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Topic: Elves diet

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Hobbit from Hobbiton - Rank 4
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Posts: 217
Date: Jul 13, 2009
Elves diet

This may be a silly question

Who thinks elves are vegetarian ?

I know it seem stupid, but I can imagine Dwarves and Men tucking into a shoulder of lamb...but not Elves

Love Light and Peace
Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Posts: 564
Date: Jul 13, 2009
Tolkien's Elves appear to eat meat according to the earlier stages of the legendarium. From The Lay of the Children of Hurin, for example:

On a time was Turin at the table of Thingol
there was laughter long and the loud clamour
of a countless company that quaffed the mead,
amid the wine of Dor-Winion that went ungrudged
in their golden goblets; and goodly meats
there burdened the boards, neath the blazing torches


The question might be: did JRRT change his mind with respect to The Lord of the Rings and later? For myself I do not think so. I see no reason to think that Legolas did not partake of all the 'flotsam and jetsam meal' for instance. And I think it's implied in The Fall of Gondolin (early 1950s version) that Voronwe and Tuor will eat meat in order to survive.

An argument might be made for the Green Elves of Ossiriand however: according to the Quenta tradition, the Nandor of Ossiriand heard that a lord of the Eldar from over the Sea was among Men, and they sent messages concerning these new folk, part of which included:

'And these folk are hewers of trees and hunters of beasts; therefore we are their unfriends,...'

But it was Finrod who had met Beor and his Men due to hunting with Maglor and Maedros, so if these Green Elves did not hunt, others did.

Of course I realize that hunting and eating meat are not the same thing, but for myself I would need some fairly convincing argument to split that particular hair.

Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Posts: 2372
Date: Jul 13, 2009
Not forgetting that many Elves were hunters of beasts (aside from the creatures of Melkor), and hunting beasts for the sake of hunting alone, without the intention of eating them, would be a very 'un-Elvish' thing to do.

I was going to quote some of the instances of hunters in The Silmarillion but there are too many.

My Master Sauron the Great bids thee Welcome....
Soldier of Beleriand - Rank 3
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Posts: 129
Date: Jul 28, 2009
Although several instances in the text will strongly suggest Elves hunt and eat meat, as pointed out by Galin and mos, Elves do give off a sort of Buddhist, environmentalist vibe. I sort of picture them as tall, willowy model types.  Despite the fact that they almost certainly do eat meat, I can relate to your mental image of them as vegetarians.

-- Edited by The Secret Fire on Tuesday 28th of July 2009 01:59:56 AM

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