Rei's Diet

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Rei's Diet

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Postby silvermoonlight » Fri May 12, 2017 4:23 pm

Split from the pictures thread: post/860544/Evangelion-Pic-Thread-9-Pen-Pens-Playhouse-use-spoilers/#860544

View Original PostRay wrote:
Khara Art  SPOILER: Show
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I thought Rei was vegetarian unless I've got it wrong and there not fighting over a chunk of meat.
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Re: Evangelion Pic Thread 9: Pen-Pen's Playhouse [use spoilers]

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Postby Ray » Fri May 12, 2017 4:34 pm

It's probably just a chunk of that disgusting soy-tofu cake stuff they use as a meat substitute in Japan.
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Re: Evangelion Pic Thread 9: Pen-Pen's Playhouse [use spoilers]

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Postby El Squibbonator » Fri May 12, 2017 5:18 pm

Which raises a whole 'nother set of issues, since penguins don't typically eat anything of the vegetable persuasion.
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Re: Evangelion Pic Thread 9: Pen-Pen's Playhouse [use spoilers]

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Postby Bagheera » Fri May 12, 2017 6:27 pm

View Original PostRay wrote:So either Rei stopped being Vegetarian, or Pen-Pen's genetically engineered breed of penguin is omnivorous.


Or it's fish, in which case both problems disappear.
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Re: Evangelion Pic Thread 9: Pen-Pen's Playhouse [use spoilers]

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Postby Sachi » Fri May 12, 2017 6:46 pm

The show isn't specific regarding Rei's diet beyond "she dislikes eating meat", which seems intended to demonstrate Rei's maternal connection with all life. I would think that would extend to fish as well. Seems odd for her to be specifically a pescatarian and not a full vegetarian or vegan.
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Re: Evangelion Pic Thread 9: Pen-Pen's Playhouse [use spoilers]

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Postby Bagheera » Fri May 12, 2017 6:59 pm

View Original PostSachi wrote:The show isn't specific regarding Rei's diet beyond "she dislikes eating meat", which seems intended to demonstrate Rei's maternal connection with all life. I would think that would extend to fish as well. Seems odd for her to be specifically a pescatarian and not a full vegetarian or vegan.


The show's not specific about her reasons, either, which might amount to "I don't like the taste."

As to the fish exception, there are plenty of vegetarians out there who consider fish okay. And, as you note, Rei is never identified as a vegetarian -- she just dislikes eating meat. That leaves us with an awful lot of possibilities about what she is and is not willing to eat.
For my post-3I fic, go here.
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Re: Evangelion Pic Thread 9: Pen-Pen's Playhouse [use spoilers]

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Postby Kendrix » Fri May 12, 2017 7:20 pm

View Original Postsilvermoonlight wrote:I thought Rei was vegetarian unless I've got it wrong and there not fighting over a chunk of meat.


She thought it was a piece of mushroom when the reached over to fish it out, hence her annoyed expression.
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Postby Chuckman » Fri May 12, 2017 9:09 pm

Dislike doesn't mean will not. Maybe she's willing to cook a meat dish to cater to the palettes of others.

Or maybe we're reading too much into it because Rei dislikes the vaguely greyish genetically engineered meat cubes that are the primary source of protein in the grim dark year of 2015 where there is only war.

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Postby Sachi » Mon May 15, 2017 2:30 pm

View Original PostBagheera wrote:The show's not specific about her reasons, either, which might amount to "I don't like the taste."

As to the fish exception, there are plenty of vegetarians out there who consider fish okay. And, as you note, Rei is never identified as a vegetarian -- she just dislikes eating meat. That leaves us with an awful lot of possibilities about what she is and is not willing to eat.

Again though, her vegetarianism seems like an odd decision on the part of the creators if it's simply the taste and not to indicate Rei's maternal connection with all life. It's such an important part of her characterization that it carried over into the Rebuilds. To me, discovering that Rei doesn't eat meat is one of the first big tip-offs that she's Lilith, and that she takes no pleasure in consuming her own offspring, which would extend to fish as well. If she eats fish, that would invalidate the Rei/Lilith connection in this regard, and she would just dislike meat "for reasons, not important".
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Postby Bagheera » Mon May 15, 2017 3:14 pm

View Original PostSachi wrote:Again though, her vegetarianism seems like an odd decision on the part of the creators if it's simply the taste and not to indicate Rei's maternal connection with all life. It's such an important part of her characterization that it carried over into the Rebuilds. To me, discovering that Rei doesn't eat meat is one of the first big tip-offs that she's Lilith, and that she takes no pleasure in consuming her own offspring, which would extend to fish as well. If she eats fish, that would invalidate the Rei/Lilith connection in this regard, and she would just dislike meat "for reasons, not important".


I think you're reading a lot into this. If it were any other show you wouldn't assume a character who didn't like meat was some space god or the de facto mother of all humanity, so assigning it that level of importance here seem unwarranted (particularly since Rei had no idea she was Lilith at the time, and might not even have a connection to Lilith in the ENT series). Symbolically, yes, your interpretation makes sense, but for the actual character I think the motivation is much more basic: she just doesn't like it.
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People's deaths are to be mourned. The ability to save people should be celebrated. Life itself should be exalted. -- Volken Macmani, Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra
I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
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Postby Sachi » Mon May 15, 2017 3:21 pm

I do agree that she herself isn't aware of the real reason, and it probably amounts to a natural aversion to the food on her part. And perhaps I misspoke when I said it was the first "big" tip-off, and I should have rather said it was one of the first little seeds planted at the beginning of the show which ultimately plays into the larger part of her overall character later on.

I'm mostly coming at this from the perspective of "no, she doesn't eat fish". It would clash with the symbolism I emphasized as being equally represented in her diet.
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Postby Chuckman » Mon May 15, 2017 3:29 pm

If she doesn't want to eat her offspring, how doe she stomach eating anything?

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Postby Kendrix » Mon May 15, 2017 3:47 pm

View Original PostBagheera wrote:The show's not specific about her reasons, either, which might amount to "I don't like the taste."

As to the fish exception, there are plenty of vegetarians out there who consider fish okay. And, as you note, Rei is never identified as a vegetarian -- she just dislikes eating meat. That leaves us with an awful lot of possibilities about what she is and is not willing to eat.


This. It could just as well be a symptom of her detachment from physicality (she seems to subsist mostly on pills & energy drinks), or just Anno giving her one of his own quiks as writers are won't to do.

- He markedly also gave it to Nadia and portrayed her as somewhat militant about it, she sticks with it but becomes less judgy of others & doesn't "convince" anyone. Afaik I read somewhere that his own reason is that he just sees as biological grossness about it. Hence the use of bio horror in EVA - It's what he finds freaky.

In the ramen situation, the soup Rei was ordering might've had a non-vegetarian soup base (someone commented its usual for those soups to contain fish protein) and in Rebuild they were all eating synth meat because the oceans never recovered from Second Impact.


It's always fun to see what FF authors do with it, because it's so ambiguous it can reveal things like I read one fic where Gendo apparently forbade her for ill-defined reasons & Shinji gets opinionates about it and introduces her to the wonders of steak, others were her alien physilogy came with dietary requirements and others that went with the Lillith explanation & the "moral superiority" of veganism etc. - in any case, while the Lillith explanation is as good a possibility as anything there's no grouds to treat it as the "obvious" explanation.

Though from the way she phrases it's probably a personal preference (she outright says "dislike" in ep 11), not anything to do with Gendo.
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Postby Reichu » Mon May 15, 2017 4:03 pm

Fish are meat. "Vegetarians" who eat fish are omnivores in denial.

I think Sachi is actually on the right track. During her monologue, Rei makes it quite clear that she dislikes red -- which is, well, the color of blood. An aversion to aNiMaL fLeSh seems a logical extension of this.
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Postby Bagheera » Mon May 15, 2017 5:40 pm

View Original PostReichu wrote:Fish are meat. "Vegetarians" who eat fish are omnivores in denial.


You're certainly entitled to that opinion, but it doesn't change the fact that fish aren't considered "meat" by many cultures and traditions around the world.

I think Sachi is actually on the right track. During her monologue, Rei makes it quite clear that she dislikes red -- which is, well, the color of blood. An aversion to aNiMaL fLeSh seems a logical extension of this.


Which works great until she encounters white fish, which is, well, white.
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People's deaths are to be mourned. The ability to save people should be celebrated. Life itself should be exalted. -- Volken Macmani, Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra
I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
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Postby Kendrix » Mon May 15, 2017 7:07 pm

View Original PostReichu wrote: During her monologue, Rei makes it quite clear that she dislikes red -- which is, well, the color of blood. An aversion to aNiMaL fLeSh seems a logical extension of this.


I also thought that it was connected to this but more as a "personal preference" and her general detachment from physicality/ vitality than a Lillith thing per se.
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Postby Sachi » Mon May 15, 2017 8:22 pm

I think an important question to ask is, "why did the author feel that this detail was important to this character?" Yeah, it could just be for the hell of it, something to help distinguish a character from other characters, but this is Eva, and most of these things have a more significant purpose behind them. The decision to make Rei dislike meat is a deliberate play at a particular angle; the question then becomes, what is that angle and why? As the series progresses, we learn more and more about Rei's identity. We eventually learn that Rei is the human embodiment of the mother of all natural life on Earth, and suddenly her disdain for meat becomes more obvious. It becomes all the more clear in retrospect. Perhaps the answer is more complicated than simply rejecting the flesh of her own offspring, however I certainly believe the reason Rei dislikes meat has something to do due with her godly identity as Lilith, and it should naturally extend to fish as well. Plants are another argument entirely, but there seems to be a significant distinction between consuming plant life and consuming sentient life. Pescetarianism is really semi-vegetarianism and is deserving of distinguish from traditional vegetarianism.
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Postby Bagheera » Mon May 15, 2017 8:46 pm

View Original PostSachi wrote:I think an important question to ask is, "why did the author feel that this detail was important to this character?" Yeah, it could just be for the hell of it, something to help distinguish a character from other characters, but this is Eva, and most of these things have a more significant purpose behind them. The decision to make Rei dislike meat is a deliberate play at a particular angle; the question then becomes, what is that angle and why? As the series progresses, we learn more and more about Rei's identity. We eventually learn that Rei is the human embodiment of the mother of all natural life on Earth, and suddenly her disdain for meat becomes more obvious. It becomes all the more clear in retrospect. Perhaps the answer is more complicated than simply rejecting the flesh of her own offspring, however I certainly believe the reason Rei dislikes meat has something to do due with her godly identity as Lilith, and it should naturally extend to fish as well. Plants are another argument entirely, but there seems to be a significant distinction between consuming plant life and consuming sentient life. Pescetarianism is really semi-vegetarianism and is deserving of distinguish from traditional vegetarianism.


It's all LCL when you get down to it, so I don't find the distinction terribly meaningful (I'll also note that Rei never identified as vegetarian -- she only noted that she dislikes meat).

There's another angle here you might not have considered: she takes medication for some reason (to keep her body intact? To keep her docile? Who knows?). As someone who's been on a bunch of different meds in his life, I can tell you that some change the way you experience the world, up to and including matters of taste. It's entirely possible that her meds put her in a state where the texture and smell of beef make her nauseous. I'm not even reaching there -- beef is red and bloody (not really, but its juices are reminiscent of blood), and its taste and smell can be overpowering. To someone taking whatever Rei's taking it might prove to be utterly disgusting. Vegetables are neat and tidy by comparison, and so are many sorts of fish.

Do I think this is the most likely interpretation? Not necessarily. I think the "proper" interpretation lies in how Anno's audience would interpret the phrase. Certainly, the use of the term "meat" to refer to the flesh of mammals rather than that of fish or fowl is relatively common, particularly in Asia, but did that hold true in Japan in the mid-90s? I don't know. I don't even know if the meat in the picture that started this could be said to be fish, as for all I know beef and fish might be drawn differently in manga as a matter of convention. But I do know that going from "I dislike meat" to "Rei is a vegetarian" is a leap, and a bigger one that many Western viewers might expect given the various piscavorian tendencies of many Asian cultures.
For my post-3I fic, go here.
The law doesn't protect people. People protect the law. -- Akane Tsunemori, Psycho-Pass
People's deaths are to be mourned. The ability to save people should be celebrated. Life itself should be exalted. -- Volken Macmani, Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra
I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
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Postby Reichu » Mon May 15, 2017 9:00 pm

Rei's line is "Niku... kirai da mono" (「肉…キライだもの」)

Weblio entry for "sakana no niku" (fish flesh) = "fish meat"
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