Or Soylent Green is Pokémon
In the modern Pokémon world there is no food chain—I mean they fight, all they do is fight—but there is no predator/prey relationship. There are no carnivores or herbivores or omnivores. So, how do they survive? Instead all Pokémon seem to enjoy the same brown bits that Brock doles out of little plastic baggies. So, kibblivore? Be they electric, ghost, rock, bug, or water type they all enjoy Pokémon Brand X Kibbles. However, saying that the natural food for Pokémon is Brock’s secret stash is like saying a cat’s natural food is Meow Mix. Brand X Pokémon Kibbles are made from condensed & processed berries (and if they're anything like real life pet food then the ground up bones and organs of other Pokémon, too). Berries are fairly plentiful in Pokémon games and can cure any number of ailments, so I can see why a Pokémon would enjoy them. But this means all Pokémon no matter where they live—in a cave, underground, underwater—have to seek out berries for nourishment. Imagine bats, gophers, dolphins all needing to survive off the same berries.
However, as I delve ever deeper into the world of Pokémon eating habits, I find that I was quite wrong about there not being predator/prey relationships. Way back before the games designers realized there might be a bit of a moral dilemma in cute and cuddly and very sentient beings eating other cute and cuddly sentient beings, Pokémon hunted Pokémon. (Of course, there’s no moral dilemma with making these cute and cuddly sentient beings fight until they drop). According to the original Pokémon Handbook's entry for Pidgeot it states that "When they hunt, Pidgeot fly on the surface of the water at top speed to catch unsuspecting Fish element prey like Magikarp." Mmmmmm... Magikarp.
Pokémon then are theoretically all vegetarians with the cartoon and video games taking the stance that eating a vegetable is okay, but eating a Pokémon is not. However, some Pokémon are vegetables. Does this mean it’s okay to eat Bulbasaur? So, the line has to be drawn further: vegetables that cannot say their own name are okay to eat, vegetables that can say their own name are not okay to eat.
What about the Trainers?
But not only are the Pokémon themselves depicted as vegetarians, but the Pokémon trainers should be, too. Ash, Brock, and Misty are often shown eating a wide variety of meats, yet to my knowledge there are no regular animals. There are no regular livestock: only people and Pokémon. So, if they are eating meat then that meat would have to be either a faux tofu or 100% Grade A FDA approved Pokémon. They don’t have cows, but I remember ranches filled with herds of Tauros. Why would you have herds of Tauros if you weren’t eventually marching them to the slaughterhouse? If you’re not making Tauros burgers there’s no practical reason to have a herd of Tauros. Still not convinced they eat Pokémon? How about this: Cherubi's Pokedex entry states that it is "very sweet and tasty," which means someone has had to try it. The fact that it’s in the Pokedex means that, at least, one human Pokémon researcher had to eat a Cherubi to review the flavor.
What’s more they eat the food of the Pokémon. Chansey and Blissey lay eggs, which can be made into Chansey omelets or baked into Blissey based pies and cakes. Exeggcute may even be eggs. Some grow nuts or berries on their bodies. Miltank produces milk, which can be used as a healing item or on cereal. There are even insect type Pokémon that make honey. All of which are sold, collected, and eaten in the Pokémon games.
So, they changed Pokémon eating Pokémon to them eating berries because no parent wants to explain cannibalism to their children. Yet they have never explained what the trainers eat. The creators of Pokémon can’t say the trainers don’t eat Pokémon without making a statement about not eating meat in general. So, what Pokémon trainers eat is often left ambiguous. But since no other food source is demonstrated, and they’re often shown eating burgers and fish, either they’re eating veggie burgers or they’re eating Pokéburgers. Like I said there’s a moral dilemma with letting Pokémon eat Pokémon, but there’s also somewhat of a political dilemma with saying people don’t eat Pokémon. By saying there’s something wrong with eating Pokémon you're saying there’s something wrong with eating meat. How different is it to eat a Spearow than a chicken? If they’re saying there’s something wrong with eating meat then they’re saying there’s something wrong with all the good little children who shell out their parents’ money for Pokémon merchandise. Unless, of course, the kids are vegetarian, but what kind of granola parents who raise vegetarian children would also condone card and videogames that promote animal pit fighting.
So, either all food is processed soy, shaped and flavored like meat or it's equally processed Pokémon parts and Pokémon byproducts. Bon Appétit.
Pokémon Food Pyramid
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