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Middle Earth, Narnia, Hogwarts, and Animals: A Review of the Treatment of Nonhuman Animals and Other Sentient Beings in Christian-Based Fantasy Fiction

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The way that nonhuman animals and other nonhuman sentient beings are portrayed in the Christian-based Harry Potter series, C. S. Lewis's Narnia series, and Tolkien's Middle Earth stories is discussed from a Christian animal liberationist perspective.

Middle Earth comes closest to a liberationist ideal, in that vegetarianism is connected with themes of power, healing, and spirituality. Narnia could be described as a more enlightened welfarist society where extremes of animal cruelty are frowned upon, but use of animals for food is acceptable. In contrast, the more recent Harry Potter series portrays a less enlightened attitude toward human and nonhuman animals. Animals are treated merely as ends, vegetarianism is unheard of, and the view that even iconic species have intrinsic worth is ridiculed.

Affiliations: 1: Bay of Plenty Polytechnic


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