i think it would be interesting if, rather than trying to convince Hunter that palismen aren’t alive at all, period, Belos took a bit of a different tack if/when Hunter expressed discomfort with him consuming them and basically just said, “they’re just animals, Hunter. you eat meat, don’t you?”
saying they aren’t alive at all is self-evidently untrue. but pointing out that the nature of existence is that one must consume other living beings in order to live, and that Belos consuming palismen is no different from anyone else eating meat that came from a living creature, really ramps down the moral dilemma of the whole thing.
it’s no longer, like, “are you willing to kill/let others be killed in order to help your uncle?”, it’s “do you think your uncle’s life is worth the death of an animal?”
and frankly, i think there are very few people in the world who, if asked to pick between like, a dog and their mom, would pick the dog without hesitation.