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Pokemon Fans Caught A Horrifying Detail In The New Scarlet And Violet Trailer

"Pokémon" fans were recently treated to a sneak peek at what to expect from the newest main-series games in a lengthy gameplay trailer, which showed off new features and creatures in "Scarlet" and "Violet." The new games are due to come out in just under two months — on November 28, 2022 — and players now have a good idea of what to expect from Generation 9 of the beloved series. Plenty of new and familiar Pokemon alike will be included in this successor to "Pokémon Sword" and "Pokémon Shield," but there's one that is drawing the most attention for better or worse: Lechonk.

Lechonk is not the first pig-like Pokémon in the series — technically that honor belongs to Mankey (nicknamed the "Pig Monkey Pokémon") from the very first generation. Lechonk is almost directly designed after the real-life look of a pig with little flair, and is described in the gameplay trailer for "Scarlet" and "Violet" as a gourmand who is "proud of its nose, which it uses to sniff out delicious food." 

Pigs around the world are used to sniff out truffles underground, an exceedingly rare and pricey mushroom, but what Lechonk likes to do in its free time isn't what's disturbing "Pokémon" fans. Later in the gameplay reveal, during an explanation of the new picnic system, ham is used as an ingredient in a sandwich. Ham only comes from one source: pigs — or in this case, maybe a Lechonk.

Lechonk and the horrors of a ham hoagie

Lechonk instantly became one of the internet's favorite Pokémon when initially revealed for "Scarlet" and "Violet." On the official site for "Scarlet" and "Violet," Lechonk is called the Hog Pokémon and is said to be one of the monsters the player's in-game friend, Nemona, uses. Lechonk is a Normal type with the "Aroma Veil" ability that works against Bug-types. This is all pretty par for the course for the Pig Pokémon, who weighs 22.5 lbs. at only a foot and a half in height. That might sound chunky, but because Lechonk is "constantly walking around in search of food," it's actually all muscle. 

Maybe that's why ham is on the menu in "Scarlet" and "Violet" — if it's all brawn, then Lechonk deli slices might be low in fat content but high in protein, a healthy alternative to, say, eating a fried Snorlax nugget. After the "Pokémon Scarlet" and "Pokémon Violet" gameplay trailer ended, horrified fans took to social media to mourn the hog's hypothetical demise for the sake of making lunch. Others unwillingly accepted the idea that they would have to slaughter their own Pokemon livestock to get ingredients for the game's cooking and crafting system.

Of course, Game Freak has yet to confirm or deny these very dubious rumors. Though most Pokémon games shy away from using anything but vegetarian options, Pokémon consumption has been a norm in the series since the very beginning. Maybe PETA's protest of the "Pokémon" games isn't so controversial anymore.

What do people eat in the world of Pokémon?

Since the very start of the "Pokemon" franchise, humans living amongst Pokémon have done nothing but benefit from the cooperation of these sentient beings, but there are plenty of times when it's been heavily implied that Pokémon are on the menu. In Generation One, Magikarp was often the subject of Ash and Brock's starvation-induced fever dreams, and Ash even says that a Magikarp is "ready for the deli counter" during an episode. Lots of other Pokemon like Kingler and Basculin are shown pretty explicitly to be food sources, Gabite's scales and Seadra's spikes are used for the medicines, and the second head of a Cherubi is supposedly "sweet and tasty" – lets not even mention James' attempt to eat an un-hatched Togepi egg.

Though fans are justifiably worried about Lechonk being used for the ham slices depicted in the "Scarlet" and "Violet" gameplay reveal, there's actually not much to worry about. Most of the Pokémon that are described as food are done so from a historical perspective – Sharpedo, for example, used to be hunted for its fins, and Farfetched was hunted to near-extinction in the past. Others like Cherubi are mostly eaten by other Pokemon, but there is still lots of evidence for this secret side of the Pokémon series. We don't have a Pokédex description for Lechonk yet, but hopefully that will clear the air on whether this Pokemon is a true equal in society or just treated as livestock.