8

I'd guess that Cassie is a vegetarian, based on her love for animals and general character. But are there any examples where it's explicitly stated that she is?

I found one quote by Cassie from book #25 (where they're stranded in the Arctic):

Here's a clue. Don't kill a sentient creature except in absolute self-defense, try not to wipe out endangered species, and if you're going to raise animals for food, treat them as well as you possibly can. But when you're a wolf, a starving wolf wandering around the frozen Arctic, and you see a meal, eat it.

I don't consider this evidence that she's not. Most vegetarians would eat meat if they were starving to death. I'm also not sure if it means she is a vegetarian.

Also, in #3 she says:

<Who had bacon for breakfast?> Cassie turned her wolf head this way and that. <Rachel? Bacon? I thought you were going to go vegetarian!>

In #28 (thanks to @RSmith for bringing my attention to the scene) everyone orders hamburgers, except for Cassie:

"Here's your burger, Marco," Rachel said.

"Oh! I can't believe this. A burger?" Cassie said. "After Ax was nearly carved up? After being in that slaughterhouse?"

Marco opened his mouth wide and took a very large bite. He chewed as we all watched. The burger appeared to be juicy, with a great deal of tasty grease.

Rachel tapped her fingers on the table and stared at Marco with an indecipherable expression. Prince Jake also stared.

"Be right back," Rachel said and stood up.

"Get me one, too," Prince Jake said. "Extra pickles."

"Mmmfff!" I said, unable to make proper mouth sounds because of the large wad of unchewed cinnamon bun.

"I think that makes three," Prince Jake said.

While these are nice indications, is there any strong evidence that Cassie is a vegetarian, or even a vegan?

Or, on the contrary, are there examples of her eating meat?

Or even consuming eggs, dairy, etc. (meaning she's not a vegan?)

Actually, even using wool and leather would disqualify her as a vegan according to some vegans. Even riding horses, according to some, but let's not go that far.

13

There are plenty of opportunities in the books where it would have made sense for her or others to mention that she is vegetarian, if indeed she was. This isn't to say that every vegetarian character must go around evangelizing, but Cassie frequently makes moral arguments where it would have really helped for her to bring it up.

On two occasions, aliens point out to her that humans eat animals, and she never states that she doesn't.

#9 - The Secret:

"But you eat some animals", Ax pointed out. "Cows, pigs, sheep, dogs."

"We don't eat dogs!" I said.

#19 - The Departure:

"It's what we are," she yelled back. "We're parasites, you humans are predators. How many pigs and cows and chickens and sheep do you kill each year to survive? You think being a predator is morally superior to being a parasite? At least the host bodies we take remain alive. We don't kill them, cut them into pieces, and grill them over a charcoal fire in our backyards."

"We're not pigs," I said.

Hork-Bajir are explicitly stated to be vegetarians many, many times, so the series is not simply avoiding the topic. There are plenty of opportunities for it to have been mentioned that Cassie is also vegetarian.

As far as times when she has eaten meat (as a human), I only found one example.

In Megamorphs #2 - In The Time Of Dinosaurs, it was her idea to cook and eat the Tyrannosaurus they killed. She also instructs them on how to make the meat into jerky. The other characters are visibly surprised that Cassie is the one with this idea, but mostly they appear to be reacting to her survivalist attitude (Ax is the narrator at this point, and chiefly just notes everyone else's surprise).

This is the only time I have found where she explicitly eats meat.

In #44 - The Thing, she refuses to eat the witchetty grubs offered to her by the people she is staying with, but only because they gross her out. They remind her of Taxxons.

She does eat at Taco Bell a number of times, but it's never specified what she gets. (#16, #22, #23, & Megamorphs #4)

HOWEVER, there are two explicit occasions when Cassie specifically eats vegetarian.

In #12 - The Reaction, Rachel is alone in a hotel room, and orders a burger via room service. When Cassie calls to say she is coming by, Rachel calls room service back and orders a salad for Cassie.

In #43 - The Test, Jake brings burgers over to their table in a food court. Rachel and Jake both have burgers, and Cassie has a veggie wrap.

It's a bit notable that Cassie specifically eats vegetarian in these scenes, but the other Animorphs each have a "signature" food as well. Whenever they're not eating somewhere out of necessity, or eating with their parents, they tend towards certain foods. Rachel eats burgers, Marco eats nachos, and Ax eats cinnamon buns. Tobias mostly eats mice, and doesn't go to food courts that often. Jake just tends to eat whatever the person he's with is having. So eating vegetarian could just be the way her character is differentiated in these scenes.

In conclusion, the character is never said to be vegetarian and never denies eating meat. Other characters are explicitly stated as vegetarian. She explicitly eats meat one time, but they had no other choice at the time. However, other than that one exception, all food she gets or eats is either vegetarian or could be vegetarian (such as "burritos" meaning bean burritos).

My subjective take is that Cassie is characterized as a "farm girl", and spelled out to not be squeamish about things relating to animals (like blood or feces). This would probably mean she also has no illusions about where meat comes from, especially since her family's business is funded by a pet food company. Once the series is underway, she probably ceased eating meat after her experiences as an Animorph. As the quote in the OP highlights, she knows that animals eat what they eat out of necessity, and so she may be choosing to respect that and no longer eat meat simply out of desire. However, being an Animorph frequently puts her in positions where she has to eat whatever is there. This would make it the same as her not calling herself a pacifist, despite her belief in it, because she often has no choice but to fight.

Lastly, an out-of-universe take on it would be Marco would absolutely have to make jokes about it if she ever said she was vegetarian. The author may have wanted to avoid having to write mockery about it, either to not ostracize young readers considering vegetarianism, or just because there's already enough ethical debates between Marco & Cassie in the series without adding that in there too.

  • edited to add some summation, instead of just a list of evidence – friggle Sep 21 '16 at 15:31
  • I know it's been a while, but this is a very comprehensive answer. Thank you. – Revetahw Aug 19 '17 at 8:31
9

No.

Or rather, even if she is, it is neither a consistent nor important part of her character.

Cassie never expressed disapproval of eating meat, only disapproval for cruelty towards animals - which mirrors the author's own values, according to this page (KA Applegate said that she is not vegetarian, but is for the ethical treatment of animals), and Applegate's Reddit AMA, where she says:

The most fun to write was probably Marco or Rachel, although I identified most with Cassie. Cassie was closest to being me. She was ambivalent, and inconsistently moralistic, and didn't dress well, and was into animals.

As a counter-example, April, in her series Everworld, IS explicitly described as being vegetarian. Applegate clearly is aware of vegetarianism and doesn't have any hangups about making characters vegetarian, but (and this is just my own speculation), making Cassie vegetarian would possibly have made the character too cliche, in addition to being the animal-loving pacifist of the group.

  • 1
    @Fiksdal OK, but the quote from Applegate is still relevant: "I took some grief for this from the fans. A fair number were upset that I ended with all of the Animorphs ordering hamburgers. I am in favor of being as humane as possible in dealing with livestock, but I'm not a vegetarian. I kind of think that I'll start worrying about the treatment of cows more once there are no more political prisoners, no more children dying of curable diseases, and no more fanatics blowing themselves up to murder civilians." – Rand al'Thor Sep 20 '16 at 23:14
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    @Randal'Thor Yup, that quote is relevant :) Applegate identifies the most with Cassie. – Revetahw Sep 21 '16 at 8:21
  • 1
    @Fiksdal My mistake, it's been corrected. – RSmith Sep 21 '16 at 13:19
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    @Randal'Thor I didn't put that quote in the answer because it doesn't have a source. I tried to find where that quote originated from but didn't come up with anything, so take that quote with a grain of salt. – RSmith Sep 21 '16 at 14:06
3

It would be consistent with her character.

Was Cassie a vegetarian?

K.A. Applegate: Think we discussed the possibility in one of the #Animorphs. It would certainly make sense for her, right?
Twitter

  • You tweeted this to her yourself? Kudos for that, but I think her response is a bit too vague to warrant a clear "yes". I think if you just remove the "yes", your answer is great. – Revetahw Sep 17 '17 at 18:10
  • @Revetahw - This wasn't me. I've never had any luck with getting her to reply to me on Twitter. (But I'm about to add some fresh Micheal Grant tweets to that other answer.) – ibid Sep 17 '17 at 18:18
  • Oh, OK, which other answer? – Revetahw Sep 17 '17 at 18:24
  • Alright, will check your updates. – Revetahw Sep 17 '17 at 18:26

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