In 1859, British scientist Charles Darwin published his On the Origin of Species, a pivotal work that presented the now-universally accepted theory of evolution. And although Darwin doesn’t have much to do with the world of Pokémon, it seems that the same evolutionary mechanisms can be applied to these fictional creatures. Ever wondered do Pokémon eat other Pokémon? Are Pokémon cannibals?
Pokémon do eat other Pokémon, although it was never explicitly shown. Still, stories from the anime and different Pokédex entries explicitly confirm this fact.
Saying that, there is still a lot more to be said about Pokémon eating other Pokémon. Let’s dive deeper into the article!
Do Pokémon eat other Pokémon?
The Pokémon anime series now has well over 1,100 episodes and the video games are currently in Generation VIII. With so much material, you certainly expect to see a lot of different things, but there is one thing you’ll probably never see – because it would be too brutal for the children, the series’ target audience – although it does happen, and that is a Pokémon eating another Pokémon.
Yes, Pokémon do actually eat other Pokémon, but due to the inherent brutality of this evolutionary mechanism – you’ll never actually see it happen, although there is enough evidence to be certain of it.
The reason Pokémon eat other Pokémon is that they are hungry and need to survive. In this aspect, the world of Pokémon functions similarly to the animal kingdom in the real world – when animals are hungry, they hunt other animals and eat them. The basic relations between predators and prey have been kept the same in most cases (e.g. birds eating bugs, bigger fish eating smaller fish) so you can just translate a lot of the real-world natural laws to the world of Pokémon.
Let us see some examples.
One common fact is that Flying-type Pokémon, those that look like birds, often eat Bug-type Pokémon such as Weedle, Caterpie or Wurmple. For example, the Pokédex entry for the Flying-type Pokémon Fearow states the following:
“It shoots itself suddenly high into the sky, then plummets down in one fell swoop to strike its prey.”
“It cleverly uses its thin, long beak to pluck and eat small insects that hide under the ground.”– Pokémon Gold and Silver
Although – as it was shown in the anime – “regular” animals also exist in the world of Pokémon, there is no doubt that this entry likewise refers to small Bug-type Pokémon which are much smaller than the large Fearow. Even its Base form, Spearow, is known for its predatory nature. Another good examples are Pidgeotto and Pidgeot. The Pokémon X Pokédex confirms their predatory nature:
“The claws on its feet are well developed. It can carry prey such as an Exeggcute to its nest over 60 miles away.”– Pokémon X on Pidgeotto
“When hunting, it skims the surface of water at high speed to pick off unwary prey such as Magikarp.”– Pokémon X on Pidgeot
As you can see, these bird Pokémon don’t only target Bug-type Pokémon, but also smaller Grass-type and Water-type Pokémon that look like fish. A lot of other Pokémon are likewise notorious predators, such as Sharpedo, whose Pokédex entry states the following:
“It pursues its prey at speeds of 75 mph and finishes them off with fangs that can crush iron. It is known as the bully of the sea.”– Pokémon Sun
These are just a few examples we have found for you. Other Pokémon also have Pokédex entries that confirm their predatory status – Furret (preys on Rattata), Talonflame (preys on Wingull and Pikipek), Sneasel (preys on Pidgey), and others.
If you were wondering whether Pokémon are cannibalistic in the sense that they eat their own species, there is no proof of that.
As for other examples, there are omnivorous Pokémon like Snorlax who would eat anything, including other Pokémon. There is even a famous scene where a Snorlax tries to eat a Goldeen before being stopped eventually:
Another interesting phenomenon is Pokémon eating other Pokémon’s byproducts. For example, Ash’s Heracross was famous for constantly sucking the sap from Ash’s Bulbasaur, and there is also a scene where Meowth and Cyndaquil consume milk directly from a Miltank:
Now that we’ve seen how Pokémon behave towards each other let us see how humans behave towards Pokémon.
Do humans eat Pokémon?
This is also one interesting question, but likewise one you won’t see answered explicitly. Namely, a scene where a human eats a Pokémon would also be pretty brutal for the targeted audience, which is why the franchise only references it but doesn’t explicitly show it.
Humans are known for eating Pokémon byproducts and that has been shown. Miltank milk is one of the most famous foods in the world of Pokémon, Chansey eggs are said to be very sweet and Slowpoke tails are a famous snack in Alola.
There are a lot of Pokémon-based foods in the world of Pokémon and humans regularly eat them along with other nutrients. But this is not a big issue, actually, since drinking milk or eating eggs is not especially problematic, even from a child’s perspective.
But what about eating actual Pokémon?
The Flying-type Pokémon Farfetch’d is a relatively rare Pokémon that looks like a large(r) duck with a leek. In episode 49 of the anime, Ash consults his Pokédex about the Pokémon and it says the following:
“A wild duck Pokémon. Farfetch’d makes a delicious meal, especially when cooked with leek. Because of this, Farfetch’d is nearly extinct.”
As you can see, the series has confirmed that Farfetch’d have been used as food by humans and they are not the only ones. Dried Slowpoke tails are quite popular in Alola and it is known that Sharpedo has been hunted by humans, which has significantly reduced its population in certain areas. FIsh Pokémon have also been subject to food-based references, such as a scene where Ash and Brock fantasize about eating a Magikarp.
Again, you’re probably never going to see this actually happen, but the (sad?) truth is that humans eat both Pokémon byproducts and Pokémon themselves. Luckily enough, the series never explored this in detail so most of it remains a mystery.