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Old 04-26-2002, 12:56 AM   #1
onewhitetree
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Sting Controversy?!?!?!

Ok, so I know this topic has been hashed out over and over again, but it is really close to my heart. I want to hear all of your opinions on this. I feel it cannot be ignored, as the very moral threads that hold our civilization together rest on ethical questions such as this.

Do any of you feel that the people of the South Harad mistreated many or all of the animals native to their land? Many social issues abound in Tolkien that still are cause for great debate today, and this not the least. Cruelty to animals is a strong accusation indeed, but, as I will demonstrate, accurate.

Take these quotes into consideration (re: oliphaunts).

Quote:
I stump round and round,
Never lie on the ground
Now, if this isn't cruel and unusual treatment in forcing helpless beasts to stand for immeasurable amounts of time, to the point of death even, then I'm sure I don't know what is. Can you even imagine the pure agony of such torture?


Quote:
...the Mumak of Harad was indeed a beast of vast bulk, and the like of him does not walk now in Middle-earth....
Here is all the proof we need to ascertain that the greatest and most timeproof accomplishment of the Harad dynasty was the complete annihilation of Oliphaunts, to total and utter extinction. Who can even imagine what they did to other wretched species that are not mentioned?

Quote:
On he came...his small red eyes raging. His upturned hornlike tusks were bound with bands of gold and dripped with blood. ...On the great beast thundered, blundering in blind wrath through pool and thicket.
The very thought of the suffering of this poor beast brings tears to my eyes as I envision the pain, the anguish that had been building inside his oliphaunt soul for all his life, a life of slavery and toil, and now, in the midst of the horrors of battle, a chance for freedom. Freedom at last! Every torrid emotion from his early life through to the present comes roaring out in a raging fury of retaliation for all the wrongs he has suffered. This, my friends, is just one example. One case study among an entire species, now completely wiped out. Just imagine the beauty of this race of majestic kings and patriarchs of the animal world, and think about all the other species that were wiped out alongside. What an incredible loss to mankind.

I ask of you, is this right? Is it moral? What was Tolkien trying to say about these outrageous acts of inhumanity by such people? Please add any thoughts you may have on this painful subject to bring peace to a mere sympathizer's heart.
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Old 04-26-2002, 03:53 AM   #2
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Hm, I'm not sure I feel qualified to reply to this topic, Kate. For starters I know next to nothing about animal abuse, just the moral compunction not to see something hurt for no reason...anyway! That will have to suffice.

I see the Haradmen as hunter gatherers. Perhaps they slew the great Mumaks for their ivory as contempories might do in our world?
Such an idea is not too far fetched, but can we really presume to know the reasons behind the endangerment of the Oliphaunts through a few quotes..?

It is my thought that they did not exist in the greater West of Middle Earth because the climate was unsuited to them. It grew cold in the north lands and snow is definitely not elephant weather ;-)

Another thing...The bit about them standing up. I would assume that Oliphaunts etc can sleep standing up, rather like to a horse. Or is that just an old wive's tale? It could have been relating to this, but I have no facts..sigh!

Anyways, that's just a bit of something to mull over.

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Old 04-26-2002, 07:06 AM   #3
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Hmm, this is hard to mull over!

I don't think the Oliphaunt believes that he is escaping or becoming free. (This is from what little I can see of the quotes.) Animals do not have self-pity, or very much thought for that matter. I know this because my LIFE is animals. No matter how bad their captors are, the animal will still react for it's owner, against whatever threat is in the way. The Oliphaunt sounds truly outraged against the threat, and seeks to destroy it first, before any thought of freedom. Dogs that are abused and then escape, often after a few days run back to their old abusive home.

If that made no sense, I'll try to come back and rewrite my thoughts, but I really have to go right now.

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Old 04-26-2002, 07:50 AM   #4
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Kate: I refuse to get involved in a thread that is bound to turn into a raging debate concerning animal rights, animal conciousness, and the emotional life of same. Ain't gonna go there. Wouldn't be prudent.

I will offer one small bit of comfort for you. Elephants, (and Oliphaunts, too, I sumise) very rarely lay down, since their weight would compress their organs. They sleep standing up. An elephant laying down is a VERY sick or dying elephant.
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Old 04-26-2002, 09:30 AM   #5
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Although I sympathize with the plight of Oliphaunts in the hands of the Haradrim, I am surprised that you (onewhitetree) focus on them when the mounts of the Nazgl, both flying and land-bound, were the victims of a much more insideous program of mistreatment. Not only were they terribly mistreated, but they were also the end-result of a hideous breeding program. The Mouth of Sauron's beast would also fall into this category. What are the woes of Oliphaunts when compared to these?
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Old 04-26-2002, 09:37 AM   #6
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Sting

i don't think we have enough facts in hand to make any large assumptions from them.
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Old 04-26-2002, 11:18 AM   #7
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On he came...his small red eyes raging. His upturned hornlike tusks were bound with bands of gold and dripped with blood. ...On the great beast thundered, blundering in blind wrath through pool and thicket.
I think we can assume based on the burning red eyes and the blind wrath that Oliphaunts were animated by twisted, bloodthirsty Maiar spirits, similar to Balrogs. Their Maiar nature would also account for their inability to reproduce, leading to their eventual disappearance from the face of Arda as their numbers were gradually reduced by death in various wars and conflicts.

Hence, the fate of these fiendish beasts is hardly lamentable; on the contrary, it is well-deserved!
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Old 04-26-2002, 11:41 AM   #8
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Maybe oliphaunts could sleep standing up like horses? Just a thought.
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Old 04-26-2002, 04:10 PM   #9
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Nuke the Whales!! What? You have to nuke something. [img]smilies/evil.gif[/img]
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Old 04-26-2002, 10:03 PM   #10
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Why would anyone think of all this about the rights of Oliphaunts while reading the book? Tolkien had no intention of this reaction at all. It's how life was back in that world, so why would someone question it? Especially on this.
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Old 04-27-2002, 08:04 AM   #11
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1420!

Kate scores!

It took longer than I thought it would.
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Old 04-29-2002, 02:56 AM   #12
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Quote:
Do any of you feel that the people of the South Harad mistreated many or all of the animals native to their land?
How about the horses of Rohorim, they were treated nice in peacetime, but they did not have their freedom, they were like prisoners treated really good, and in the end they had to go out and die often painfull deads for their masters. Do you indicate that the Harads abused and mistreated their native animals for the fun of it? I don't think so.

And remember it was a war beetwen people! Who can imagine how many innocent humans got killed or lost someone close to them. It was war! War is Hell! You can't go whining about some mistreated Elephants, after all the Harads were probably mistreated themselve by Sauron.

Quote:
...the Mumak of Harad was indeed a beast of vast bulk, and the like of him does not walk now in Middle-earth....


Here is all the proof we need to ascertain that the greatest and most timeproof accomplishment of the Harad dynasty was the complete annihilation of Oliphaunts, to total and utter extinction. Who can even imagine what they did to other wretched species that are not mentioned?
Our ancestors living in the ice age extincted all the Mammuts. It was not because our ancestors were cruel, blood thirsty predators who got their kicks from killing Mammuts. They needed the fur and the meat of the Mammut. They did not know that if they killed to many mammuts, they would exctinct them.

And what do you know about the Harad dynasty and their culture? It's as if I go: The greatest and most timeproof accomplishment of the European coming to North America was the killing of thousands of Indians.

One thing I just can't stand is Hypocrites.
Like when people spend millions of dollars to free the whale from the "Free Willie" movies, they could have given the money to someone who relly needed them, like the homeless.
Greanpeace have some good ideas, but the protection of animals because they are cute and have big eyes are not one of them.
I am totally for protection of animals in danger of becoming extinct, but people who complain about cute animals getting killed, like seals (not an animal in the danger sone), just make me sick. OK I can axcept it if you are a vegetarian, but if not, then you are nothing but a Hypocrite.
A bit out of context some will say, but I think there is a lot of Hipocrity in Onewhitethrees text.

I think my point is something like: Yes we kill animals, we actually eat their muscless, and even though we don't like to think so we treat them bad in the process.

The Oliphaunts probably had a hard time, I mean, they went out in the war with their masters and died with them, but to call it cruelty is just way out of any context. Life is cruel.

I know I have strong opinions, but after all this is a discussiun forum...
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Old 04-29-2002, 07:09 AM   #13
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Oh, gosh! I can't believe I'm getting involved in this (Especially since I'm half-inclined to believe that Kate was pulling our legs. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] )

As has been said in the "Was Tolkien a Racist?" threads, the attitude that animals were put on this earth strictly for our use and dominion was firmly fixed in the minds of most humans of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Likewise the anthopomorphising of certain animals as "evil". (see Wargs, Crebains, and Oliphaunts).

Quote:
One thing I just can't stand is Hypocrites.
Like when people spend millions of dollars to free the whale from the "Free Willie" movies, they could have given the money to someone who relly needed them, like the homeless.
Greanpeace have some good ideas, but the protection of animals because they are cute and have big eyes are not one of them.
That's some mighty big generalizations, there, Baran. Why do you assume that people who have an interest in the welfare of animals have no interest in the welfare of humans? My own observations have shown me that the opposite is true. A person who shows cruelty to animals will likely be equally cruel to his fellow man if given the opportunity.

And your summation of organizations like Greenpeace is rather simplistic. Protesting against the extinction of entire species is a noble cause. While you may not approve of some of their methods, (I have problems with PETA, myself) they have done much to open the eyes of the human race to these issues.

Score two for Kate, B-W! [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 05-01-2002, 01:34 AM   #14
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I really talk about not letting the small and in a big scale unimportant things become the most important. Protesting, and doing something against the extinction of entire species is a noble cause, yes, very much so, but using loads of dollars on freeing one (1) whale is not. And if you think so you just don't get the big picture.
Don't attack specific pieces of my text, see it as a whole, get the message, and discuss it!

And by the way, I think I stated that Greanpeace have some good ideas, but protecting animals because they are cute is not one of them. I think every life has its own value, and you can't meassure it by looks.
Disagree?
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Old 05-01-2002, 06:50 AM   #15
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Sting

Baran, you say you support a certain cause and then proceed to tear down one of the organizations that has done so much to further that very cause?

But let's not take this any further here, before we both get booted for going waaaayyy off-topic! (It's Tolkien here, right? Tolkien?...OK.)

So, meet you at the Keko web site at...oh...6:00? [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 05-01-2002, 07:22 AM   #16
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Sting

It is indeed time to get back to the subject at hand - Mmakil and the masters that beat them - tonight on Montel.
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Old 05-01-2002, 09:24 AM   #17
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I presume you are being facetious - at least I hope you are.
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Old 05-07-2002, 10:28 PM   #18
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I've been thinking about what you said Baran
Quote:
Yes we kill animals, we actually eat their muscless,
Cows are totally innocent animals, yes, I know we need to slaughter them, and I am not against it, but I have a great suggestion. There are WAY to many people on Earth. 6.5 BILLION. Do we need all these people? NO! I think we should eat people! Before you think of me as an imhumane, unethical, monster, hear me out. I'm not talking about eat the nice old lady next door who goes to church every Sunday and has never hurt more than a fly in her life, I'm talking about criminals, inhumane, unethical, beasts that have sold their souls to the devil by murdering the nice old lady next door who goes to church every Sunday and has never hurt more than a fly in her life. people than commit themselves to lust, a life of crime, people that never should have been put on this Earth, people that murder little girls for the fun of it and hold shootouts at a preschool. We need eat them!
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Old 05-08-2002, 02:27 PM   #19
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Aaand the conversation heads South...
Baran, dear, do you really think that environmental/animal-rights organizations are all about cute critters with big eyes?
Hey, I'm cute and have big eyes! Wouldn't that qualify me from some serious assistance from the good people at Greenpeace? [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 05-09-2002, 02:28 AM   #20
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Eating people? This open up for a whole new disussion. Like, what part of the human body do you think tast best, or if you had to eat a part of your own body what would you eat?
Hehe, imagine "fresh rump steak"...

Now excuse me, I've got a date with a whale [img]smilies/evil.gif[/img]
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Old 05-09-2002, 08:49 AM   #21
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Quote:
Now excuse me, I've got a date with a whale.
Hope she's a cute whale, Baran! [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 05-09-2002, 09:15 AM   #22
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Quote:
Eating people?
Eating people? Did I hear "eating people?" Don't tell me that Gollum is lurking nearby. Some of us hobbits get a little nervous when such topics are discussed. (You would too if you were three foot six.)
Don't believe the old lie that hobbits are tasty!

And right behind Gollum is that crazy human poster who said hobbits were "rabbits," midway on the chain between animals and humans. What does he know, anyway?!!? So, don't believe that Tolkien was nasty to animals. He liked us, didn't he?

[img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
a concerned hobbit

[ May 09, 2002: Message edited by: Child of the 7th Age ]
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Old 05-09-2002, 02:18 PM   #23
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There is a haunting phrase, "long pig", that was once used to describe what you served when you had someone for dinner.

I darkly suspect that the reason is that we taste somewhat like pork (rather than like chicken). People and pigs are both omnivores, and you are what you eat...

After an age of dining on fish and young goblins, Gollum seemed quite anxious to see how Bilbo tasted. Perhaps even to Beorn's bear's nose, Bilbo smelled like a rabbit! (Rabbits are mighty tasty, too!)

By the way, read Tolkien's poem THE MEWLIPS (*Gilthalion cringes!) to see an interesting treatment of cannibalism in some pretty creepy verse!

At any rate, the wicked rumour about cannibalism is that people taste goooood! In any event, I imagine that criminals, with their coarse diets and hard lives, would not taste as good as church ladies (who are awfully sweet, after all).

What kind of "fell meats" did Sauron feed the winged mounts of the Nazgul? Aye, we wonders...
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Old 05-09-2002, 05:09 PM   #24
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Gilthalion --

Long Pig???? (or, in the case of
hobbits, shall we say "Short
Pig")

That does not sound good for my future. I don't mind being dead, but I prefer not to be eaten. I remain,
a concerned hobbit
[img]smilies/confused.gif[/img] [img]smilies/confused.gif[/img]

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Old 05-09-2002, 07:43 PM   #25
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Baran: I actually happen to be a vegetarian, which suits two points -- it nullifies your entire argument and keeps me fitting into my leather pants.

Birdland: you are perceptive.

Gimli Son of Gloin: your "modest proposal" has one flaw -- once the person passes the age of 15 or so, the flesh gets notably tougher after the loss of baby fat. One would have to catch the criminals by the age of four, ideally, and voila! A prime dainty, and beautiful gloves for the ladies to boot.
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Old 05-09-2002, 08:03 PM   #26
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Quote:
Eating people? This open up for a whole new disussion. Like, what part of the human body do you think tast best, or if you had to eat a part of your own body what would you eat?
Hehe, imagine "fresh rump steak"...
I think the best part would be the rump steak. Seriously, the buttocks has the most fat and would be the tenderest(ever had ham? Pig buttocks). I suppose the upper leg would sell, it is also rather tender, it has a lot of fat and meat. But, frankly, I would never eat a kidney bean from another human being.(lol) The bones are really big in human beings, there would be a lot of marrow. If a had to eat a piece of my body I would eat a toe, not a great loss if I'm missing my little toe.

BTW, eating your own species is canabalism, is there a word for eating yourself?

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Old 05-09-2002, 08:52 PM   #27
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Remind me to never wear tight pants around you, Gimli. [img]smilies/eek.gif[/img]
You guys are such psychopaths. See you all in the restricted ward!
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Old 05-10-2002, 11:56 AM   #28
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Quote:
BTW, eating your own species is canabalism, is there a word for eating yourself?
The word is: flexible.

And Lush, just how hungry are you, for all things Orlando Bloom? [img]smilies/evil.gif[/img]:
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Old 05-10-2002, 04:42 PM   #29
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Hungry enough to earn a big scarlet letter to wear on my chest, but too practical to try and eat him (the kid is skinny, folks). If I was that hungry, I'd be hanging out around Roseanne. [img]smilies/evil.gif[/img]
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Old 05-10-2002, 06:07 PM   #30
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Pipe

So many things to comment on, so little time.

To quote the Matrix, "Humans are a disease." We reproduce over and over, spreading and destroying the land, killing off the native species while nearly starving ourselves. It's horrible that we supposedly have "intelligence" when we haven't the sense to use birth control and there are families with seven children that haven't the money to even feed them.

If we have the chance to use an alternative fuel to decrease pollution, do we use it? No! Why? Either because it costs more than the old, polluting fuel source or people would lose their jobs (the fuel additive from corn, for example).

Why is it that we go hunting for fun, then complain about world hunger? Why can't we send the meat to the homeless? Or, better yet, why don't we just reintroduce the original predator? Hmm?

I let you eat your meat since that is the nature of our species, but if we can go without it, I think we should be civilized enough to do just that. I'm a vegetarian, and even though I have always loved chicken and pork, I wouldn't want to be the chicken or pig that was born, raised, and killed to be someone else's meal.

On cannibalism, I think that it's as good an idea as anything. If we haven't the sense to do anything better, why not? Eat the stupid. Oh, another note on over population, the reason it doesn't happen to other species is because of natural selection. That's one reason why there's so many of us. People who would've been eaten as any other creature live out their lives, being just another mouth to feed.

I know, I have powerful opinions that are pretty much the opposite of the majority of people out there, but I'm entitled to them. I will stop my ranting now. Sorry, I think.

Oh, and be slightly on topic, I saw in my Science room today with a man of the last name of "Oliphant." Made me think of Oliphaunts.
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Old 05-10-2002, 06:25 PM   #31
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I doubt seriously that Tolkien ever addressed an animal rights issue in his works. Mainly because such an issue barely existed if at all when LOTR was written.

Certainly the Haradrim were a cruel and hard people. They worshipped darkness, having been under the sway of Morgoth during the first age and later under Sauron's domination. But, that does not necessarily mean they were outright cruel to the Oliphaunts. Most people don't run around abusing a perfectly good and usefull tool, which I am sure is how the Haradrim viewed Oliphaunts.

As far as the gold banding on the tusks goes, the Oliphaunt probably never felt a thing when banding took place. The tusks are a waste product like hair and nails on people. No nerve endings, just a bunch of dead cells. The banding itself probably serves a similiar purpose as the banding on a wooden hafted weapon, to strengthen and help protect against breakage. Thoug in this case it was more decorative because gold is certainly to soft to provide any protection worth mentioning. As for the blood, well it was a war Oliphaunt, probably killed a few Haradrim (and maybe a few Rangers of Ithilien, as well) after raging out of control, so it was blood from a victim, not the Oliphaunt's own blood.
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Old 05-10-2002, 06:45 PM   #32
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Quote:
Eat the stupid.
All my friends would be eaten.
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Old 05-10-2002, 11:24 PM   #33
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Anyone want to join me in singing that great 70's hit, "Timothy"?

(For you Barrow Downers born after the 70's: ask your parents. Then be prepared to have your computer taken away.)

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Old 05-11-2002, 11:53 AM   #34
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Quote:
We reproduce over and over, spreading and destroying the land, killing off the native species while nearly starving ourselves.
Yes, our reproduction is harmful, but isn't it fun too? [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] The human population may yet level off.
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Old 05-11-2002, 01:57 PM   #35
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Let's not get into that Lush.
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Old 05-11-2002, 02:26 PM   #36
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Reproduction is a better topic than cannibalism. At least it's, er, productive. Creation as opposed to destruction.
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Old 05-12-2002, 01:54 PM   #37
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Dear Kate,

Due to the nature of this topic and other recent posts, I've decided to offer you this plea. I thought we use to be friends. What happened? Was it something I said? Is it because I revealed displeasure when your ears picked up the sound waves generated by Dave Matthews' vocal cords? I apologize, but I have suppressed my true feelings and hidden my opinions from your consciousness for far too long. Please let off the coffee.

Your long lost friend,

Sanity
All in good fun, mind you!

[ May 12, 2002: Message edited by: Legalos ]
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