The werewolves are hungry

Very hungry.

If you are like me (let’s hope not), you have wasted time wondering why werewolves traditionally act like monsters. You know, killing and eating people. Sure, there is that whole “primal nature of the beast” overwhelming “humanity” thing; but that is clearly not sufficient to explain the lycanthropic killing sprees. Aquarium sharks don’t kill all their roommates, and it is hard to get more primal than a shark. Why do sharks act in this reasonable way? Because they aren’t hungry[1].

Werewolves, however, should be hungry. Very hungry. The werewolf transformation involves reconfiguring your skeleton, increasing muscle mass, and growing body hair everywhere[2]. This kind of developmental reorganization would require mass and energy, a lot of mass and energy, to break chemical bonds, make new bonds, synthesize new proteins, move cells, etc. And, one would need to build up energy reserves to transition back[3]. With or without your human nature, that kind of resource usage would make the “kill and eat the nearest thing possible” strategy[4] look pretty good.


  1. Killing everything in one gore splattered spree is also terrible for predator-prey dynamics.
  2. The mass and energy conservation issues involved also suggest that the human form of werewolves should be quite overweight. Sorry, Twilight fans.
  3. Suggesting that caloric restriction would suppress lycanthropy, or kill you at the first full moon.
  4. This is the same strategy that compels me to eat Burger King.

Author: Josh Witten

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