Y'all know what’s are really annoying and over used trope in science fiction and fantasy??
The use of vegetarianism/veganism as shorthand to show how advanced or gentle or more civilized a group of people are. It’s so fucking stupid. Why the hell would that have ANYTHING to do with how advanced or civilized a people are?
I can see how they butcher their meat animals maybe being a factor, or how they hunt if they do, but so many books I’ve read treat groups that eat ‘animal protein’ as one step away from savage.
And I have never understood how eating plants is any better.
'Oh, but plants don’t have FEELINGS! Plants aren’t thinking beings!’
Bitch, wanna bet? Multiple studies have been conducted that show that not only do plants think, they talk to each other. It’s not as clear if they feel pain as animals do, but they certainly feel SOMETHING considering the chemical responses they’ve developed.
Like, you know that awesome smell cut grass gives off? That’s apparently a chemical response akin to screaming.
But try telling that to a militant vegan. They start screaming about how that’s not accurate at ALL, and then maybe bring religion into it.
'Well plants don’t have SOULS!’
Well neither do animals according to the Christian religions, depending on who and when you ask (the ones that start this argument are almost exclusively white and some flavor of Christian)
ANYWAY back to the fictional applications.
Humans are really lucky in our natural resources that being exclusively vegetarian or vegan is an option many can make with zero health concerns, but who’s to say that would be common in the wider universe?
Maybe the planet in question has very little nutritionally useful plant life! Or it tastes awful! Or is just too tough for the local people to digest! Or maybe the sapient species are obligate carnivores!
Maybe the cultures on the planet only consume insects because they’re easy to keep, cultivate, and feed rather than larger animals.
Maybe the act of domesticating animals is considered sacred, and so only undomesticated animals are eaten.
Maybe the whole world is nothing but island chains so fish is an intrinsic part of the diet everywhere and it’s considered incredibly strange not to eat fish and other seafood.
Maybe fish are sacred and eating them is punishable by death.
Maybe food has a high degree of ritual and certain things are eaten or not eaten at certain times of the season/year.
Maybe there are certain times a year plants or animals are toxic to the people.
Maybe eating fungus is considered depraved for what ever reason and they consider humans freaky af for eating mushrooms.
Maybe eating anything with wings is an affront to god/the gods unless they’re hunted or killed in a very specific way.
Maybe a group ONLY eats birds and winged insects as meat for some reason.
Maybe one type of animal was responsible to saving an ancient monarch and do eating them became anathema and the practice has continued into modern times.
*hands* The possibilities are endless!
At least get more creative with WHY a culture doesn’t eat a thing than because they’re too highly /evolved/.