Being a vegetarian gamer does make it hard to fully relate to some of the characters that I’m supposed to identify with. When the cast of Streets of Rage are gleefully beating up thugs and scarfing down street turkey I can’t help but feel a little left out.
This list was a bit harder to fill out than I thought it would be. Believe me, meticulous Wikia research was conducted to bring you this list. Factoring in both in game actions and character history.
For example Mario is only ever seen eating mushrooms, beans and herbs in the games. But if you leave him alone to fall asleep in Mario 64 he sleep talks about spaghetti and ravioli. I can’t guarantee these are of the veggie variety so he’s off my list!
Now that’s all out of the way we can begin with the Top 5 Video Game Vegetarians!
Yes, Link. The Hero of Time himself is a vegetarian in this specific game. The only food we see him partake in is Lon Lon Milk (from the cows at the Lon Lon Ranch obviously). The reason it’s only this specific games is that in most future titles the red and blue potions you can drink to refill health and magic respectively are made from Monster Jelly! In Ocarina of Time the red potion recipe is kept secret and other potions you can make use mushrooms as the main ingredient.
This incarnation of Link was raised by the Kokiri, a tribe of simple forest imps presided over by a giant sentient tree. So I like to think that Link’s vegetarianism is his own lifestyle choice.
Putting Link on this list does come with one caveat though… he tends to roam the land hacking down any non human he comes across. Bugs, Lizard men, wolves, bats, living skeletons, no one is safe! But hey, at least he never ate a burger made from this guy.
That’s something right?
4. Jack – BioShock
In Bioshock Jack spends the whole time trapped in the failed underwater utopia called Rapture. So naturally the food options would be a bit limited 20,000 leagues under the sea in a city inhabited by mutants and failed experiments.
Bioshock’s food offerings include creme-filled Cake, pep bar and potato chips. All washed down with myriad forms of alcoholic beverages.
Not the best overall diet but vegetarian nonetheless. Granted Jack’s strange diet of protein bars, creme cakes and whiskey is more a product of his current circumstances but not a lot is known about Jack outside of this game. You do find out late game that he was grown in a test tube and is only about 4 years old so for all we know he could have lived on a rudimentary paste containing all essential vitamins and minerals before we see him.
3. Jade – Beyond Good and Evil
Jade lives on the futuristic Orwellian planet of Hyllis. A world inhabited by anthropomorphic animals such as bird humanoids, cow humanoids and shark humanoids who all live and work together. So you can imagine that the prospect of eating animals might be a bit taboo in this world.
Jade’s official occupation is a photo-journalist which allows her fund the orphanage she helps run with her Pig-man Uncle Pey’J. Early on in the games she also get’s recruited by The IRIS Network, an underground rebel organisation that gets information out to the public that the government tries to cover up. She’s a progressive liberal hero and an inspiration to freedom fighters everywhere.
The only foods we see Jade eat in the world are Starkos which looks a bit like a stale slice of sponge cake. And K-Bups which look like an alien berry growth thing? Both are described as “Synthetic food of the Hillyan people”. So I would assume that most of the population are vegetarian/vegan. After all, eating meat might get a bit awkward when you’re neighbours are a sentient pig and cow.
2. The Villager – Animal Crossing
Here’s another girl that lives and works with animal people. Towns in Animal Crossing typically only have 1 human living there. You’re tasked with looking after the town because your animal neighbours don’t seem to care enough to do it themselves. But regardless of their shortcomings Villager is a friend to all of her animal peers.
The Villager really is a little farming hero, she does all her own forestry and gardening work. Cleans up any weeds and rubbish left on the ground and generally make the town a better place for everyone. Embodying the simple life, she barely has a carbon footprint and there’s no way in the game to harm any of the creatures except for the cockroaches that occasionally invade your home.
The only food you can actively eat in the game are fruits, coconuts and turnips. So as far as we see she lives on a strict vegan diet. I would say they’re one the most animal friendly human characters in gaming.
1. Bulbasaur – Pokémon
Good old number #001. Out of the now #622 pokemon there are currently Bulbasaur will always be my favourite because he was the first pokemon I ever picked back in 1999 on my 11th birthday. Bulbasaur is a Grass/Poison type and is basically a little dinosaur with a closed flower bud on his back. He’s a solid choice for any young trainer boasting impressive special attack and defence stats.
The world of pokemon does seem pretty animal friendly at a glance. Everyone talks about how much they love their pokemon which are the animals of their world. But there are some references to humans eating pokemon specifically they mention that the wild duck pokemon Farfetch’d was nearly hunted to extinction! There’s also the Donphan(or elephant) in the room of all of the government sanctioned animal fighting that goes on. They tell you that the pokemon like battling and leveling up but do they really know that?
All the items you can feed your pokemon are made from berries and the potions that restore your health are sprays according to the in game art. So it’s likely that all pokemon owned by trainers are vegetarian by circumstance. Bulbasaur goes a step further and can produce his own nourishing seeds from the bud on it’s back. So in addition being a vegan he’s self sustaining too.
He can also take in sunlight through his flower bud and fire it back out in the devastating Solar Beam, one of the strongest grass type attacks.
A true eco warrior, Bulbasaur is more than worthy of being the number 1 vegetarian in gaming.
Disagree? Know something or someone I’ve glaringly omitted? Feel free to leave any suggestions in the comments.