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I know it’s odd, but it came up recently as my character, using the cloak of useful items, created a horse. The party has no use for it, and we are trapped in a mountainous area where horses cannot travel without difficulty.

I have the spell fabricate so I’m just trying to see if we can eat dinner tonight without using up rations.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ @OwenReynolds Please do not answer in comments \$\endgroup\$ Sep 20, 2021 at 14:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you wanting to make raw or cooked burgers? I'm wondering since "You also can't use it to create items that ordinarily require a high degree of craftsmanship"? \$\endgroup\$ Sep 20, 2021 at 23:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is there some reason you can't make food out of the animal the old fashioned way? Cut sections of meat cooked over a fire doesn't take much in the way of magic or specialized ability from an animal the size of a horse. \$\endgroup\$
    – Andrew
    Sep 21, 2021 at 19:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ Does my answer solve your problem well enough for a green check? \$\endgroup\$ Dec 30, 2021 at 12:42

1 Answer 1

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Probably, if you humanely euthanize the horse first.

The fabricate spell calls for “raw materials”. A living horse is not raw materials. The spell description states:

Creatures or magic items can't be created or transmuted by this spell.

So while the horse is alive, it is a creature, and cannot be transmuted by the spell.

However, there is a strong case to be made that a horse corpse is an object, not a creature. If the DM rules that corpses are objects and not creatures, then fabricate should work just fine. That linked Q&A also contains some good arguments that a creature’s corpse still counts as a creature, so you will have to ask the DM. It is worth mentioning that lead rules designer, Jeremy Crawford, gave his personal but unofficial ruling on Twitter:

A non-undead corpse isn't considered a creature. It's effectively an object

We can also look to standard industrial usage of the phrase "raw materials" for some insight, since D&D 5e generally uses the standard English meaning of words unless otherwise noted. The United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety Inspection Service considers animal carcasses and parts of carcasses to be "raw materials". For example, 9 CFR § 318.6.(b).(4) states:

Detached spinal cords from cattle 30 months of age and older shall not be used as raw materials for edible rendering.

Again, I must emphasize, the horse should be euthanized humanely. Alternatively, I recommend just purchasing a Burger on the Go device, from inventor Dwight K. Schrute:

I invented a device, called Burger on the Go. It allows you to obtain six regular sized hamburgers, or twelve sliders, from a horse without killing the animal. George Foreman is still considering it, Sharper Image is still considering it, SkyMall is still considering it, Hammacher Schlemmer is still considering it.

enter image description here

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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm curious, why the emphasis on humane euthanization? Is it simply for in-game morals or is there another reason? Also, what would constitute "humane" in the context of adventurers in mountainous wilderness? \$\endgroup\$
    – David K
    Sep 20, 2021 at 13:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DavidK My lawyers required that I include that stipulation. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 20, 2021 at 13:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ Popping in to say: Humane euthanization isn't just an ethics concern. When animals experience stress, like humans their hearts pump adrenaline into their muscles, and great exertion of their muscles also produces lactic acid as a side effect. These chemicals make fleshmeat taste bitter, and as a result hunters try very hard to kill animals instantly to preserve flavor. (Just in case you were wondering how your Neutral or Evil character could justify humane horsekilling.) \$\endgroup\$
    – order
    Sep 20, 2021 at 13:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DavidK Presumably something that would be instant, given the restrictions of the setting. There's steps that can be taken in modern meat processing to ensure an animal doesn't feel any pain, but presumably those things aren't an option in this sort of setting. \$\endgroup\$
    – Cooper
    Sep 20, 2021 at 15:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Cooper In the world of magic healing potions and resurrection spells, I would wager that there is some way to make a creature not feel pain. \$\endgroup\$
    – Deacon
    Sep 20, 2021 at 17:20

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