The present article marks the third installment of the “Mythology and Fantasy Literature for Activists” series. The story of A Christmas Carol has been presented, re-made, copied, and imitated in so many forms that it and its progeny serve as perennial landmarks of the modern Christmas tradition. The essential event and theme Dickens permanently installed into this tradition—personal transformation and redemption as a result of new insight—has many features to which vegans can relate, and revisiting this story can serve to prompt reflections on and new insights regarding one’s life choices for modern activists just as it has for several generations of other readers and viewers over the last 150 years.
The first installment of this “Mythology and Fantasy Literature for Activists” series sought to introduce the potential value of mythology and fantasy literature for activists. Examining such literature may yield insights that reading history alone may not readily provide, particularly when one faces a challenge that, as far as the historical record goes, has never been overcome. Since animal emancipationists face just such a challenge, this potential value is, in the present author’s view, worth exploring. The previous article provided an example of a possible gleaning from Tolkien’s mythology-rich universe in which The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy are set. The present article continues to explore fantasy and mythology as a source of insights and inspiration for activists by means of another example.
In seeking to abolish the property status of other animals, animal rights activists are pursuing a hitherto unattained goal: no human culture, at least to the author’s knowledge, has ever achieved animal emancipation and personhood. In short, modern abolitionists can rely upon no roadmap drawn by “someone who’s been there.” But analogy and vicarious experience can help serve at least some of the functions of a roadmap. The present article begins to explore fantasy and mythology and the types of teachings one might take from fictional worlds and tales.