Do Monsters Eat People?

More from the Shadow World:

This is designed to be a short post.

So do monsters eat people? The answer is yes.

Fair enough, it is a bit more complicated than that. People have flesh and flesh is food, even to other people, so it makes sense that monsters will eat that. They need to eat and sometimes food isn’t easy to come by. After all, people eat animals, and vice versa, so why wouldn’t monsters eat either of those?

In truth, people can and do eat monsters too. This is much more rare, not least because most humans think monsters would taste disgusting, possibly be poisonous or at least stomach churning. In some of the more desperate regions, humans eat whatever they can kill, and will prey on monsters for that reason. Some human groups will track, hunt and trap monsters regularly. It can also be done as a terror tactic. Most humans will say monsters have terrorised their kind for centuries. Acts of barbarity are committed as a brutal form of defence but also as revenge.

When monsters first came to this world, they ate people, and that got around quickly. In fact, many suspect stories were spread rapidly in order to inflame fear and enable the more tyrannical regimes to impose tighter laws and use stronger force. People hating monsters was useful to a lot of individuals and organisations, and monsters found the fear useful. So yes, monsters ate people and that became the norm in short time.

Perhaps monsters were used to hunting and killing and eating. Certainly some are naturally designed to do so. The murky history of the Shadow World is that the larger monsters preyed on the smaller ones, that life was a cruel and grim existence. Then again, it isn’t known for monsters to eat each other much now. It happens, but less so than humans eating monsters. Probably because it is a lot of hard work to seek brutes, vandals, harbingers, deemi etc as prey. It could also be that monsters have gotten used to preying on the human race rather than each other.

Monsters vary. Totems are herbivores, perhaps by choice, no one is sure. Ghouls eat the dead only and they don’t care which dead it is. Vandals are omnivores, eating whatever their short, blunt teeth can chomp down. Most are like brutes or writhers, eating flesh when they can, plants when those are available. Some have preferences. Deemi like to be known as predators, ensnaring humans and draining their life essence in order to create new life within themselves, so feeding on the remains suits them. Harbingers like to hunt and kill too. Perhaps it is their nature, perhaps a choice – not all of those kinds do that. Devil-beasts love to eat people in gory displays, but they’ll do that to all life. Sphinx have been known to eat people. Not nearly as much but they are part lion and part eagle, so never think that the human face bestowing wisdom isn’t considering what you taste like.

Do monsters eat people? The reputation is somewhat overplayed yet has centuries of evidence to say yes. It might seem unfair to single the monsters out. Machines will recycle corpses of living beings. Mutants are far less likely to eat humans – while the two kinds are considered different, in truth it would still be cannibalism – but depravity can be very difficult to resist. Monsters do eat other living things and many like to do it. The name monsters isn’t exactly accurate, but it has stuck for a reason.

Always remember monsters come in many forms.

A monstrous form could even respect sentient life.

You can never be sure.

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