Better word for ‘eat’

I have written the following snippet:

But you said you don’t believe in god….
No I said I don’t believe that he can see people go through agony….The fact that someone has to eat someone else to survive….The fact that someone has to go through pain before dying…or the fact that someone has to go through pain at all….the fact that he designed a world where there would be deceit and anguish…I dont believe that a world like that could have been designed by god…..

But I am not liking the usage of the word ‘eat’. I want to use some better word that would replace ‘eat’.’Consume’ could have been used. But I don’t like that usage either.

When I searched through the Internet, I got synonyms such as consume, devour, ingest…..I didn’t like the word ‘consume’, because it was somewhat more formal, we generally use it in scientific textbooks…. I didn’t like ‘devour’ because many a times we don’t really relish a food but have to consume it out of our regular appetite, just because we need fodder to sustain ourselves…..We are omnivorous…but certain organisms who are carnivorous have to depend on killing other animals for food…..I didn’t like the word ‘ingest’ because it simply refers to swallowing food…. I think ‘feed on their fellow creatures’ would be alright as it sounds refined ,’eat’ sounds rather crude…..


EDIT:

Based on the comments and answers,I rephrased the above snippet:

But you said you don’t believe in god….
No I said I don’t believe that he can see people go through agony….The fact that someone has to feed on their fellow creatures to survive….The fact that someone has to go through pain before dying…or the fact that someone has to go through pain at all….the fact that he designed a world where there would be deceit and anguish…I dont believe that a world like that could have been designed by god…..

I have a problem here. As pointed out by Mr/Ms. StonyB ‘someone’ refers to a person. How can I make the sentence more relevant by including every living creature in place of ‘someone’…

Answer

You could use one of these: devour, feed on, prey on.

  • Devour gives the idea of a violent act, like a wild animal eating his prey.
  • Example: “You fear they will devour you. You fear that they are not like you, that they are wolfish.” – Children of the Forest, by David B. Schock
  • Feed on gives the idea of eating but does not carry the connotation of aggressiveness.
  • Example: “To feed on fish, the snails needed toxins that instantly knocked them down…” – Natural History Magazine
  • Prey on gives the same idea of devour. Relating to animals most of the examples I found refers to the act of eating, but when talking about people it is used in a figurative way.
  • Figurative example: “Unfortunately, there are people and organizations that prey on the good intentions of individuals…” – Education & Treatment of Children (West Virginia University Press)
  • Literal example: “Indeed orcas prey on cachalot, gray, fin, humpback, and many other whales, which is why whalers called them killers of whales.” – National Geographic

So your choice depends on how you want the reader to feel.

Attribution
Source : Link , Question Author : Soumee , Answer Author : Mr. Mister

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