Pokemon Sword and Shield confirms a fact that many Pokemon fans have suspected for a long time - Pokemon meat tastes delicious. One of the sillier features in Pokemon Sword and Shield is the ability to cook curry - the "national dish" of the Galar region. Players can prepare curry from their camp by mixing berries with a key ingredient, which ranges from apples to pungent roots to various meat products. Another key ingredient that players can use in their curry is Smoke-Poke tail, which is actually the tail of a Slowpoke. There's no real room for interpretation either - the description of the ingredient notes that "Slowpoke's tail re-grows quickly once it falls off."
The Pokemon franchise has a long history of skirting around the details about what meat is in the Pokemon world. We know that Pokemon eat other Pokemon (in fact, there's a Pokemon that literally eats Pikachu in Pokemon Sword and Shield and then spits it out as a defense mechanism), but the franchise tends to only feed players snacks, fruits, or various kinds of drinks. While we've known that people can eat Pokemon (it's mentioned that Slowpoke tails are used in a lot of Alolan dishes), this is the first time that players can physically eat a Pokemon.
The Smoke-Poke tail also ties a loose end from the earlier days of the Pokemon franchise. When Team Rocket was trying to return to power in Pokemon Gold and Silver, they started off by forcibly removing Slowpoke tails in the Johto region in order to sell them on the black market. While players couldn't eat those tails, they could sell them for a high price. It turns out that Team Rocket was likely exporting Slowpoke tails to the Galar region, funding their illegal activities by preying on the Galarian's love of meaty tails in their curry dishes. We'll also note that Slowpoke aren't native to the Galar region, which means they likely went extinct due to overeating.
There are several other meat dishes players can prepare in Pokemon Sword and Shield. While the games decline to say what animals came from, we can only presume that every meat dish was once a beloved Pokemon species.
Let us know how many Pokemon you've eaten in the comment section, or find me on Twitter at @CHofferCBus to chat all things Pokemon!