Vesk Dietary Habits?


General Discussion

Radiant Oath

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I know vesk take the cooking of meat VERY seriously, making sure to learn and master the finest meat dishes of every world they conquer, but are they obligate carnivores meaning eating grains and vegetables would make them sick, or are they omnivorous?

Would a vesk be able to enjoy a delicious brisket sandwich?


Looking at Lizards, I would say they are probably Carnivores but as a game world I would say they are Omnivores with a higher meat content.

Though after a little google I found this
Vesk: Vesk food tends to be pragmatic and utilitarian, as if every dish were handcrafted by a drill sergeant who didn’t care much for cooking. The exception to this rule is meat, which any self-respecting vesk agrees is the most crucial component of any meal. Vesk treat preparing and seasoning meat as an art, assimilating and enhancing each new world’s recipes for cooking meat almost as quickly as they conquer them.
If the exception to their basic slop food is meat, then it would mean they cook and eat other things then meat. If they was purely Carnivores then it would just speak of meat


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I tend to think of them as obligate carnivores from an early evolutionary perspective, but having adapted to be able to handle things produced from the simple facts of living in a society.

Like how humans aren't really suited to drinking milk, they kind of brute forced it because it was so advantageous to certain groups. Vegetation and grains are very important for growing populations because they're much faster to produce and you can support more people on them. So even if they continued to greatly prefer meat, I could see them eating some vegetation as a supplement.

Seasoning, variety, cooking methods, intoxicants, religion, and social pressures all could very well push a carnivorous-by-nature species to appreciate non-meats to greater or lesser extents. Technological advancement could also be in play, since supplying fresh meat during space travel could easily be a big problem adaptations like lab-grown-meat, meat-like bioengineered crops, or medical assistance (like lactaid) could have worked their way into common usage.

I would imagine a brisket sandwich could be on the menu for an adventuring Vesk, but perhaps with the assumption that they've built up a bit of a tolerance for bread that a homebody Vesk might not have.

Grand Lodge

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WatersLethe wrote:


perhaps with the assumption that they've built up a bit of a tolerance for bread that a homebody Vesk might not have.

"Wait.. those two little plates were edible?"


I would actually be inclined to go with the idea that the Vesk evolutionary ancestors ( their equivalent of chimpanzees ) were omnivorous lizards rather than pure carnivores. Developing the ability to digest plants for nutrition from scratch would be a pretty big stretch, evolution-wise, well beyond the equivalent of retaining lactose tolerance in humans. OTOH, an increasingly intelligent and social species going from "opportunistic carnivory" to "preferential carnivory" would be fairly straightforward: there's a lot of calories unlocked by your accelerating ability to hunt and kill bigger and better defended species.

Mind, this doesn't necessarily mean that there aren't a lot of cultural trends and traditions among the Vesk that *portray* themselves as having always been dominant alpha predator carnivores.


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There's one thing that made me CERTAIN that Vesk are 100% carnivores.. the Ghoran race are friends with Vesk. Considering Ghorans evidently have "perfect physiology which unfortunately included perfect taste - their flesh-like rinds were so delicious that humans hunted them nearly to extinction." - from Alien Archive 2.

Radiant Oath

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Metaphysician wrote:

I would actually be inclined to go with the idea that the Vesk evolutionary ancestors ( their equivalent of chimpanzees ) were omnivorous lizards rather than pure carnivores. Developing the ability to digest plants for nutrition from scratch would be a pretty big stretch, evolution-wise, well beyond the equivalent of retaining lactose tolerance in humans. OTOH, an increasingly intelligent and social species going from "opportunistic carnivory" to "preferential carnivory" would be fairly straightforward: there's a lot of calories unlocked by your accelerating ability to hunt and kill bigger and better defended species.

Mind, this doesn't necessarily mean that there aren't a lot of cultural trends and traditions among the Vesk that *portray* themselves as having always been dominant alpha predator carnivores.

That makes a whole lot of sense, given many illustrated vesk bear a resemblance to the omnivorous (and adorable!) bearded dragon.
Sophiestarshaman wrote:
There's one thing that made me CERTAIN that Vesk are 100% carnivores.. the Ghoran race are friends with Vesk. Considering Ghorans evidently have "perfect physiology which unfortunately included perfect taste - their flesh-like rinds were so delicious that humans hunted them nearly to extinction." - from Alien Archive 2.

I was more inclined to think that had less to do with the ghorans trusting the vesk implicitly and more a lingering resentment for the people of their origin system, the Pact Worlds. Like, they still haven't forgiven them (and that's completely justified, honestly) and don't trust them, so they allied themselves with the next non-hostile power that could reasonably assist them should that friction develop into actual conflict, with the dietary preferences of the vesk being more an added bonus in the eyes of the ghorans.

"We don't really trust anyone but our own, but at least you're less likely to turn on us if you get hungry."


Near Space does describe the Vesk's evolutionary ancestors as being predators but I don't know that should be taken to mean they're obligate carnivores.


Sophiestarshaman wrote:

There's one thing that made me CERTAIN that Vesk are 100% carnivores.. the Ghoran race are friends with Vesk. Considering Ghorans evidently have "perfect physiology which unfortunately included perfect taste - their flesh-like rinds were so delicious that humans hunted them nearly to extinction." - from Alien Archive 2.

Speaking of which, I've wondered for a while if there is any Vesk cultural tradition of eating sentients, either for ritual purposes (kill the bravest warrior among the enemy and eat his heart to partake of strength) or because they view other sentients as enough below them as to be edible (or good "sport hunting" targets, and you eat what you kill). I don't imagine it's common -now- or they'd have more trouble keeping their empire in place but would it be too out of place to have some group of mercenaries who "keep to the old ways" or a sadistic prison warden who has a private labyrinth he releases disfavored prisoners into to then hunt?


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Mahavira wrote:
would it be too out of place to have some group of mercenaries who "keep to the old ways" or a sadistic prison warden who has a private labyrinth he releases disfavored prisoners into to then hunt?

Pretty sure you could do that with any race. There are always some weirdos.


On the matter of Vesk and cannibalism, my inclination is to say that it is the opposite of an accepted cultural practice. The dominant religion among the Vesk is Damaritosh, and I just have a hard time seeing Damaritosh approving of eating the conquered. Yes, he's Lawful Evil, but his particular flavors feels more in line with. . . "Rule 11 of the Effective Conqueror: Don't eat your peasants. Peasants you've eaten can't labor for you, meaning *you* have to do the work. Which means less time to conquer or practice for conquest." Thus, intentionally eating another sentient for no good reason would be viewed as a sin and taboo culturally, though whether a minor offense or a "kill the abomination" offense would vary depending on exact circumstances; "eating a dead sentient in a survival situation" would be one thing, "swallowing various body parts you've bitten off in an unarmed fight to the death" another, and "having a random dude roasted and served on your dinner table" a very very different one altogether.

I can very easily see the Vesk having an old "God of Gluttony" or some such, who actually *does* encourage this kind of thing, mind. If they are still around, their overall public acceptance in Vesk society is probably somewhere below that of Urgathoa in the Pact Worlds, and for pretty much the same reason. So, secret cults, sure, people responding to said cults by killing them with fire, also sure.

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