Farm, run by a mortal businessman with absolutely no morals and extensive knowledge of the UK's vampire communities. He keeps his operation stocked with asylum seekers, who are brought in, kept in horrendous conditions, and slowly bled dry. It's implied that elder vampires use the Farm as an object lesson to neonates. If they're queasy about having to attack people for blood, they'll be set up with packages from the Blood Farm for a few months... and then the elders spare no detail in telling them where it comes from.
  • In Pathfinder, the human race actually started as this. The Aboleths took control of what were little more than cavemen and kept them as a slave race for ages, breeding them to produce more stock.
  • RuneQuest has the very, very weird example of the Praxian Morokanth tribe, nomadic humanoid tapirs who herd humans to use as pack beasts and food. Thing is, it's not the vile act this would normally be — in ages past, the human Praxian tribes and their totem animals were presumably both sapient, until for some reason the chief Praxian god decided to hold a series of lotteries between each human tribe and their respective totem animals to determine who would be the eater (sapient herders responsible for the well-being of their herds) and eaten (able to forage for sustenance in the Praxian wastes, but stripped of sapience); humans won four out of the five lotteries, but the tribe with the Morokanth as a totem wasn't as lucky as the others. They're also capable of turning captive "normal" humans into nonsapient herd-humans too, but don't expect a last-minute rescue by The Cavalry if they try to do this to you — the Morokanth are Praxians, and the surrounding human Praxian tribes feel a stronger cultural kinship towards them than a species one towards any poor schlubs who got themselves in that particular pickle.
  • Shadowrun:
    • The Tamanous organization runs "fetus farms" in which female captives are impregnated and later harvested of their fetuses. The fetuses are used as a source for fetal tissue transplants, stem cells and so on.
    • Asamando, a ghoul nation, has resorted to this in order to meet its citizens' dietary needs — ghouls need metahuman flesh to live, and are literally unable to digest anything else — in addition to the black market organ trade (they're regular costumers of Tamanous') and purchasing condemned prisoners from other nations. They keep massive prisons (known locally as "storehouses") of metahuman prisoners, who are taken apart one bit at a time and kept on life support to keep the meat fresh. On top of that, they're developing a breeding program where women cut down to the bare minimum necessary to carry a fetus to term are bred until they die, with the newborns whisked away to be processed for meat or raised as livestock.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • At least one Dark Eldar Kabal is mentioned in the background to have maintained "pain farms". Dark Eldar in general have huge factories where thousands of slaves work to produce weapons and food, but they don't really bother to farm slaves. There's hardly any need to bother when you have a whole galaxy full of "free range" ones.
    • The Adeptus Mechanicus keeps several cloning vats ready to produce literally mindless bodies for the production of Servitors (unless there's a nearby penal colony, in which case they have ample "material"). Many of these tanks are also used to mass produce Geneseed, either for the founding of new Space Marine Chapters or to help existing chapters replenish their stock, as Geneseed cannot be cultured in a tube but rather grown within a living human body.
    • Hive worlds can be seen as these, breeding grounds for billions of humans who can be conscripted into the Imperial Guard's ranks.
    • During the War of the Beast, the Fist Exemplar and the Iron Warriors stumbled across some that the Orks had set up, the aliens drugging and fattening up thousands of human slaves for food. Even the Iron Warriors, stone cold siege specialists who consider planetary genocide and We Have Reserves to be perfectly sound tactics, are disgusted by the sight.
    • Khrave raiders have been known to herd the populations of worlds they overrun into enclosed spaces such as mines, providing them with food and water to keep them alive while periodically taking out prisoners to eat.

    Video Games 
  • Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura: One of the nastiest sidequests unveils an Ancient Conspiracy of Gnomes who deliberately bred half-ogres so they could 'employ' them as bodyguards. Nowadays, they've basically got half-ogre 'farms', but they had to get their 'starting stock' from SOMEWHERE, and you find that place... as well as some squickily detailed records. Worse yet, the gnomes get away with it, making all the evidence you uncover "disappear". The Mind Screw conclusion leaves open the possibility that the conspiracy really was delusional paranoia, and that killing the gnome and his 'agent' marks your own descent into the same insanity.
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: In Dawnguard, you visit Castle Volkiar, which has a clan of vampires residing in it for possibly millennias. Rather than feed on random people, they have their own "Vampire Cattle", which are mesmerized humans and humanoids living in cages acting as both a food source and as servants. However they don't seem to breed them, rather they use a local Skooma den as a front for kidnapping druggies to be turned into cattle. If you choose to side with the Vampires, you can use the cattle to help with your blood cravings, or level up your skills.
  • Elona doesn't have any limits on what kind of creatures you can choose to breed for eggs and meat on ranches, so if you want to, you can absolutely make one of these with no repercussions.
  • Farm Of Souls: You run one of these. But it's okay, because you're being scored on how happy the souls you harvest are.
  • Final Fantasy XIII reveals relatively early on in the game that Cocoon, the world where "civilized" humanity has its every need taken care of by the benevolent Fal'Cie is nothing more than a farm in which "human tools" can be bred by the thousands for an unknown purpose. Worse, midway through the game it's revealed by one of their servants that this unknown purpose is a mass sacrifice by which they can attract their creator back to the mortal plane.
  • Half-Life 2: The Combine transforms a large amount of its human dissidents into "Stalkers", pitiful creatures whose limbs and ability to speak were removed. Basically, these things are the work slaves of the Combine, held and processed in the citadel for the rest of their poor excuse for a life.
  • In Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds, this is required for various applications in the war machines the aliens use. When playing as the aliens you actually have to build human farms to draw the proper amount of blood. It isn't implied that they're killed, and in fact since you are basically the supreme overlord of the attacking aliens, you could basically say "They're not being killed" easily.
  • Mass Effect:
    • The batarians have some of these, though they're never actually seen. Liberating one and seeing what went on there was enough to turn a model soldier into a stumbling drunk.
    • The Reapers have them beat, though. The batarians have a few worlds. The Reapers use the entire galaxy. And they've been doing it for at least a billion years.
  • Minecraft: It's entirely possible to build farms to mass-produce villagers, allowing you to run your own People Farm. This has two purposes: easy trading and iron ingots from golems.
  • Primal Rage: This is humanity's fate if Talon wins dominance of the world, in which case he will turn the human species into stock for a worldwide game preserve, to be hunted by his raptor followers.
  • AliceSoft: Demon King Gil from Rance III has some because the power of the Chosen One is inversely proportional to the amount of people alive. She has to keep the human population up, so that the Chosen One would have no chance against her.
  • RuneScape has the Vampyre-ruled nation of Morytania. The human population is forced to pay blood tithes and the largest city is a giant slum designed to keep the human inhabitants from moving around.
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Demons require certain energies from humans and other similar beings, which they can take from their summoners or outright rip from captured victims. Nocturne has Kabukicho Prison, which features this trope. The Ashura-Kai from Shin Megami Tensei IV are worse, considering the massive farm they have in Reverse Hills, the sheer amount of Red Pills they produce, and the sheer horror that is the fabrication process. Here's a hint - the secret ingredient? Human neurotransmitters.
  • In Stellaris, Xenophobic or Authoritarian empires can enslave certain species as "Livestock" that are regularly culled for food. You can also genetically engineer said livestock to be tastier and more nutritious.
  • Tales of Symphonia: The Desians keep "Human Ranches". The protagonist's Doomed Hometown is so doomed because his best friend befriends an old lady from the ranch, and brings her food — and the rule around town is, you don't mention the Human Ranches and they won't mention you. The people are used to make the ability-enhancing exspheres the Desians — and the protagonists — use
  • In Technobabylon there's an exclusive restaurant in Newton that serves human meat. It's justified by the meat coming from cloned brain-less humans, so it's technically legal, but there are a few characters who are still utterly disgusted by the concept — and one Rich Bastard who's disappointed that they don't serve actual living humans, seeing it as the ultimate display of power over the poor.
  • Tooth and Tail: While humans do not exist in the game's World of Funny Animals, there are gristmills where intelligent pig-people are harvested for food by all four factions in the game.
  • World of Warcraft features a literal people farm in the Hillsbrad Foothills questline, modeled after the film Motel Hell. The player finds a shovel and has the chance to release the prisoners by using the shovel to dig them out or click on the prisoners to kill them with the shovel.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Policenauts, the investigation leads to the discovery that people who die on Beyond are kept alive as braindead biomorts and shipped the Moon to be stored in suspended animation. Their bodies are harvested for everything from organs to hormones, and young women are even used to gestate artifically inseminated eggs.

    Webcomics 
  • The Gamer has slavers who kidnap individiduals with high magic power and use them on magic-farms, harvesting their ability for energy in general, in addition to exploiting any particular talents they may have. The main character, being a developing but exceedingly promising magic user themed on video-game mechanics is in severe danger of being a target of these slavers while he is still leveling up and developing the skills needed to defend himself.
  • In Schlock Mercenary Professor Pau uses "undesirables" as hosts for nanite farms as he couldn't get it done any other way. Turns out it wasn't necessary that way, but not for lack of trying.

    Web Original 
  • Both of the (completely unrelated) short horror films titled The Herd. One deals with humans reduced to feral state and treated as cows (and not much smarter; the characters do not even recognize them as people, but rather as animals that can be dangerous like a raging bull). The other deals with women captured by force to farm breast milk for beauty products, thus fully intelligent and aware, but still treated as dehumanized livestock or even worse. The latter short is often named as one of the most unsettling in the genre.
  • Serina: The carnivorous seatrikers and the herbivorous ring-necked porplets are two species of near-sapient marine birds that co-exist in the titular planet's oceans. The seatrikers would hunt the porplets for food but some would figure out that if they only fed on the porplet's offspring then they would get a longer lasting source of meat. Over time they go on the guide the porplets to new sources of food and eventually begin to actively cultivate them like cattle. By the time the seatrikers develop into the fully sapient daydreamers, the porplets under their care have devolved into the nops, rotund stupid creatures that are incapable of even basic cognition outside of eating or even simply feeling pain. One culture of daydreamers eventually comes to see this practice as immoral and goes on the form an Interspecies Friendship with the porplet descendants that have managed to remain wild.
  • Whateley Universe: Played with. In order to increase the number of children with the Bloodline trait, and increase the number of mutants in their families overall, the Bloodline set up the 'Baby Farm' aboard the airship Jules Verne... but instead of kidnapping women for the breeding program, they hire Exemplar women between the ages of 18 and 25 as surrogate mothers, paying them well and covering all of their medical expenses (there is even talk of offering college scholarships), and they only stay at the facility until their child is born (they only contract to have a single child). The children are then fostered to Bloodline members and given the best treatment and education available. While the protagonists still find the idea repulsive (understandably so, especially given how Envy first found out about the place), the women they talk to insist it was a good deal for them, as they were generally in desperate financial straits before the offer came along, the facilities at the Baby Farm are lavish, and the pay is excellent.

    Western Animation 
  • In Voltron: Legendary Defender Prince Lotor lured the remaining Alteans to a haven after their home was destroyed. This place is idyllic, but periodically individuals are rounded up and tested. Those selected then go to a facility where they are put in pods and drained of their quintessence (essentially life energy) and used for experiments. Naturally, the true nature of this "new Altea" is kept under wraps, and when one of is inhabitants starts having doubts...

Alternative Title(s): People Farm

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