In "Rogue Planet", Archer states that hunting went out of style on Earth over a hundred years ago.

However, the crew of the Enterprise clearly eat meat and, in "Dead Stop", Commander Tucker would eat replicated catfish and compare it (fairly favourably) to "the real thing". So it seems clear enough that humans of this era do not replicate all of their meat with the protein resequencer.

How, then, should we reconcile these two facts? Does Archer make some distinction between "hunting" and "farming" (which seems particularly dubious in the case of fish), or is this a plot-hole? Or is there perhaps something more... sinister... going on?

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    I would guess he meant hunting for sport went out of style. Commented Mar 14, 2013 at 15:54
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    Don't see why farming seems dubious in the case of fish, especially catfish. And most meat consumers eat today is 'farmed' (cattle farms, pig farms, etc). How much hunting today is done for actual need as opposed to just sport ?
    – Stan
    Commented Mar 14, 2013 at 15:55
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    Archer hunts the most dangerous animal of all, Xindi. Commented Mar 14, 2013 at 16:02
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    @Stan I mean that there is little distinction between hunting and farming for fish, because fish are generally farmed from their natural habitat. Though fish farms do exist. And I'd forgotten about hunting for sport. Commented Mar 14, 2013 at 16:09
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    @LightnessRacesinOrbit Those are for other species of fish. If you like tuna, tuna isn't (currently) farmable. Cod isn't, haddock isn't, etc. Those are the ones that they use nets and longlines and whatnot on. Some research has been done on farming those (and since the Japanese will buy a single tuna for well over $1 million there's much demand), but it's still tricky and expensive.
    – John O
    Commented Mar 14, 2013 at 17:11

3 Answers 3


Archer meant hunting for sport/pleasure had gone out-of-style, along with other "bad habits": as mentioned by Commander Riker in First Contact: After first contact with the Vulcans, war, disease and pollution were quickly eradicated once humanity started pulling together.

Farming would still be necessary as not all food is replicated (any references comparing their food to the "real thing").

  • Also it is far from certain to say all people do not hunt, hundreds of year later Chakotay's father, who was a naturalist, would have almost certainly hunted his own food.
    – Caimen
    Commented Mar 15, 2013 at 19:15
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    @Caimen - he would have eaten what he killed, not done it for pleasure. Even so, he as in a distinct minority, I'm using ALL in a general sense, there may have been 1 or 2 humans in the Federation (how many billion?) who did kill for pleasure.
    – SteB
    Commented Mar 15, 2013 at 22:48

Like many things in Star Trek this is one of those details about future human life that is thrown out because it is what the writers' consider chracteristic of an 'enlightened' society - not because it really makes any sense in the larger context of the fictional world that has been created. Unfortunately these little tidbits are more often reflective of the ideals held by typical left leaning urbanites that form a significant part of the hollywood machine. The quotes mentioned here are a case in point of the view that we 'enslave' animals and other such nonsense like the fact that there is no 'money' yet there is clearly commerce in the future.


In TOS: 'All Our Yesterdays', Spock realizes something is wrong when he consumes meat. Quote: I’m behaving disgracefully. I’ve eaten animal flesh and I’ve enjoyed it. What’s wrong with me?

In a scene from Star Trek the Next Generation, 'Lonely Among Us':

Riker: We no longer enslave animals for food purposes.
Antican: But we have seen humans eat meat.
Riker: You’ve seen something as fresh and tasty as meat, but inorganically materialized out of patterns used by our transporters.
Antican: Sickening!

So apparently they don't hunt or farm animals.

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    Okay but that is not Enterprise-era. In fact that is two distinct eras separated by like 100 years. Commented Mar 15, 2013 at 10:07
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    True enough. It was late when I posted and missed that distinction. I can see by the criticism that it's better to say nothing than be to incorrect or in error while in the company of such mighty men.
    – Morgan
    Commented Mar 15, 2013 at 14:41
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    No need to get defensive. You made an error and I pointed it out. Move on! Commented Mar 15, 2013 at 15:02
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    @Morgan: The negative votes are perfectly fine given that your answer has wrong information. Why would we make a positive/neutral vote? If we did that, we would be misleading visitors. Truly, don't take it personal - it isn't you, it is the answer itself.
    – Saturn
    Commented Mar 15, 2013 at 20:46
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    Omega, I'm new here and am still learning how things are done and what things mean. If no offence was intended and that's how it's done here then OK, I'm fine with that and apologise for my ignorance. I shall endeavour to do better. As for the chess, I play at a site with 30k active players with a million games in progress. Even so, I'll check the chess offering here at your recommendation. Thanks for your input and appologies to Lightness for my ignorance
    – Morgan
    Commented Mar 15, 2013 at 22:38

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