Veganizing the Great Works—the “Classics”—of Literature

While subjection to speciesism may be required by physical and political forces in the real world, no such necessity holds in imaginary worlds.  The author, editor, and publisher of a story, a play, a novel, a poem, a song, a movie script, a video game, or some other piece of literature wield plenary power over the manufactured universe in which that piece is set.  If we want readers and viewers to escape from speciesism, even just for a little while and even just in their imaginations, we can enable that escape by keeping speciesism and animal exploitation out of literature altogether.  This end can be achieved both (i) by writing new works that are, from the outset, free from anthropocentric and speciesist content and (ii) by editing existing works to meet that criterion.