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In the Pokémon universe, what do humans eat?

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

The world of Pokémon is one that starts to fall apart, or at least appear unsettling, if you think about it too hard: The entire series of games and anime is built upon humans capturing animals and keeping them cooped up in tiny plastic balls until they're ready to force the creatures to fight each other. And it turns out that the humans' exploitation of Pokémon likely goes further, according to Modern Farmer.

"Simply put, it is a fact that people eat Pokémon," says Modern Farmer. Evidence includes the hunting of Farfetch'd to near-extinction. There's also the fact that the tail of the dim-witted Slowpoke is a rare, highly valued commodity because it is "tasty" and "nutritious." In Pokémon Gold/Pokémon Silver, Team Rocket's practice of cutting off the tails and selling them is frowned upon, but by Pokémon X/Pokémon Y, a restaurant openly serves Azure Bay Slowpoke Tail.

"The menu at Restaurant Le Yeah," writes Modern Farmer, "suggests that Pokémon meat is an ethically questionable luxury, similar to shark fins [in real life]."

Check out Modern Farmer's full piece for more, including the PETA analog and the "farm-to-table conversation" in the Pokémon universe.

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