Riker said they no longer kill animals and Picard said they didn't exploit them anymore.

If animals weren't raised and killed for food, what did the replicators use as a template?

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    Fast food. It has nothing to do with animals either.
    – Wad Cheber
    Jul 10, 2015 at 10:26
  • I guess they killed a few animals and cooked them. I don't think they have a ban on killing animals for research purposes (plus IIRC there are restaurants on earth that serve real food, or at least I cannot imagine Joseph Sisko serving sythentic shrimps in his Gumbo). Jul 10, 2015 at 11:03
  • I wouldn't overinterpret such a comment. Just because people generally eat synthetic food doesn't mean that there are no Chefs who kill animals to create new food templates. Jul 10, 2015 at 14:06
  • Agree with @CodesInChaos. I remember a TNG episode where O'Brian tells Kako that his mother never used a replicator, she cooked food herself. Kako was astonished and said 'She handled real meat ?'. O'Brian says 'yes'.
    – Stan
    Jul 10, 2015 at 14:27
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    Also note that while a 3D print can be constructed from a scan, there is opportunity to edit the model. Most models are probably enhanced by nutritionists and what not.
    – kaine
    Jul 13, 2015 at 14:45

1 Answer 1


Speculation based on logical reasoning: He said "no longer". Presumably when replicator technology was developed, they still had ample opportunities to scan and store a real steak, to be replicated ad infinitum.

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    I also consider this the logical conclusion. The Federation stopped domesticating animals after the replicator technology became able to substitute animal products, because real animals were no longer required. The replicator template for steak might be based on the beef of a cow which died centuries ago.
    – Philipp
    Jul 10, 2015 at 10:31
  • That had better have been one good steak, if it was going to become the steak that was eaten by everyone for the next three hundred years. Jul 10, 2015 at 15:33
  • It makes me wonder if anyone really knew if something tasted just like chicken. Jul 10, 2015 at 23:35
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    I feel this jump is too much. As I pointed out above, "no longer kill animals for food" doesn't necessarily mean they don't very occasionally kill an animal to make a replicator template. Furthermore, you only need to find an occasional animal killed by accident or a predator to slice up for meat and be prepared by the superchef of the era to make new templates without the animal having been "killed for food". Jul 11, 2015 at 0:23
  • mmm...infinite steak. Dec 28, 2016 at 11:43

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