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Peaceful, idyllic societies have a tendency to be vegetarian (if not vegan) in fiction. As often as not, these societies are portrayed as being morally, perhaps even spiritually/magically superior to our own, implying that humanity's meat-eating habit is somehow holding us back from living in a world of Crystal Spires and Togas. Sometimes it can be downright Anvilicious.

Some cases aren't so focused on the evils of eating animals so much as how circumstances might force people to adopt a vegetarian diet. See Future Food Is Artificial for examples of this.


Races that refrain from meat-eating simply because their digestive physiology is herbivorous aren't necessarily examples of this trope — if they have to eat plants, they're not really demonstrating moral superiority by doing so — but such species may subvert this trope's expectations if they're violently aggressive in spite of their diet.

Probably stems from the issues raised by Carnivore Confusion and Let's Meet the Meat. See also Mary Suetopia and Perfect Pacifist People. See Herbivores Are Friendly for the herbivorous animal equivalent.



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     Comic Books  

  • Parodied by Frank Miller in Tales To Offend #1 where a woman from a typical Veganopia is rescued from a rampaging dinosaur by 'real man' Lance Blastoff. She starts to berate Lance for his unenlightened ways but is overwhelmed by the smell of the roasting dinosaur and immediately begins gorging herself on the freshly killed and cooked meat.
  • The Smurfs are portrayed mostly as vegetarians, though sometimes they will be shown eating meat-based products. Where they get the meat is anybody's guess.
  • The Inhumans do not eat meat. When a group of them are sent to a human university, one of them tries a hamburger for the first time and enjoys it.
  • Wonder Woman (1987): Later issues present the Amazons as enlightened scholars like they were in their first iteration, and adds in their being vegetarians.


  • In Logan's Run (at least the movie), it seems the characters are vegan: when faced with the concept that humans once raised animals for food, Jessica remarks that "it must have been a savage world". Of course, what they don't know is that their own food source died out years ago and they've been eating frozen people for decades.
  • Eternia is a Veganopia in the Masters of the Universe movie, and has apparently been that way for a very long time, to the point that Teela doesn't realize that the ribs she eats after coming to Earth are actually meat. When Man-At-Arms informs her of this fact, she's suitably disgusted. On the other hand, he doesn't seem to mind, but he's a veteran of several wars and has probably eaten far worse to survive.
  • Subverted in Troll 2 They eat people... but only after turning them into plants.
  • The United States becomes this in Escape from L.A., when an uber-Christian man is elected President-for-life and imposes new laws for the "Moral America", such as no smoking, drinking, red-meat-eating, guns, swearing, non-Christian religions, or premarital sex. Anyone who disagrees is kicked out to live in Los Angeles, which has been separated from the mainland by an earthquake and turned into a penal colony. It's hardly a utopia, though. In fact, the President's plan is to use a series of EMP Kill Sats to cripple the rest of the world and conquer it.
  • In Demolition Man, San Angeles has outlawed meat, along with cigarettes, alcohol, and swearing.
  • The advanced alien race on K-PAX are vegetarians.
  • Carnage Swallowing The Past is almost straight example. Current young generation is completely vegan from birth and eating meat and dairy is completely horrifying for them. They are also oblivious to that that not long ago people ate animal products. It seems that times are peaceful and people are generally very open to themselves. But it isn't equally for everyone as most of older generations struggle with their "carnist" past and they are going to therapies (similar of AA) to fight with their immense guilt.


  • Technology similar to the uterine replicators in Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga allows people to create "vat protein" with no animals being harmed. No one is a true vegan, but when forced to eat meat from a real animal, Cordelia is distinctly uncomfortable (Outside of one time when she'd been forced on a diet of oatmeal and salad dressing for several days for lack of any alternative). How "vegan" this situation is proves debatable in Ethan of Athos, where the reader is shown just where the protein in those vats comes from when the characters use the animal protein reclamation system to covertly dispose of a dead body.
  • In Arthur C. Clarke's 3001: The Final Odyssey, the future human civilisation is portrayed as vegetarian and disgusted by the idea of eating animals; however, they do create dishes which imitate the taste of meat.
  • In Arthur C. Clarke's short story The Food of the Gods, the fact that synthetic foods are designed to imitate the taste of meat is not mentioned in polite society, and the narrator's testimony on that point nearly causes one member of a Congressional committee to become physically ill. The narrator is leading up to an accusation that one of his competitors is producing and marketing a synthetic duplicate of human meat.
  • In Samuel R. Delany's Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand, the enlightened human narrator is shocked at the idea of eating meat from what had been a living animal... being much more comfortable eating vat-grown human flesh.
  • Humans in James Gurney's Dinotopia are generally vegans — "No milk, no meat, and no eggs." Not that milk is easy to come by, given that the only large mammals on the island live in inhospitable mountains. And when the local cow- and chicken-equivalents are the sentient dinosaurs who make up a large portion of the population, well... They used fish as part of diplomatic terms with some T-Rexes so fish seem OK.
    • Material in subsequent books (including a mammoth being milked in Journey to Chandara and mentions of shellfish catching in Hand of Dinotopia) suggest that most of Dinotopia is actually pescatarian.
  • In Frank Herbert's ConSentiency series, most people no longer eat animals for meat. Meat (or at least protein) is produced in flesh vats.
  • The future humans in Anne McCaffrey's The Ship Who... universe are all vegetarians, except for some "backward" mutants.
  • The elves in Christopher Paolini's Inheritance Cycle are revealed to be vegans, as a consequence of their Telepathy letting them experience the thoughts of animals (an attitude also adopted by Eragon after he trains his own Telepathy under an elf mentor). However, the first elf introduced in the series is a little more blasé about this (being okay with animal products like leather), implied to be because she spends so much time outside of elf lands. Likewise, once he's been back among humans for a while, Eragon's new stance on meat softens from disgust to merely preferring not to eat it.
  • Subverted with the Galactic Federation from John Ringo's Legacy of the Aldenata, who are all not so much vegetarians as outright herbivores, and are in fact incapable of killing a living animal (a major plot point). The Darhel, one of the four races that make it up, are very obviously naturally carnivorous, with sharp, needle-like teeth. All of them are technologically far more advanced, claim moral superiority, except the Darhel have had a 5000 year long stranglehold on GalFed politics and economy, treat the most populous member race as slaves, and, since shortly after contact with humans was made, have been systematically sabotaging human attempts to fight off the omnivorous alien hordes in order to keep our numbers down or exterminate us altogether.
  • From Animorphs:
    • The Andalites turn out to be a subversion. They evolved to be herbivores and are initially disgusted at the idea of eating flesh, and, while not pacifists, they are portrayed as a heroic race fighting to defend the galaxy from the evil Yeerks. But those on Earth seem to not have any moral qualms about eating meat, especially since in human form they are rather overwhelmed by taste and try to eat anything. Also, it becomes increasingly clear over the course of the series that they're not as morally pure as they first appear.
    • The Hork Bajir are a straight example, of the Noble Savage variety. Before the Yeerks enslaved them, they were stone age herbivores with no concept of war. They eventually do learn to defend themselves, but remain among the more unambiguously good characters in the series.
  • The peaceful Eloi in H. G. Wells' The Time Machine were vegans. (However, they weren't especially bright.) They didn't have much of a choice though, since all other animals were (at least locally) extinct by then. Not to mention that the Morlocks treat them as cattle.
    • In his Island of Dr. Moreau, the strict Laws under which the beast-men live forbid them to consume meat. This isn't imposed for moral reasons, but because their creator fears (rightly) that tasting flesh will accelerate the mental reversion of any beast-man that was created from a carnivore.
  • In the Mercedes Lackey/Piers Anthony novel If I Pay Thee Not In Gold, one of the societies the heroine encounters is like this. Subverted in that their better health and such is just an illusion. They wear masks to hide their age, and the elders "go on a quest" when they reach a certain age. (Actually they die and the bodies are hidden.)
  • In The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien's Elves, nature spirits (Beorn, for ex.), and Maiar tend to be like this, as was Beren. They generally favour bread and milk rather than vegetables, though.
    • Beren is specifically said to have given up meat because of the aid animals gave him during his adventures. The Laiquendi or 'Green Elves' also seem to be vegetarian but the Noldor and Sindar most certainly are not as hunting is a favoured pastime and the Valar include Oromë, a huntsman.
      • The Mirkwood Elves (who are partially Laiquendi) are also hunters. In fact, it's the agricultural elves which are hard to find in Tolkien's work — which makes vegetarianism very problematic.
  • Many Fairies in Artemis Fowl are vegetarians, and, if their society is not a utopia, they certainly think it is better than human civilization. Objectively it is not so different from human civilization. Some fairies are dim-witted, some are noble, some shallow, and some treacherous.
  • The Star Wars Expanded Universe has Ithorians, a.k.a. "hammerheads". They're pacifists who don't eat meat and tend to sentient trees. It's also averted by Yoda, who despite being an old wise Jedi, has more issues with Luke's artificial food than with actual meat.
    • Another example are the Advozsec who are all vegetarians as they can't digest meat.
  • The Kindar in the Green-Sky Trilogy. Justified somewhat by the fact their social structure was engineered since day one to make violence of any kind unthinkable. Their Erdling brethren are omnivores, mostly because their underground-dwelling condition isn't conducive to harvesting and agriculture. This also features as a game mechanic in the video game adaptation; Kindar take a hit to their spirit stat if they eat meat while Erdlings are unaffected.
  • In the (rather odd) novel Cat Karina, eating meat and working metals are both illegal in the far future, presumably to discourage a return to technological warfare. Nevertheless, the most popular food is the "tortuga": a type of turtle, presumably genetically engineered, which grows a spherical, softened shell after breeding and is marketed as a delicious fruit.
  • In Anne McCaffrey's Dinosaur Planet, vegetarianism is legally mandated by The Federation, to such a strict degree that omnivorous species must unanimously swear off meat or be kicked out of the FSP. "Reversion" to hunting for meat is portrayed as a heinous crime, and leads to mutiny when the heavyworlders indulge in this forbidden practice.
    • In the Planet Pirates series in the same 'verse, it's not quite so hard-line. Fish are eaten on colony worlds, while the heavyworlders and Seti ignore the rule on their own worlds. "Don't ask, don't tell" seems to be the effective rule.
  • In Umberto Eco's novel Baudolino, during their journey, the main characters pass through a village of gymnosophists, people who wear no clothes, have no possessions and eat only fruits that grow naturally.
  • The society in the Uglies trilogy is at least vegetarian; upon arriving at The Smoke, Tally is disgusted by the main course meal of rabbit stew because eating meat is seen as cruel and uncivil in her home society.
  • S.L. Viehl's Jorenians—despite being pastoralists descended from predators—are vegetarians (although Xonea Torin tries shrimp alfredo with scarcely a comment in Beyond Varallan). Zigzagged in that they're portrayed as both a Superior Species (if mainly because Terrans are rabid xenophobes and hypocrites in the Stardoc-verse) and a Proud Warrior Race (albeit one wearing the Cultured Warrior hat).
  • Left Behind's Kingdom Come has everyone in the Millennial Kingdom (including the animals) go vegetarian. The meat restriction was only lifted for the wedding feast at the beginning of the Millennium.
  • In The Rings of Saturn, the time-traveller protagonist notes that the meals in the future don't see to contain any meat (on the other hand, the future people are sure fond of giving their food space-themed names.)
  • The leading civilization on the eponymous planet in K-PAX is described as this by prōt, the mental patient very convincingly claiming to be a visitor from said planet.
  • Maliciously subverted this in The Book of Dreams, which describes a world in which a colony of fanatical human vegetarians degenerated into mindless grazing animals.
  • The gnomes of the idyllic society of Gnomes don't eat meat, probably because they also speak fluent animal, though they do consume songbird eggs and also dairy products if given by others.
  • In the Star Darlings franchise, no one on Starland, including animals, eats meat. When Libby sees an Earth zoo exhibit about sea lions eating fish, she's unsure how to feel, having never seen carnivores before.
  • In Arrivals from the Dark, the Kni'lina are vegetarians and are disgusted by the thought of eating meat. Their derogatory name for humans is "mshaks", after small carnivorous rodents on their homeworld. Another reason for the name is the dislike of facial and head hair (their heads and faces are totally bare), which they associate with the same furry critters.
  • Nastily subverted in Myth-Ion Improbable, in which the human inhabitants of Kowtow eat only vegetables and drink carrot juice, despite having vast herds of cattle that their cowboys look after. This is because the humans lost a war with vampires, who drained every other species except humans and horses into extinction and were about to exhaust the supply of those, too. So their leader put a spell on the entire planet, turning the vampires into ordinary cows except for the monthly "roundup", when they feed on the spell-docile humans, who then have a month off to regain their strength. There's only one non-vegan human on the planet, and he's a pampered prisoner who eats horse steaks.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, the people of Naath are extreme pacifists who don't eat meat and mainly live on fruit.

     Live-Action TV  

  • Star Trek
    • Vulcans — which serve as the "morally-superior" race, at least in their own minds. However there are plants, and then there are Vulcan plants. In a Star Trek novel set on Spock's homeworld, the characters are attacked by a mobile, shrieking, prey-stalking carnivorous plant native to the region... and after it's been phasered to death, Spock eats some of it. One of the early TOS novels postulated that Vulcans were vegetarians partly because the herbivores previously used as meat died off during Surak's time. The most common reason given for their vegetarianism is the same one that led them to pacifism. They are such a violent and destructive race that they have to go to extreme lengths to not destroy themselves/conquer the universe/destroy the universe.
    • Riker eats eggs (Owon eggs), Heart of Targ, gagh (live and dead), pipius claw... but claims people have moved beyond enslaving animals. Perhaps this refers to raising livestock as opposed to wild animals.
    • Veganism seems common on Federation ships due to access to replicators that can create very convincing meat substitutes, avoiding the need to keep the real stuff in storage on long voyages. Attitudes about veganism vary widely, from disdain toward the concept of eating meat - like Riker claiming they don't enslave animals for food anymore, to acceptance - like Picard importing genuine seafood at what was implied to be great expense to eagerness: Dax and other patrons of Klingon cuisine complaining that their gagh is too dead.
  • In an episode of Sapphire and Steel, humans from the far future are all vegan. Perhaps atypically, this has nothing to do with any sense of immorality about eating meat: humans of the future find animals disgusting and unclean and have exterminated all of them.
  • Along vaguely similar lines, eating meat (or at least beef) is illegal in the near-future world of seaQuest DSV, it seems, because the ecologically-minded folks of the late 2020s did not like the atmospheric implications of keeping large numbers of cows around. Real meat is available, though, and seems to hold a position and legality roughly akin to that of Cuban cigars in the U.S. today.
  • Doctor Who: In the successful hippie commune of the Third Doctor serial "The Green Death", the local Marty Stu is on the hunt for a mushroom that tastes like meat, with the implication that it would eliminate the need for meat, and therefore meat-eating altogether.
  • Possibly the case with Aquator, the planet where the Alien Rangers (a mostly-aquatic species) come from on Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. They express horror when they discover that humans eat fish, clearly considering that a taboo.
  • In Galavant Valencia is said to have had a religious prohibition against eating meat. When King Richard conquered them he burned their vegetable fields, among other atrocities.
  • Inverted on Zoo: by the end of Season One, humans have given up on eating meat not because they care about animals, but because animals all over the world have gone kill-crazy towards human beings. Most livestock have either been destroyed or escaped, and even when meat is available, people are afraid it may be contaminated with whatever's affecting the animals.
  • In an episode of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Buck and another pilot get their fighter ships downed and are stranded in the desert. Buck quickly suggests they hunt some small animals so they don't starve. The other pilot is shocked to learn people ate animals 500 years ago.


  • Many Christians believe the Garden of Eden was like this prior to the apple incident, and some believe it was that way even up to after the Flood, when God allows mankind to eat meat with the provision of not eating meat with the blood still in it. Some believe that a post-Armageddon world would be the same.

     Tabletop Games  

  • In GURPS Transhuman Space, "fauxflesh" has led to The European Union becoming a slight Veganopia. The absence of "fauxfish" means that there's still aggressive aquaculture, though.
    • Fauxfish exists, it's just more expensive than the real thing, while fauxbeef, -pork, and -chicken are all cheaper. And the aquaculture Mega Corps have spent a lot on memetic engineering to convince people that a slab of fauxoyster just isn't the same as prying a real one out of its shell.
  • Subverted in Traveller: The K'kree are fanatics devoted to annihilating all carnivores...with their definition of "carnivore" being "any organism that feeds on animals in any way whatsoever." This includes fungi and bacteria.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • It's implied that the Tau are like this, and indeed may have evolved from plains-dwelling grazing animals, though more in expanded universe literature then the actual game. Most prominently in the form of the Alien Lunch served in one of The Last Chancers novels, Kill Team.
      • Of course, significant doubt has been raised on whether the Tau are truly vegan (they participate in game hunts and may make confections out of seafood, at least to serve to guests) or utopian.
      • Curiously, the Kroot, one of the Tau's allies, are very much carnivorous—eating is how they acquire new DNA characteristics that can be passed on the next generation.
    • Played straight with the Imperium- whatever soylens viridiens and protein bars are made of, it ain't vegetables, and are nearly the sole food source on the more dystopian worlds.

     Video Games  

  • The Elder Scrolls inverts this with the Bosmer (Wood Elves), who are religiously obliged to follow the "Green Pact" they made with their patron deity, Y'ffre, the God of the Forest, leading to them having a highly carnivorous diet within their homeland of Valenwood in order to protect their sacred plants. Culturally, they are also obliged to eat their fallen enemies after killing them in battle as they are not allowed to rot within (and thus taint) Valenwood. Both of these restrictions appear to be heavily relaxed on Bosmer who live outside of Valenwood, however. Even within Valenwood, there is much Loophole Abuse. Using fallen deadwood and eating fruit that fell off of trees naturally is allowed. Mushrooms may also be eaten, as they do not count as plants.
  • Harvest Moon games all take place in a pescatarian society (i.e. they eat fish, but not meat). Of course, since the idea of the game is to make you care for your animals, it would be a little cruel to be able to eat them as well.
  • Subverted by the Quarians of Mass Effect. Quarians are stated to be naturally omnivorous, but subsist on a vegan diet. They live on a fleet, and raising animals for food is less than optimally space- and energy-efficient. The Quarians are not exactly a Proud Warrior Race, but live in a state of perpetual martial law, and their entire society is geared towards the day when they can reconquer their homeworld. As a result, quarians who can get their hands on meat will gorge themselves. Their severely weakened immune systems (due to generations of life in sterile environments) will promptly rebel, but Quarians just don't care about that.
  • The Japanese of Age of Empires 3 are quite nearly this, since they're the only civilization that can't gather food from wild or domestic animals, however, they can still fish.
  • In Black & White:
    • The simple, pacifistic villagers of the first game only farm grain, despite having sheep and cows on hand, and the player gains evil points for putting animals into the village store to be eaten.
    • Zig-zagged in the second game, where using animals for food is still evil, but one can also raise a grain-fed genocidal army.
  • In XCOM 2, the aliens have banned the keeping of pets and livestock. Despite this, 'advent burgers' are still available. Lore states they are made of reconstituted protein, but suspiciously does not reveal what the protein is reconstituted from.
  • Parodied and subverted in Improbable Island: The cafe in Kittania is introduced by a server going on a spiel about using only locally-grown produce to produce their selection of vegetarian and vegan meals... the effect of which is rather marred by the lovingly-detailed dripping, bloody steak that's also on the menu. As the server admits when you point this out, Kittymorphs are still carnivores, and just because they try to "tread lightly on Mother Earth" doesn't mean they can actually completely give up meat.


     Western Animation  

  • Subverted in Johnny Test when Johnny comes across a Veganopia that is revealed to be so only because they trash other planets. (But the Big Bad Alien's daughter decides that this was against the spirit of their society, so it may turn into a true Veganopia later.)
  • It is suggested that the Air Nomads in Avatar: The Last Airbender were vegetariansnote , due to the belief that all life is sacred. Aang is known to be a vegetarian.
  • Lampooned in an episode of Futurama when an Animal Wrongs Group claimed to have a lion that eats nothing but tofu - and said lion is sickeningly thin.


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