I’m not at all embarrassed to admit that I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan! I’m that girl who’s read all the books at least twice, owns a Gryffindor t-shirt or two, and occasionally references Hogwarts and apparition in every day conversation. Obviously I’ve been anxiously awaiting the release of the sixth movie, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (in theatres today!), but what I’m even more excited about is introducing you to some of my new favorite bands!
These aren’t just any bands, these are Wizard Rock bands. I know what you’re thinking: “what in the what is Wizard Rock??” Wizard Rock bands are Harry Potter enthusiasts like you and I who took their fandom one step further, plugged in keyboards and picked up guitars to pay tribute to the wizarding world. I reached out to just a few of the many Wizard Rock bands to get their take on the role that animal rights plays in the Harry Potter series.
Here they are in their own words:
What are your thoughts on the treatment of creatures that are often discriminated against in the Harry Potter series, such as house-elves, centaurs, and werewolves?
The Moaning Myrtles: The issue of animal rights is one of many in the Harry Potter series that is reflected in our own world and I think it’s really important for kids to read a series like this. The difference in the Harry Potter books is that many of these creatures are able to speak for themselves, where ours cannot, but they are still discriminated against. I’m glad that Rowling chose to focus so much on animal rights issues (and others that we also face) in her books, perhaps to show us what is wrong with our own world.
Many, if not all, of the students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry have companion animals. Whether owls, cats, rats, or toads, the characters all cherish their animals as part of their lives. Did you have any companion animals growing up?
The Whomping Willows: I’ve always had cats from the moment I was born—I think they add something very valuable to a household. They are an unconditional friend at the most difficult times.
Of all of the major animal rights issues, is there anything that you feel particularly strongly about and why?
The Parselmouths: I guess I would have to say that among all of the terrible problems out there, the issue that pulls at my heart-strings the most is the idea of pet abandonment. All animals deserve to be loved, but the idea of giving an animal a home and then taking that away from them is terrible.
The Moaning Myrtles: Ever since I was younger, I’ve always been stunned at the horrible things that are done with animal testing … the convention that these studies can be done on animals without consequence is just messed up.
The Whomping Willows: I think the most important issue is really the preservation of natural habitats, because when ecosystems are destroyed, countless species are impacted.
If a fan were to ask you how to be better involved with animal rights, what would your advice to them be?
The Moaning Myrtles: Do your research! The best way to start fighting for any cause is to learn as much as you can about it. Thanks to the internet you can not only look up anything you want about animal rights or any other topic, but you can also find people who feel passionately about the same thing!
The Whomping Willows: Like with any other issue, the best thing to do is research local organizations and get involved with the one(s) that fit your personality and your particular goals as an activist.
The Parselmouths: Usually my first plan of action when I want to know how to do something is to look for information online, and naturally, peta2!
Of all of the memorable, heroic, and hilarious characters in the Harry Potter series, who is your favorite character and why?
The Parselmouths: Would now be a bad time to admit my favorite character is Draco? I always have a soft spot for the misunderstood bully. I just feel like Draco has such an interesting life and story.
The Moaning Myrtles: Snape is my favorite character. It’s amazing what people are capable of doing for love, and it’s incredible that Snape was able to do so much without taking any credit for it or ever being loved in return.
The Whomping Willows: Hermione Granger and Severus Snape. Hermione because she’s a total bad ass, and Snape because he’s one of the most complex and mysterious characters in the series.
As much as I love them all, I would have to say my favorite character is Dumbledore. Leave a comment with who your favorite character in the Harry Potter series is and why. The most convincing entry will be chosen to receive two free movie passes! Entries must be received by July 22 and the winner will be notified by July 24.