Were the Jedi Vegetarians?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately. In the gaps between important thoughts that impact the family, as usual I start to wonder about Star Wars questions no one asked.

The Jedi could sense suffering and death. All living things were a part of The Force.

Therefore, I wondered if it would necessarily follow they were vegetarians.

We have on-screen evidence that the Jedi can sense the large scale suffering of beings. However, we don’t know that it has to be sentient life.

When Alderaan explodes, Obi-Wan gets heartburn. To extend this specific speculation, he merely says “millions of voices cried out” (which seems kind of low for a planetary population, but whatevs); maybe he was also sensing the forest creatures and house pets that the Alderaanians had.

Adding to that is the on-screen evidence of a link Jedi have for animals. In Attack of the Clones, Anakin can “connect” to the Reek so that he rides it. This implies some sort of affinity with creatures regardless of species.

Further pursuing the thought of heightened sensitivity, perhaps they were vegans. Living in a galactic culture where just about everything can be synthetically produced, it seems to follow that they’d have become vegans. If you feel the death of an animal through The Force, I imagine it dissuades you from consuming or killing it.

In an existence full of hyperspace and city planets, they’d have access to all the resources necessary to eschew animal-based products of any sort.

However

The strongest counterpoint is that the Jedi do seem to have their sensitivities tuned to the sentient. Luke kills the Rancor without so much as a light headache. Obi-Wan slices and dices the Acklay piece by piece. Mace Windu kills the Reek without a pause. For goodness’ sake, other Jedi drop like flies on Geonosis and the ones left standing are doing fine.

If they were that sensitive, then the Rancor eating the Gamorrean should have made Luke curl into a little ball and cry like an abandoned child.

In short, the animals of Star Wars can go screw. The Jedi obviously had barbecues.

2 thoughts on “Were the Jedi Vegetarians?

  1. The Jedi were either free to decide for themselves, or as part of their order, accepted dietary restrictions in service to being present the way fasting is an important aspect to many ascetic religious traditions.

    On its face, though, I do not think Jedi necessitates veganism. Animals eat animals as a necessary part of balance in the ecosystem. Domestication of animals for labor and/or harvest has been a necessary step in the evolution of stable civilizations. Any action that serves the greater balance in the universe would seem in step with Jedi thinking. But I suspect they would prefer organic, free-range. farming.

    I actually think they would eschew synthetic food as a principle of their philosophy, whether they are vegan or not.

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    1. Comments like this are why I love writing these sorts of oddball things. Something I created as a silly rumbling about an absurdity, gets turned into something truly deep in the comments. Thank you for that.

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