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Considering how connected the Na'vi are to everything around them, and the anguish that they suffer when something dies or is killed, are they vegetarian? While hunting appears to be a coming of age challenge, do they also eat the kill? Even if they do, is flesh part of their regular diet?

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    Why would herbivores have teeth like that? Or binocular vision for that matter. Sep 2, 2013 at 17:12
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    @muistooshort Omnivores whose society turned vegetarian would
    – Izkata
    Sep 2, 2013 at 17:14
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    Why in the name of sanity would they (their culture) even learn hunting. Talking about their emotional attachment with everything around them, it had a limit because after all they used to hunt.
    – user931
    Dec 29, 2018 at 14:54

2 Answers 2

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They're omnivorous. Hunting is an integral part of their culture, as is eating hunted meat.

The movie script makes it abundantly clear that the Na'vi eat what they hunt and kill

JAKE : I made a kill today. We ate it. I know where that meal came from.

and this scene (mirroring the deleted scene below) appears in the film's official junior novelisation when Jake first spends the evening at Home Tree.

Neytiri shoves a plate of food in front of Jake. He picks up a slippery white bit of something and tosses it in his mouth. It pops on his tongue and tastes divine—the perfect blend of salt and something else he can't quite put his finger on. "These rock! What are they?" he asks Neytiri.
"Teylu," she answers, annoyed and not looking at him. "You call them beetle larvae."
Jake coughs, spits out what's left in his mouth, and wipes his face furiously. He sees that Neytiri has a grin on her face, and he realizes that to fit in and to learn, he is going to have to try a lot of new things. He puts his hand on the plate again and shoves a big handful of the teylu into his mouth.

James Cameron's Avatar: The Na'vi Quest


The official movie Pandorapedia confirms that the Na'vi eat a varied diet that includes meat:

enter image description here

It also specifically references various Na'vi artifacts relating to the preparation, storage and eating of meat and fish

  • Na'vi ground racks:

    Rack for smoking meats

    The Na'vi believe that it is vital to honor the animal who gave up its life for the good of the clan. For this reason, these ground racks never fall into a state of disrepair or uncleanliness that might indicate a lack of respect for both animal and hunter.

  • Meat wraps:

    Thick leaf, usually from unidelta tree, wrapped around cooked meat (usually hexapede or sturmbeest).

  • and the fact that the Na'vi...

    ...pride themselves on arranging meats, vegetables, seeds, spices and fruits into a myriad of combinations. Different Na'vi clans are known for their unique nikt'chey, based largely upon local flora and fauna.

Notably, in the film they also use the animal by-products for bowstrings, leather and to feed their own animals.


You can also see from various concept sketches by Senior "Costume and Props Concept Artist" Craig Shoji, the Navi also enjoy a varied diet of teylu grubs, meat and fish...

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An earlier (unproduced) version of the script has Jake (then Josh) eating a wide variety of indigenous foodstuffs including local meat:

Josh eats dinner with them, and is made welcome. He is served some cooked fish, and some hexapede meat. It's delicious. Zuleika offers him some steamed grubs, and he doesn't want to be rude, especially not with her, so...

They turn out to be sweet, with a consistency a bit like shrimp. He has a second helping, making a show of learning the Na'vi word for it.

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I don't think that they're vegetarian. Remember when Neytiri teaches Jake how to hunt. She simply said that he hunts in a good way for a Na'vi.

So, I think if the Na'vi hunt, they eat meat. If they don't eat, why kill animals?

They suffer only when the animal is killed for a bad reason.

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    Thank you. I've mentioned the hunting challenge in my question. We don't actually see them eating the animal. The challenge could have been a test of manhood and revolved around protecting the tribe rather than killing the wildlife for food. I am hoping for some other indication of their diet. Sep 2, 2013 at 16:37
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    It's just a supposition. Indeed, we don't see them eat meat. But, in the Na'vi vision of life, I think they don't kill just for the challenge. I'm sorry, it's the only argument I have.
    – Lexaelle
    Sep 2, 2013 at 16:53
  • Killing for fun is hardly more noble than killing for survival.
    – Oldcat
    Jun 19, 2014 at 0:14
  • @Oldcat - I think most people would agree that killing things for your own amusement is not "noble".
    – Valorum
    Jun 21, 2014 at 6:48

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