Not many writers had dealt with the mistreatment of animals in the twentieth century. It seems that few considered it as an important subject to deal with. But the truth is that an author known for his books dedicated to children did it quite a lot, at a time when intellectuals spent their time on other issues…
Roald Dahl, the famous English writer, is a mythical figure nowadays, although he is no longer as popular as his colleague JK Rowling, the truth is that his stories have not ceased to resonate around the world, everywhere it is common to know about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and also the famous Matilda.
But the topic we are going to deal with here is about the treatment given to animals in some of his texts, especially a beautiful story titled “The Boy Who Talked to Animals”.
Dahl was characterized for being an inclement person in his stories, the acts of his characters have serious consequences in his stories, it is very evident when reading his stories for adults, which do not carry the same level of innocence that his children’s stories have.
This happens several times when there are people in his universes who dare to hurt animals without any justification, or who resort to certain tricks to take advantage of them. As for example in the odious dog races that are so common in England.
But the most beautiful thing is the message that is shown in his texts. Abusing truly innocent creatures is something that will always end badly for those who perpetrate these acts.
The story mentioned above does not have a conclusion in which everything ends in a terrible way for the villains, even better, it narrates the victory of love and compassion.
Without going into so much detail so as not to spoil the story, it is about a boy who actually has a supernatural power that allows him to talk to animals, the story takes place in a tropical environment, an emblematic place where other species have been abused without contemplation.
Dahl shows us how most people are completely ignorant about respect for other species, how they consider an act of cruelty as something to celebrate, to rejoice at the dismemberment of a living being. It seems strange to no one, not even to the narrator himself, who tells the story without a hint of disgust or horror.
Now, what does seem completely out of the ordinary to them is that someone would oppose this, as if fighting to defend a life is something irrational, outlandish. Barbarism has always been seen as normalized, but the defense of the lives of other animals is completely astounding.
And even if Dahl’s main theme is not animal abuse, this kind of approach makes it seem truly cruel to children, to treat other species so unfairly is truly horrifying. There’s no point in doing it, it’s completely unnecessary.
This story is about that, actually the insane ones are the ones who think that abusing defenseless beings is the best thing to do, that it really means a feat. Just as millionaire hunters go on their scheduled hunts to kill lions a mile away.
Dahl shows us, and the children, that animals are indeed beings that deserve respect far beyond our ignorance. That the future belongs to far more spiritually and mentally advanced humans who fiercely oppose such crimes.
Abolition is the imminent future.
I’d really recommed this story to be read to children, so they know how to be compassionate, and find the beauty and magic in being kind to animals.