Group Seed: Sawila Foods.

Sawila Foods, Inc.

HQ: Manila, with regional field offices in Kathmandu, Chittagong, Muscat, Varna, Belem, and Inverness, and local offices worldwide. Sawila studiously avoids North American operations.

Employment: roughly ten thousand worldwide (two thousand in Manila). Each regional office has about six hundred or so staffers; field offices can range from ten to several hundred staff.

Purpose of company: Exotic foodstuffs.  Sawila looks worldwide for unique and unusual foods, marketing them to those with a discerning palate.  Quality and reliability are the company’s watchwords.

Many people ask, and Sawila Foods’ PR department is always happy to confirm: they do not deal in any way with mundanely endangered or protected species.  They’re scrupulous about avoiding any sort of illegal poaching or harvesting programs whatsoever.  Indeed, there’s a fairly solid rumor that poachers encountering a Sawila collection team had better hope that it happens where someone else would notice said poachers’ sudden disappearance.  Not that the authorities seem all that eager to investigate that sort of thing, of course.

Now that above rumor doesn’t quite mean what the conspiracy-minded might think it means.  Well, yes, it does mean that a Sawila collection team will readily capture and process poachers, when the team thinks that it can get away with it.  But they’re not a cannibal cult, or even procurers for a cannibal cult.  Unless you think that monsters with a dietary need for human flesh count as being ‘cannibals,’ which frankly Sawila Foods doesn’t.

To be fair, Sawila is mostly in the business of meeting the dietary needs of the civilized monsters.  If you belong to a species that can act in a basic ethical manner (as long as you’re being fed properly — but, really: isn’t that true of human beings, too?), Sawila will make sure that your exotic dietary requirements are met.  They also handle the disposal of ethically-harvested monstrous corpses. To give one example: there are a lot of clandestine entities out there who will pay good money for, say, dragon flesh, bone, and blood, so when a dragon dies or gets killed it’s much easier on everybody if Sawila is there to exercise its option on the corpse and make financial arrangements on behalf of the dragon’s estate.  For a good bit of money.

No, really, there’s lots of money in this.  The wizards will pay. The enchanters will pay.  The jaded rich with impossibly-convoluted palates will pay.  Other monsters will pay. And, when everybody else has been checked: dear God but the alchemists will pay, strictly in stable gold.  It all works out, really.

What’s that?  The human poachers, and whatnot?  Well, Sawila doesn’t directly sell them.  What it does instead is hand them off for a hefty bounty to various human black op agencies* who then presumably process them for their own pet vampires or whatnot.  This is of course distasteful, but not the absolute worst thing from a strictly utilitarian standpoint. Every elephant poacher handed off in this way is, after all, one less runaway being snatched off the streets to fill a local government bodysnatch team’s monthly quota.

This would be perhaps a better argument — or at least a not quite as horrid of one — if some people working for Sawila haven’t started wondering whether they should be a bit less restrictive in deciding when it was acceptable to sell a human being to the bodysnatch teams.  Which is, of course, the problem with deciding that human beings are commodities. Eventually you start take ideas to their logical conclusions, and then it becomes this entire thing.

*Not including American ones; the United States has a completely different regulatory system in place.  There’s been a tacit understanding since the Korean War that companies like Sawila not operate in North America, in exchange for the USA steadfastly ignoring the activities of companies like Sawila elsewhere.

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