Do our animals eat each other? No. And here’s an essay.

What do animals of the Kingdom eat? In the real world, carnivores and omnivores all eat other animals. It’s a bit of a “tough sell” when writing sentient animals. Not to imply that it can’t be pulled off – it’s been done a lot in fiction, but it’s just not what we wanted.

For example, Watership Down was filled with creepy scenes such as this one:

Can you pay rent? I think not. I. Think. Not.

However, in Watership Down it’s obvious that the cat and the rabbits are antagonistic, sworn enemies. This can easily be extrapolated to whole civilisations fighting against each other in a war for dominance, similar to the cat and mouse game Root:

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/237182/root

Or, in a videogame example, Tooth and Tail deals with animals eating each other as an investigation into various political systems – democracy, aleatorics, meritocracy…

Look. Somebody has to pay rent. Here’s my 200 page manifesto on why it should be you.

However, our setting (and the atmosphere and story we wish to convey) require a tranquil kingdom (at least on the surface), one where the hierarchies are not accentuated by the beastly behaviour of certain castes, but by the seeming wisdom they exude.

A peaceful unitary Kingdom consisting of both the cat and the rabbit would need to reconcile these dietary differences. For an example of reconciliation, here’s Mufasa explaining how the “circle of life” philosophy to Simba.

You see, when we die, we become the real-estate, and the antelopes inhabit the real-estate!

A bit hand-wavey and good for a Disney cartoon aimed at kids, but I wouldn’t bet a serious animal society just going:

“You were hungry and ate Pumba, my best friend? No problem, you’ll be fertilizer soon and I’ll eat some grass so we’re even… Hakuna matata, pal, don’t even mention it! Water under the bridge!”

TImon, presumably

That wouldn’t work. In theory we could just ignore the fact that they are animals and just pretend they are humans, like in Disney’s Robin Hood or any other number of cartoons where animals are just stand-ins for humans. But that’s a bit too metaphorical, we want our animals to really actually be animals (albeit – humanly intelligent), because the players will ask this question anyway.

However, there is this new-ish Disney cartoon with animals called Zootopia:

It’s in your biology to pay rent!

In it, the established evolutionary fact is that animals used to hunt and eat each other but not any more. The resurfacing of this truth to the public eye causes an uproar and it’s used to give a message about how racism is bad (or something to that effect).

This is probably the best way to go about it – as intelligence evolves with animals so they can use language, tools et cetera, our world needed to do away with such practices as eating the flesh of others in your community. IIRC, “Tooth and Tail” calls this “cannibalism”, even though it’s not the same species, and that makes sense – eating any member of an intelligent and advanced species is obviously going to be shunned upon.

So we decided that for many many years (as long as written history exists in our world, and beyond), the animals have all been herbivores.

Some food can be seen in the left side of the picture

There is a mention in ancient books and poems of “mere hunger”, a kind of hunger which might allude to carnivorial cuisine, but this is not practiced, and considered as much a taboo as canibalism is for our human societies.

However, as Charles, ventures forth in the great unknown, who knows what kind of cultures he will find, and what their opinions will be.

Hopefully, this answers your burning question on what the animals eat and our reasoning behind it, and you’ve learned a thing or two in the process. Till next time, bon appetit!

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