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We lack signs of extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI) despite decades of observation in the whole electromagnetic spectrum. Could evidence be buried in existing data? To recognize ETI, we first propose criteria discerning life from non-life based on thermodynamics and living systems theory. Then we extrapolate civilizational development to both external and internal growth. Taken together, these two trends lead to an argument that some existing binary stars might actually be ETI. Since these hypothetical beings feed actively on stars, we call them “stellivores”. I present an independent thermodynamic argument for their existence, with a metabolic interpretation of interacting binary stars. The jury is still out, but the hypothesis is empirically testable with existing astrophysical data.