"Starved" Character Analysis and the Ethics That Follow
Updated: Feb 10
(Update: For more info on the character, for better context, scroll to the end of this article).
(For an article on being a vegetarian, click here)
The one known as "Starved", is an alternative, horror-based version of a certain villain, whose franchise is aimed at younger audiences. However, despite the said nature of that franchise, many, many horror-versions of existing characters were made by fans, including "Starved" over here.
There is something I find very funny regarding this character, and it's the fact that it fails to rationally scare me. The reason of that is simple -- he is addicted to a meat of certain kind, and yet, he isn't a cannibal. As a result, if I were an animal, I'd be scared of the guy, but I'm human, so it would be difficult for me to put myself in an animal's shoes, because I will never be non-human.
Beyond the cheap trick of "Jumpscares", I don't really see any reason to be horrified by a character who is just addicted to animal meat. "Starved" is so addicted to it, it is presumed that he gained time travel abilities, just to be able to devour THE WHOLE WORLD infinite times. I mean... it's not very horrific, is it? It's just sad; sad that you are addicted to something so much, you are willing to travel back in time just to feed your addiction, literally.
I'm not really sure how one is supposed to manage to eat all of wildlife in the world, until the idea of time travel, for that sake, is even important. I can understand, from a philosophical standpoint, the appeal in time travel as a concept; it has appeal to it, you can escape from dangerous situations, and most importantly, prevent things -- and beings -- from occurring.
It is indeed amusing for people to contemplate about going back in time and killing Adolf Hitler, not only because of my own ethnicity, but also because such action can theoretically prevent the loss of millions of lives.
However, when a global supply of food is not enough for a single man, that's simply saddening and not particularly horrifying. It is, ultimately, one of the main functions of horror-based content -- to frighten us.
I don't think I ever watched "The Silence of the Lambs", but I do know that the main villain, Dr. Hannibal Lecter is a cannibal, and therefore, I find that guy, who was locked up in prison, to be a far scarier character, than someone like "Starved", whose philosophy in life is literally eat and eat.
When you are alone in a room with Lecter, he could make a meal out of you, but as long as you're human, there is no practicality in being afraid from Starved, whose whole motive is to not starve.
Do you see the irony in his name/nickname? Because of his abilities at catching animals and his supposedly high intelligence, it's hard to understand why such a huntsman and chef would be starved... That is, especially, when you can reset your timeline, just to have more to it.
The certain meat this character eats, as said before, is unique, and thus different from meat we have in real life. I think it's called... "flicky" meat?
Anyways, the consequences of eating this meat are so severe, that you eventually become red, lose any hair (I think?) and get completely black eyes. And yet, despite the implications, I for some reason, should be afraid of a character who is essentially an addict who should deserve mercy.
One could claim that pity is an opposite of fear, even though courage is the primary contradiction. That's because when we pity, most of the chances are we are not afraid the one we are pitiful towards. A stronger adversary is not someone one should pity, but be afraid of, especially when they are stronger than you. However, a heavy addict to flesh that isn't ours... where is the horror-factor, exactly?
For those not in the know, I used to be vegetarian for a few years. I don't have exact numbers, but I think it was from 2012 to 2016, around 4 years. I do feel pitiful towards animals who become food, even though I myself eat meat, because it's not their fault for being in the lower food chain.
To be clear, I only returned to "being a carnivore" because my hunger is large and could not be satisfied by the many alternatives I ate at the time.
So, as a carnivore myself, I could understand the hunger this character has, because most often than not, meat is satisfying to one's hunger. That is a personal reason as to why I am not afraid of this carnivore myself; "we are not very different", as it goes, him and I, and perhaps some of you as well.
The primary reason I bring this character up in my website is because I am very fond of villains, and I study some of them, mainly through videos, in my spare time. However, "Starved" over here, despite being a villain, isn't particularly scary, or necessarily evil.
If you've seen the "Lion King", the main bad guys, the hyenas, were scammed into believing that they will never be hungry again. That was, indeed, their whole reasoning to joining the villain, Scar, who simply used them to take over his brother's throne. (Wrote about it here)
And now, answer me this: How is the desire of eating, from a moral standpoint, something evil? No, I don't promote cannibalism, nor support it, but many humans, like hyneas, are carnivores, by choosing to demand meat. Humans, at the very least, choose. It's not as bad as "taking over the world" or committing genocides like Hitler, but as a vegetarian, I can see why some people might deem this an unethical motive.
And "Starved" is nothing more than a meat-addicted scientist with an agonizing apetite that never seems to end. It's one of the reasons it's imperative to distinguish between hunger and apetite.
I do wonder, however, if plants can have emotions as well, if they have consciousness like we and other lifeforms have. Why am I wondering that? Because eating plants could theoretically be "on the same weight" as eating animals. What's the point of eating anything, if these things lived before, and were served on our plates?
I wouldn't be surprised to hear, if true, that plants can have similar "mental" experience as the rest of the natural kingdom. Bear in mind, that the fact that something is silent, does not mean it isn't alive. Plants do not exactly have facial expressions we can use to determine the nature of their existence.
When I studied the philosophy of mind in university, I got convinced that behaviourism, a philosophy that sees behaviour as a sign for sentience, is just not true. We can't exactly read a plant's thoughts, right? Then, why conclude, through ignorance, that they are incapable of thoughts, feelings and so on?
But yes, if it weren't for my big appetite, I would consider eating salads instead. However, whenever I eat one, my hunger remains almost unaffected, which is unfortunate, I admit.
Here is the site that talks about this character. Enter at your own risk in mind for further info if interested. Thanks once again for your attention.