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Old 01-05-2013, 11:45 AM   #64
Bęthberry
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalwendë View Post
. . . I know that a huge character failing that British culture has is that we so often privilege animals over children (I doubt a secret film of a woman putting a child into a wheelie bin would have generated as much outrage as the one of a woman putting a cat into a wheelie bin did), and often to fatal ends when the family dog ("He was as daft as a brush" is the usual cry) attacks them. . . .
Yes, as I do recall, I believe you had a Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals eons before you had any child welfare legislation or health provisions.



Quote:
. . . . The Catholic Catechism states:
Animals are God’s creatures. By their mere existence they bless Him and give Him glory. Thus men owe them kindness.
And there is, as I said, certainly St. Francis' work. Yet saying something is not the same as doing something. After all, there are prohibitions against murder in the Ten Commandments but that didn't stop pograms against Jews in the Middle Ages or witch hunts and burnings. In general, the attitude towards the lesser status of animals is common in Western culture.

I agree with you that Tolkien's use of animals appears related to his own personal preferences--although the eagles clearly have a genesis in biblical references--but really my question is more to the point of why Radagast's love of animals is so closely tied with his failings.

Is he a buffoon because he loves animals or are his animalistic habits a sign of his madness? And what are we to think of Peter Jackson, who apparently wishes to modernise the female presence in Middle-earth as he wanted to modernise Aragorn's style of heroism or manhood, but who seems quite happy to use animals as the butt of jokes and crudity? Or does his politically correct consciousness not extend to animals?
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