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Prefers Raw Meat

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Sam: Lovely big golden chips with a nice piece of fried fish... Even you couldn't say no to that.
Gollum: Oh yes we could! Spoiling nice fish! ... Give it to us, raw and wrrriggling! You keep nasty chips!
Sam: You're hopeless.

In certain fantasy and science fiction settings, there will occasionally be meat-eating characters who prefer to eat their meat raw, sometimes even alive, rather than cooked. This frequently marks the characters as more savage and/or animal-like, especially if they are Beast Men who resemble animals that would be expected to eat raw meat. They may also eat raw meat because it is more "macho" to do so.

For otherwise civilized Beast Men, it's often a sign of My Instincts Are Showing. Often overlaps with Jabba Table Manners to further emphasize the character's animalistic nature. Compare Real Men Eat Meat, when eating meat (particularly red meat) is treated as an integral element of masculinity; it often overlaps with this trope when the criteria for "real" meat include "must be raw/uncooked." Compare and contrast Eaten Alive. See also Raw Eggs Make You Stronger.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Happy (a catlike creature) from Fairy Tail loves his fish raw rather than cooked. This is shown when he gets upset over Natsu using his fire magic to fry a whole fish bigger than the two of them combined.
  • Brago from Zatch Bell! once criticised his human partner, Sherry, for cooking the crocodile meat he'd caught, claiming that it would give more energy when eaten raw. Since Zatch, the main character, once expressed a preference for eating his Trademark Favourite Food (Japanese Yellowtail) raw, though he's perfectly happy to eat it prepared and cooked as well, this seems to be a general trait to Mamodo in the series.

    Comic Strips 
  • The Far Side: One strip has paleontologists looking at prehistoric wall paintings... and just out of sight is a caricature of a caveman captioned "Zog Jones cooks his meat".

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 

  • Books of the Raksura: The raksura have innate Voluntary Shapeshifting that lets them shift between human form and a vaguely draconic form that depends on their breed. When traveling, they hunt live prey; in their own communities, they serve the raw meat with a variety of side dishes in prepared meals. One Raksuran queen is quite apprehensive when she's served cooked meat for the first time in a human settlement.
  • In The Complete Plonker's Handbook, one entry in the "Plonkers in Politics" chapter describes a backwoods Duke whose duchy is in a different timezone from London, and who doesn't speak any known language. He can be relied upon to vote for Government policy, however, as long as the Government leave chunks of raw meat in the correct division lobby.
  • The Dresden Files: The villainous ghouls can eat a full 50 pounds of meat in a day, preferably freshly-hunted human. At a Truce Zone in Peace Talks, they stick to huge amounts of steak tartare — probably.
  • Harry Potter: Bill Weasley is savaged by the werewolf Fenrir Greyback. Fortunately, Greyback wasn't transformed at the time of the attack and wasn't able to fully pass on the curse, so the only side-effect (apart from some ugly scars) is the victim develops an unusual fondness for uncooked meat.
  • Subverted in The Inheritance Cycle: Eragon asks if Urgals cook their food. The Urgal he's talking to is mildly insulted, noting that they're not animals.
  • In The Long Walk by Stephen King, one character, McVries, brings along a supply of raw hamburger on the titular walk, claiming it's a source of quick energy. The novel's viewpoint character, Ray Garraty, is unaware of any such benefits, but still admits (silently, to himself), to also enjoying raw hamburger.
  • Gollum from The Lord of the Rings started eating raw fish after he was cast from his home, partly because the deep, dark caverns he inhabited had plenty of fish but nothing to cook them with, but also because the One Ring's influence caused him to sink into savagery. As the page quote from the movie adaptation makes clear, he even accuses Samwise Gamgee of "spoilin'" meat by cooking it.
  • Monstrous Regiment: Rumors in the Zlobenian garrison state that Commander Vimes has eyes everywhere and eats only raw meat. He doesn't; the Watch's Airborne Division consists of a gnome who rides a hawk, and whenever they report to his office, Vimes orders raw rabbit for the hawk.
  • The Odyssey: During a Nested Story, Herakles stays the night in a centaur's home. The centaur is noted to eat his meat raw, despite being civilized enough to understand Sacred Hospitality.
  • Patternist: Those infected with the extraterrestrial Clayark microorganisms come to crave huge amounts of raw, unseasoned food as their Super-Senses develop — preferably meat, although they also eat vegetables. Some even chase down game and eat it fresh. By the time of Patternmaster, their mutant descendants will happily eat humans, albeit for ceremony as much as for nourishment.
  • Rai Kirah: While Aleksander is Cursed, he suffers random transformations into a giant cat and is eventually only able to eat raw meat in either form.
  • Done as the punchline to a Running Gag in the Star Trek The Lost Years novel Traitor Winds. After being teased by Uhura and Sulu for his unsophisticated taste in food thoughout the book, and conversely being utterly confused by why anyone would want to eat the weird things they order, the two senior officers are completely floored to learn Chekov has a taste for steak tartare.
  • Temeraire:
    • Subverted with most of Britain's sapient dragons, who begin the series loving the rations of whole raw livestock that the Aerial Corps gives them. As soon as Temeraire samples Chinese cuisine, he comes to prefer cooked and spiced foods, then introduces the dishes to the British dragons to general approval in later books.
    • Initially played straight with Prussian dragons, who comport themselves like a Proud Warrior Race and dismiss Temeraire’s fondness for cooked food as effete. However, when a major defeat dents their pride and Temeraire’s crew’s cookery proves able to stretch some insufficient rations to feed not just the dragons but also their own crews, the Prussian dragons become much more enthusiastic about the concept, even offering their own suggestions about which ingredients should go in the pot.
  • The Wheel of Time: Side effects of Perrin's "Wolfbrother" Beastmaster powers include Super-Senses, Supernatural Gold Eyes, and a growing preference for the rarest meat he can get his hands on. He opts for chops that are at least seared on the outside, since he still sees himself as primarily human.
  • A Wizard in Rhyme: Creatures like the dragon Stegoman and the Dracogriff Narlh are intelligent and friendly to the protagonist, but only take their meat "hot and fresh". Narlh can't stomach cooked meat at all and is surprised that something so foul-tasting can smell so delicious.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who: In "Vengeance on Varos" and "Mindwarp", the sadistic reptilian alien Sil's favourite snack is marsh minnows: a kind of newt mostly eaten alive.
  • The Dukes of Hazzard: Villainous Glutton Boss Hogg's favourite breakfast is raw liver with coffee.
  • Deconstructed in Freaky Eaters, in which eating raw meat excessively and without precautions is explained to be a dangerous habit. Various segments are dedicated to weaning these consumers off of raw meat in favor of healthier alternatives.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: When a Klingon comes aboard the USS Enterprise as an exchange officer, he says "I will try some of your burned replicated bird meat". Part of their diet, gagh, is not only raw, but alive. Justified since Klingon bodies, like most carnivores, must naturally put their food through a process to unlock nutrients that humans have to cook it to achieve.
  • Supernatural: Werewolves tend to be out-of-control human-eating monsters who particularly like to chow down on fresh hearts. "Sharp Teeth" introduces a family of Friendly Neighborhood Werewolves who Resist the Beast and sit down for polite dinners of raw meat — though they cook proper steaks for their human guests.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons adventure WG5 Mordenkainen's Fantastic Adventure. When worn, the Kaftan of Ogrishness turns the wearer into an ogre (a large, primitive and aggressive monster) over a period of three days. One of the first symptoms of the impending transformation is that the wearer starts developing a hunger for increasingly raw meat.
  • In Spears of the Dawn, people in the kingdom of Meru eat their meat raw. Not necessarily because they are unusually savage (though they are the most low-tech of the Five Kingdoms), though, but just because it's traditional - during the Long War against the Eternal, the Meruans survived by always staying on the move, and there was no guarantee that there'd be time to cook anything.
  • Werewolf: The Forsaken: Werewolves whose Primal Urge gets above a certain level can only derive nourishment from raw meat. They also have Ideal Illness Immunity, so they can ignore the usual health issues this would provoke.
  • HELLAS: Worlds of Sun and Stone: Goregons prefer their meat raw and preferably still wriggling. Other species attending Goregon dinners tend to end up thoroughly grossed out.

    Video Games 
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: The Zora Fish People eat raw fish. They note that the cooking pot at the inn and the non-fish ingredients at the general store are present mainly for Hylian tourists, while the merchant Ettu in the prequel Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is openly grossed out at the prospect of carrying edible plants to sell.
  • Punch-Out!!: Bear Hugger, a Canadian Mighty Lumberjack, according to one of his lines in the Wii game. Surprisingly, despite being a rugged Mountain Man, he's also quite a Nice Guy and an animal lover.
    Bear Hugger: I like raw fish.
  • Stardew Valley:
    • Local "wild man", Linus is the one who gives you the recipes for Sashimi, and in his four-heart scene he teaches you to make a specialty fishing bait from raw monster parts that he describes as "high-quality stuff... I eat it myself!"
    • Leo is a Wild Child who was shipwrecked on a deserted island and grew up with almost no contact with humans. He dislikes most of the cooked foodstuffs you can offer him, wondering if he'll even be able to digest them, and when Linus tries to teach him how to cook fish, he complains that it's too dry compared to the fish he's used to eating.
  • The Worgen in World of Warcraft have the following as one of their jokes:
    Worgen Male: Since the change, I find I prefer my meat rare, now... Raw, even... Perhaps... struggling.
  • In Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, some of the beast folk originated as humans, and some of them originated as wild animals or monsters. The latter sometimes mention how they had to adjust to cooked meat when they became sapient.
  • In ARK: Survival Evolved, predators receive more nutrition from raw meat than cooked meat, and most wild predators lose taming efficiency if fed cooked meat. However, cooked meat lasts longer and can be stacked in an inventory, and eating raw meat gives humans a health penalty.
  • A villain-centered strip of Dragalia Life has Nedrick taking a food order for the Agito. While Kai Yan simply states he wants meat, Volk explicitly orders raw meat for himself. Considering he's been known for an impoverished upbringing and a bloodthirsty personality, this isn't really out of character for Volk.

  • Champions of Far'aus: Catharine and Endozok are shown in their monster forms eating the animals they’ve hunted down raw, and only hunt down one extra goat to take back to the rest of the group, so that the others can cook something nice to eat for the festival that’s taking place during their mission.
  • Girl Genius: Krosp, as a cat based construct, finds that humans desire for cooked food is a quirky hangup and at one point while they're traveling the wastelands tells Agatha she'll be missing the best part if she doesn't eat mouse heads raw. This statement makes her a bit sick to her stomach.
  • Goblins: Kin is a Snake Person whose favorite food is live mice. Minmax is quite disgusted, but resolves to overcome his What Measure Is a Non-Human? bigotry and collects some for her "birthday" meal.
  • Kill Six Billion Demons: The Devil currently known as "Princess" has a daily breakfast of two pounds of raw ox meat. Since it's implied that she used to devour humans for their soul energy, this is, if anything, an improvement.
  • According to Word of God, the demons of Slightly Damned really like to eat meat and are even willing to eat it raw, such as when Lazuli murdered a butcher.
  • In Freefall: When cooking supper, Sam asks Florence how rare she wants her steak. It barely touches the grill before she says it's fine. Justified, as she's an uplifted wolf.
  • Selkie: The eponymous fish girl is an obligate carnivore who can't eat fruits, vegetables, starches, or any other plant-derived foods without puking them up (though she can at least eat cheese). This initially leads to some problems when she is first adopted by the vegetarian human Todd Smith, who realizes that he doesn't "have any food that won't kill her" and has to do an emergency grocery trip for meats.
  • In one strip of Irregular Webcomic!, Iki-Piki is disgusted that Spanners' chopped worm sandwiches are dead.

    Western Animation 
  • Downplayed in Primal where the main character Spear, a prehistoric neanderthal, often eats the animals he kills without further preparation but will, on other occasions, be shown roasting them over a fire as well. He is however unfamiliar with the concept of seasoning, becoming visibly curious when Mira, a woman from a different culture, prepares a stew from meat and various vegetables but when he's offered a cooked tuber he finds it unpalatable and goes back to his own kill. Hilariously enough Fang, his T-rex companion, is much more eager to sample Mira's food, stealing the first piece offered to Spear and sneakily eating the root Spear discarded as well.

    Real Life 
  • Truth in Television in the form of raw foodism; however, regardless of the advertised benefits, eating uncooked food almost always carries a high risk of infection with foodborne/waterborne diseases and parasites that are otherwise killed off by a proper cooking process. Raw food diets for humans tend to be vegetarian if not vegan.
  • This is often true for people who like sushi and sashimi. While sushi is defined by the specially seasoned vinegared rice, it is commonly topped with raw fish; meanwhile, sashimi is by definition raw (or at most charred on the exterior. (While sashimi is most commonly made from seafood, beef and even horse have been used for sashimi.)
  • While meat done rare remains very much red in the center but is cooked on the outside, meat served extra-rare (or "bleu") is essentially thrown on the heat just long enough to kill most bacteria, and pretty much still raw. Few restaurants continue to list extra-rare as an option for doneness because of the risk of food-borne illness. That said, steak tartare—raw beef either minced or diced and mixed with pungent ingredients (typically onions, capers, and Worcestershire sauce), and possibly topped with a raw egg for good measure—is still a staple of high-class dining.
  • Lebanese cuisine is big on raw meat dishes. A popular meze (snack/appetizer/party food) is kibbeh nayyeh ("raw kibbee"), a mixture of raw ground beef or lamb, bulgur wheat, garlic, and spices, usually served as a dip topped with olive oil and eaten with pita bread. The Lebanese also enjoy sawda nayyah, spiced raw beef or lab liver.
  • The bear girl of Fraumark was a feral child raised by bears. When she was captured by hunters, she was sent to an asylum, where she only ate raw meat and tree bark until her death a few years later.
  • Truth in television for carnivores (felines and vulpines at the very least). Cooking breaks down foods, which, while it sanitizes it and makes it easier for humans to digest, also breaks down taurine, which means in absence of synthetic sources, not eating raw meat can lead to malnutrition. Cooked pet food supplements it to aim for a best of both worlds (being less unpleasant to human via smell and shelf life of cooked meat while avoiding malnutrition).


Video Example(s):


Bear Hugger

Whether the rumbling is from hunger or food poisoning from raw meat is still up for debate.

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