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Regarding Elves and Rabbit Food

Discussion in 'World Building' started by AstralCat, May 1, 2013.

  1. AstralCat

    AstralCat Scribe

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    Okay... so... in the universe of my book, Elves are vegetarians. It's sort of a cultural thing. They feel like it's immoral to eat the flesh of a living being. Many of the humans and other races who live amongst the more elf-populated countries will adopt this belief too.

    But unfortunately I see no examples of purely vegetarian food-cultures on Earth, so I have no idea what these people would eat all the time. It isn't as if they're abstaining from meat for health reasons (though it may explain why elves tend to be more lithe), so looking at vegetarian cuisine on Earth may not be accurate either.

    Also, the elves in the area I'm concerned with live in a lush tropical area where fruit can grow quite easily. So they have no shortage of edible plants to work with.

    But anyway. Help me make an elvish vegetarian food culture please...? oAo;
     
  2. Penpilot

    Penpilot Staff Article Team

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    I'm no expert but one of the reasons a purely Vegetarian society doesn't exist on earth is because generally speaking humans need to eat meat to survive. Meat contains certain nutrients that plants don't. Vegetarians have to take supplements to make up for the missing nutrients in their diets because they don't eat meat. Here's a wiki article that touches on a Vegitarian diet. Vegetarian nutrition - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Another reason would be calories. According to the internet 100 grams of steak gives you around 250 calories and 100 grams of apple only gives 50 calories. Generally speaking, eating meat gives you more energy to power your body, which in a less advanced society can make a difference between starving and not.

    These are some of the practical things you have to think about, BUT it's reasonable, if you want to, to ignore theses limiting factors. It which case you're free to have them eat what ever the heck they want. It's your world and your flora and fauna and IMHO you really should look at Vegetarian culture in our world and steal ideas from that.
     
  3. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Forum Mom Leadership

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    I'm actually having to do a lot of research into vegetarianism - specifically veganism - as well, as I have a race of therian (were-whatevers) rabbits that cannot process animal protein of any kind. My problem is that my therian all have amped-up metabolisms, resulting in large daily calorie requirements, which isn't a big deal for my predators, but my poor plant-eaters are basically eating constantly to try and keep up! (This is a result of bad design choices on the part of their creators, but that's another post ;) )

    I believe that certain groups of Hindu adhere to a strictly vegan diet. Diet in Hinduism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Maybe that will help?
     
  4. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

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    Hey, vegetarian here and perfectly healthy. More so than most of my carnivorous friends. The human nutritional need for meat is a bit overstated.
     
  5. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Forum Mom Leadership

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    Just have to pipe up from the carnivore's perspective... While vegetarianism in the modern world is all well and good, don't forget that it was animal protein that gave us these big brains in the first place. While meat is not strictly required in a world of grocery stores and endless food choices, in a survival environment where you're spending precious calories to acquire more, meat is without question the most efficient food - many more calories per serving than plant-based food in regards to both ease of gathering and digestion. Without that evolutionary shift from herbivores to omnivores, we would probably still be little less than kinda clever apes.

    So, in reference to the OP, I would say that speaking in evolutionary terms, your elves were not always vegetarians. If they've developed a philosophy that eating animals is bad, it indicates that they did it at one point. But since they've developed this philosophy at that it not only seems to work for them but is also adopted by their neighbors, there must be rich sources of plant-based protein easily available.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2013
  6. Rinzei

    Rinzei Troubadour

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    Yes, you're absolutely right - there are denominations of Hindu that are vegetarian, so this would be a good place to look. One of my co-workers is a vegetarian Hindu. So looking at that sort of diet would be a helpful starting point.
     
  7. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

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    Unless you happen to believe in creation. Which I do.

    Again, this is presupposing an evolutionary explanation. For someone who believes in creation, or "intelligent design" as they're calling it these days, this justification may not hold up. And it has even less relevance in a fantasy setting, where evolution may occur or not occur according to the author's whims. Who says the elven gods didn't just make them vegetarians and then give them a set of commandments that said "thou shalt not eat meat? Whether we evolved from apes or not, fantasy is not beholden to that.

    This part makes sense. Obviously a vegetarian society requires a large source of vegetation.
     
  8. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Forum Mom Leadership

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    Sorry, I am a bad girl and just can't leave this alone...

    What, no tasty animals in the Garden of Eden?

    And isn't there something in the Bible about God giving man "dominion" over all the animals on the Earth, basically making eating meat a God-given right? Well, maybe not pigs, something about demons and cloven hooves, but everything else feathered and on four legs seems to be game.

    So to speak. ;)
     
  9. Phietadix

    Phietadix Archmage

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    Must resist debate . . .

    Sorry, can't resist. While God gave man dominion over animals in Eden, he was not allowed to eat it until God's covenant with Noah, now that's not to say that man actually followed those instructions, but that was the command. So what was the dominion you ask? Umm . . .

    Anyway, this is getting off-topic. The question is what would a vegetarian culture eat. I have no idea.
     
  10. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    I've heard that humans didn't start eating meat until after the Flood.

    EDIT: Ninja'd. ^^
     
  11. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

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    Dominion means rulership. And no, they didn't eat meat in the Garden.
    And the pigs business has nothing to do with demons.

    EDIT: Double Ninja'd
     
  12. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    In fantasy, you can always resort to 'the gods did it,' but I took the OP's post to imply that he wanted something a bit more rigorous than that, so it makes sense to consider scientific possibilities that might come into play if you want them.
     
  13. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Forum Mom Leadership

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    Now, that's very interesting about the Flood. I can imagine they wouldn't have eaten meat in Eden - wasn't there something about the animals talking? I think we as a mono-culture tend (note I say "tend") to have views on eating things that can talk back. Not at all Judeo-Christian, so I had no idea!
     
  14. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    The only animal I recall speaking in Eden was the serpent, and it's implied that that was either the Devil in serpentine form, or an actual snake possessed by him. There are some other talking animals elsewhere in the bible, like a donkey who speaks to his master after being whipped, but that's due to divine intervention, and isn't commonplace.
     
  15. Phietadix

    Phietadix Archmage

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    Aside from the serpant. who was in some way related to Satan, either possesed by him, him in disguise, something of that sort, there were no talking animals mentioned in Eden

    Edit: Ninja'd, this is getting far too common.
     
  16. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Forum Mom Leadership

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    She who types fastest wins! ;) And we're all writers... we all type fast.
     
  17. AstralCat

    AstralCat Scribe

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    XD Oh dear. What's going on in this thread? I turn around for a while and this happens? ...But in all seriousness, I myself an a creationist who has a great respect for science. And I'm glad you all are being mature. I had a few flashbacks to some flame-wars in my past there for a moment. ._.

    To add some information... The plants and animals in this particular world aren't nececarily the same as on Earth. Though they may have some similarities. Both Earth and this world have rice for example. But this world also has magic, and the fauna and flora have adapted and begun using magic too. In fact, the best way for any race to replenish their magical power is to eat magic-rich foods.

    Also, these elves are not vegan. They aren't even true vegetarians. They just don't eat fleshy things. They might be okay with eating milk products (not sure if they'd want to), since you could theoretically have a bunch of happy healthy goats and still milk them. So that might open up their culinary options a little.
     
  18. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

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    That's actually quite reasonable. While eschewing meat, I myself do occasionally eat things like milk, eggs, and cheese. Your elves might do the same since, as you've mentioned, these foods don't require the killing of the animal.
     
  19. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Are the elves only against eating red meat and poultry, or does their no-flesh policy extend to fish as well?
     
  20. AstralCat

    AstralCat Scribe

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    Yes, I think fish still count. It's a shame really. They have miles of coastline and no fishing.
     
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