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Exploring Veganism In ‘The Promised Neverland’

When material as powerful as The Promised Neverland comes along, should we not ponder what is on our plates?



Veganism! It’s an adored topic, free from even an iota of ignorance. People far and wide love conversations concerning the ethical sacrifice of luxuries, scrutiny of societal normalization, and uncomfortable moral analysis. Hence, veganism, gun control, and not being a transphobic heap of human garbage are greeted with glowing open-mindedness.

I jest. People hate vegans. “Down with the new, stick with the old” reigns as humanity’s mantra. Opposition to the status quo is shunned. Veganism is rarely portrayed in a positive, or even neutral, light in entertainment. And when it does crop up, it’s to dish out generic jabs at vegans being preachy pretentious pussies (awesome alliteration alert!). So, when once in a bajillion years a show makes a case for veganism, it’s worth checking out.

The Promised Neverland is a 2019 anime based on a manga by Kaiu Shirai. Its premise is as follows:

Grace Field House is an orphanage chock-full of, unsurprisingly, orphans (37 to be exact). Protagonist Emma is 11 and loves life in her peacefully perfect home. Periodically, children are adopted, upon which they’re ushered to their new life.

Alas, this is but a front to a sinister truth. Grace Field House is a human farm, where children exist as food for a species higher in the food chain: demons. Taking our real-world role of farm animals, Emma and her friends are bred, raised, and murdered, all so a ‘better’ species can relish the crispy skin and juicy flesh of ‘meat’.

The parallels with animal farming are blatant. So, let’s dive into the moral questions posed by this divisive topic, and give ourselves some food for thought (pun intended).

Yas vegan, preach!

Irrespective of one’s tone when discussing veganism, it’ll inevitably be triggering because it challenges rigidly deep-rooted opinions. The pushback to veganism is understandable because upon accepting it, we must abandon eggs, ditch dairy, and sacrifice steak. That’s a nuisance, so we champion the battle cry of “Love animals, except when we must question our own behavior.” Sure, it’s a shit battle cry, but it’s easy to abide by. It’s convenient to condemn lab testing and trophy hunting because they don’t give us joy, but a bacon and cheese sandwich…

We all don the badge of ‘animal lover’ when discussing the indiscriminate beating of a dog, but what about when the victim’s pain benefits us?

The Promised Neverland poses questions regarding our relationship with animals. Is killing animals moral if:

  • We’re a ‘better’ species?
  • We find their meat tastier than a plant-based alternative?
  • The life they’ve lived prior to slaughter has been peaceful?

If the answer is yes, then The Promised Neverland’s demons bear identical morality to us. Therefore, is our antagonistic perception of them not hypocritical? Albeit, humans (whom we naturally hold dearer) replace animals in The Promised Neverland, but are the moral principles not transferable? Demons, a ‘better’ species, are rightfully reigning supreme. Why should they abstain from eating humans if they don’t want to? What are you, vegan? Pussy! Eating humans is a convenient source of protein. Humans exist for a reason. It’s the circle of life. Our ancestors ate humans. Why do you think you’re better for not eating humans?

If livestock lives a good life, can its slaughter be justified? Does humane slaughter exist? We defend animal farming by saying “With high farming and slaughterhouse standards, our eating of animals is moral.” Assuming this was the case, are the demons’ diets in The Promised Neverland not defendable? Emma and her friends live in peace before they’re slaughtered in a predominantly painless manner (blood extraction into a vampiric plant). If this isn’t humane, then what is?

The dictionary definition of humane is ‘having or showing compassion or benevolence’. So, is it possible to implement compassion and benevolence into the act of slaughtering a human or animal that’s happy, healthy, and doesn’t want to die? If not, then is humane slaughter an oxymoron? Why would the meat industry coin a term like ‘humane slaughter’ anyway?

Kill the cow, pet the dog.

Demons’ morality regarding life and species is flimsily inconsistent too. In the very first episode, an exchange between two demons when discussing the potential source of a noise goes:

“If it was a stray cat, I would have caught it and ate it.”

“You eat things like cats?”

The notion of demons chomping down humans but raising eyebrows (assuming they have eyebrows) at the thought of cat consumption, mirrors us nonchalantly eating farm animals but questioning the notion of eating pets. For both demons and us, our perception and treatment of species are dictated by cultural and societal norms. Said norms affect parameters between humans too — like the acceptance of minority races and LGBTQ+ people. If cultural and societal norms justify our perception and treatment of animals, do they justify our perception and treatment of humans?

  • If yes, can a country like Iran, which imposes the death penalty on homosexuality, be defended under the banner of “It’s their cultural and societal norm, as well as their historical identity”?
  • If no, why is this drastic distinction between species made? Is it a product of logic, or bias?

Speciesism will always exist, and we will naturally prioritize some lives over others (like demons over humans, humans over dogs, and dogs over flies). But do we deserve complete control over the physical and biological autonomy of farm animals? Where do we draw the line regarding the freedom we have over other species?

“But bacon…” said the deep thinker.

Personal gain is something to consider too, as The Promised Neverland’s demons no doubt love the taste of humans. On this note of our pleasure overriding others’ suffering: is robbery moral if the stolen money pays for our dream car? Is sexual assault moral if the victim is attractive enough? Do our entitled demands of privilege matter more than the lives of others? If no, then how can demons defend eating humans, and similarly, how can we defend eating animals (when not as an act of self-preservation, but of taste luxury)?

The Promised Neverland’s manga later explores more animal themed topics, such as factory farms and hunting for ‘sport’ (killing for fun). With it being said there are infinitely more factory farms than premium farms like Grace Field House, it holds up a repulsive mirror to reality. The humans live, if one could even call it that, in hellish conditions. With no quality of existence, they’re painfully exploited, strapped to machines, and fattened for slaughter. If the bulk of America’s farms are factory farms like this, should we intervene?

The Promised Neverland is a rare instance where entertainment embraces the controversial topic of veganism and explores it through an addictively riveting story. To ignore its blatant themes of animal liberation is like watching The Great Dictator and disregarding its anti-fascist politics. It’s a disservice to the creator’s vision.

Nobody is at fault for eating animals, as when something is so prevalently normalized it’s natural to live in a bubble of disconnect. Similarly, a demon residing in a world where eating humans is accepted (and celebrated) isn’t at fault. But, when material as powerful as The Promised Neverland comes along, should we not ponder what is on our plates, and ask if we can defend how it got there?

Just as The Promised Neverland listens to humans, it’s time we listen to animals. Veganism is not about putting animals first, it’s about considering them in the conversation. Where do our hearts lie if not with victims?

Watch The Promised Neverland on Crunchyroll HERE!



  1. taylor

    May 29, 2020 at 2:40 pm

    This is a great article, and poses a lot of the questions that came to my own mind as I read it. For me, I believe that if I have the means to not eat meat, and can fully afford to go plant-based, that is what I’m going to do. However, if something happens, similar to Emma and the cattle children hunting to survive, then I will survive, but not disrespect or disregard the life I took.
    Again, great article, thank you for writing it!

    • Harry Morris

      May 29, 2020 at 3:22 pm

      Thank you so much, I’m really glad you enjoyed it! <3 Self-preservation must always come first, but the overwhelming majority of people are able to go vegan with a bit of research and willpower. If I can do it, someone who was massively addicted to milk chocolate for my entire life, I'm certain anyone can. 😉

  2. Gore up in ya guts

    May 30, 2020 at 12:34 pm

    Holy shit that is a bunch of spazzing and bad analogies in that article. And lol at killing animals not being moral. Animals kill animals all the time. Oh, hate to tell you, but plants are alive and there is some research saying they feel pain as well. (see end)

    We are special because we have consciousness. Life is meant to be eaten. Everything eats something else that is alive. That is the way the world is. If something tries to kill us we kill them because we can.

    So sorry, demons eating people is not the same as people eating cows. People still have consciousness. I guess demons do too. Then we hold them responsible for their actions…which we don’t or shouldn’t do that to animals that are acting out of instinct.

    Cows can eat grass. Animals that cannot eat grass might be able to eat cows.

    Now, if you want to get “what is moral” I will agree all day long that some of the brutal corporate farms are pretty fucking nasty and shit should be done about that.

    What a lot of vegans are actually are misanthropes that use veganism to virtue signal while deep down they are resentful and bitter and really don’t like people.

    PS I have dated and even married a vegetarian and never tried to get her to stop. She did get me to stop eating veal but that is it. She wasn’t political or anything just too fucking nice.

    PPS there is no veganism in TPN, you are giving it a marxist-vegan reading…

    Now for do plants feel pain??? From PETA website.

    “Do plants feel pain?The simple answer is that, currently, no one is sure whether plants can feel pain. We do know that they can feel sensations. Studies show that plants can feel a touch as light as a caterpillar’s footsteps. But pain, specifically, is a defense mechanism. If something hurts humans, we react instinctually to it—“fight or flight”—as do other animals. But plants don’t have that ability—nor do they have nervous systems or brains—so they may have no biological need to feel pain. We just don’t know. However, it is possible that plants have intelligence and sentience that we cannot yet detect. One day, we might learn that plants have ways of experiencing pain that we have yet to comprehend.”

    Now from an article on the internets:

    ” Plants defend against herbivores with mechanical wounding, barriers, secondary metabolites, and attraction of parasitoids. ”

    ^oh, plants DO HAVE DEFENSE MECHANISMS….you think these developed because other things did not HURT the plant??? PETA is very arrogant claiming ” requires far fewer plants and doesn’t hurt animals, who, we already know for sure, feel pain”. Every living thing FEELS pain.

    HOW DO I KNOW THIS?? Evolution. It is an evolutionary advantage to feel pain…aka your structure being damaged. Plants fucking feel it. They can’t move as much but they can evolve mechanisms to prevent something from harming it. Why do you think some plants are poisonous???

    PPS how about this…there is a FOOD CHAIN because that is the way nature intended it. There has to be population control for everything. If you don’t kill deer they become to great in number and then starve. It is a nice balance of things that can eat other things.

    Now what is the apex predator population control??? War. Our habit of killing each other. Plagues. Viruses. Covids and all. Plus an intelligence that can screw over our biological programming to reproduce (see lower birthrates of atheists).

    • Harry Morris

      May 30, 2020 at 12:47 pm

      Wow! There’s a lot to unpack in this comment. Let’s get to it!

      . Animals do kill other animals, but should we hold our own actions to the standards of animals? Many animals eat their young and rape one another, so should we hold ourselves to these standards too?

      . Even if hypothetically plants do feel pain, the majority of plant life is fed to the sixty-billion animals we farm and kill each year. Therefore, to reduce plant suffering, a vegan diet is still the best choice.

      . The definition of consciousness is the state of being aware of and responsive to one’s surroundings. Animals, whilst not as intelligent as humans, still bear consciousness, emotions, and pain receptors, therefore elevating their existence to what many would agree to be worthwhile. If animals don’t have value, would you feel comfortable with a stray dog being beaten, or a stray cat being shot? What if the dog or cat were eaten afterwards? How does one logically define the worth of an animal’s life?

      . Factory farms are indeed immoral, I’m glad we agree. So, what are you doing about it? How are you standing up to factory farms?

      . You’re making a blanket assumption about vegans, and it weakens your argument. If I claimed “A lot of non-vegans are animal hating bloodthirsty nutters”, not only would I be deeply wrong, but I would sound petty and ridiculous. A lot of vegans just want to help animals, and they want to encourage others to do the same (because they like animals), that’s all. Liking animals doesn’t equate to a hatred of people (I personally like people, and think there are countless social and political causes concerning people that are deeply important).

      . Art is subjective, and different people find different themes in the entertainment they consume. I, and many others, found The Promised Neverland to bear vegan messages. Maybe you didn’t, and that’s okay. Again, art is subjective.

      . At no point does my article tell you what to think. It just asks questions. As a reader, you can draw your own conclusions.

      Thanks for reading my article anyway. I’m sorry it struck such a nerve with you, but I hope my response answered some of your arguments. If you’d like me to provide any sources for the points I made, or elaborate further, just ask! 🙂

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Anime Ichiban 33: Coming into Maturity



Anime Ichiban welcomes our anime waifu overlords, old and new. Join Matt and Kyle this episode as they discuss the return of the Goddess of Anime, Haruhi Suzumiya herself, then hop on over to the new virutal sensation that’s finally sweeping English-speaking nations: Hololive Vtubers!

For this episode of Anime Ichiban, the SHITSUMON! topic will have the duo diving into recently released Aggretsuko Season 3 and The Great Pretender and explore how the two shows work with mature themes.


0:00 – Introductions and what we’ve been up to
23:33 – The Return of Haruhi Suzumiya(‘s light novels)
37:23 – The Debut of Generation 1 of Hololive English Vtubers
53:07 – Minor news roundup: (Shenmue anime announced; Fate/Stay Night Heaven’s Feel Part 3 movie debuts to huge success; KyoAni fire updates)
58:35 – SHITSUMON! How does anime portray mature themes in its storytelling?

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Anime Ichiban 32: The Art of Following a Formula

Corporate shakeups and Galapagos Syndrome spell omens of a changing global landscape for the anime industry.



diary of our days at breakwater

Corporate shakeups and Galapagos Syndrome spell omens of a changing global landscape for the anime industry and that the crew digs into along with how a series can effectively perform within its genre conventions.


0:00 – Introductions
12:28 – Legacy piracy site KissAnime shuts down
28:45 – AT&T reportedly looking to sell Crunchyroll
43:27 – Galapagos Syndrome: Is anime in danger of losing its global identity?
58:41 – News Reel
1:02:20 – SHITSUMON! How do shows perform effectively and still entertain in genres whose formulae are already well known and expected?


Intro – “Cagayake! GIRLS” by Houkago Tea Time (K-ON! opening theme)
Outro – “Tsuri no sekai e” by Umino High School Breakwater Club (Our Diary at the Breakwater ending theme)

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‘One Piece: Stampede’ is an All-Star Behemoth Buckling Under Predictability

Does One Piece: Stampede sail all the way to Laugh Tale, or remain anchored in an East Blue of mediocrity?



As the fourteenth film in Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece saga, One Piece: Stampede was released in 2019 to critical and financial success. As a big-budget commemoration of the anime’s 20th anniversary, Stampede has lots to live up to, from successfully stamping a momentous two decades, to satiating the hype of a passionate global fanbase. Does it sail all the way to Laugh Tale, or remain anchored in an East Blue of mediocrity?

It’s party time at the Pirate Fest!

The Pirate Fest, a grand gathering of the sea’s most infamous individuals, is underway! At the festival, the Straw Hats compete with their Worst Generation rivals to retrieve a treasure of Gol D. Roger. But behind the scenes, festival organiser Buena Festa and legendary pirate Douglas Bullet are scheming something sinister.

Cutting to the chase, One Piece: Stampede soon kicks into an all-out battle against said Douglas Bullet, with Luffy working with friend and foe alike to fell his opponent.

Much like Dragon Ball Super: Broly, also animated by Toei Animation, each frame of One Piece: Stampede is a treasure to behold. Fluid animation and colors spell eye-candy magic, and the odd bit of 3D animation isn’t (too) visually jarring.

One Piece: Stampede nails its mission statement of lightning-paced popcorn entertainment to a tee. Goofy shonen films don’t have to transcend ‘awesome action and silly superpowers’. Rather than shooting for the moon and coming up short, Stampede settles for smashing the sky. With white-knuckle fights and satisfying character moments conveyed with a zippy pace, One Piece: Stampede assuredly brings what fans want. And whilst not as developed or memorable as other film baddies (One Piece: Strong World’s Shiki or One Piece: Z’s titular Z), Douglas Bullet is terrifyingly tough enough to tick the boxes.

Playing It Safe

Whilst the ‘playing it safe’ ethos of One Piece: Stampede succeeds on the surface, the imaginative innovation of One Piece: Baron Omatsuri and the Secret Island is missing, and the excess of characters prevents the possibility of channeling the simplicity of One Piece: Dead End Adventure. Stampede works as anniversary celebratory bombast but isn’t the series’ smartest, and with the core of the film occurring in a single spot and under dull skies, location fatigue rears its head.

For some, the draw of One Piece: Stampede is its constant character cameos. From the instantly recognizable to the deep cuts, it’s a fun gimmick for fans, although the absence of big names like Kuzan and Jinbei are noticeable. Some cameos fall on the side of groan inducing-ly forced, shoehorning a requisite Zoro fight, or overtly shouting to audiences “Remember them?!” Having no effect on the story, these cameos are clunky and break narrative immersion.

Far from the worst of One Piece’s wildly varied films, Stampede is what it needs to be. It lacks the creative spirit of One Piece’s heights and is dampened by its inconsistent cameo execution, but it’s a fine anniversary celebration for one of manga and anime’s, if not the world’s, best works of fiction. For the uninitiated, it’ll be like an avant-garde acid trip, but for those clued-into Luffy’s antics, it’s a barrage of ballistic glee!

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