Is Transfiguration Animal Abuse? Harry Potter Fans Raise Important Question

Is Transfiguration Animal Abuse? Harry Potter Fans Raise Important Question
Image credit: Legion-Media

An essential branch of magic has come under fire for its inhumane treatment of animals.

J. K. Rowling based her Harry Potter universe on the real world: she took our reality and added magic, fantastic beasts and ancient curses. And just like in our world, global problems can't be solved by a mere wave of a magic wand.

Magic wands can still come in handy in many other situations, and wizards use them liberally to serve both good and evil and protect themselves from harm. J. K. Rowling's universe has many branches of magic for Harry Potter and his friends to choose from, but one specific branch has stirred controversy among today's social justice warriors.

Is Transfiguration Animal Abuse? Harry Potter Fans Raise Important Question - image 1

We are talking about transfiguration, the kind of magic that transforms one object into another by changing its molecular structure. This magic requires a lot from the wizard, and it is often compared to science, as its spells are hard to master.

So far, it doesn't sound very controversial, but a specific aspect of this branch of magic has made fans question its purpose – a wizard can transform a living being into an inanimate object.

Fans are appalled by the notion that a wizard can turn an innocent animal into a cup or a book, deliberately putting a living creature into a coma. Although J . K. Rowling has explained that this transformation is entirely painless, people are still convinced that it constitutes cruelty towards animals.

If a wizard chooses to leave the animal in this form permanently, they are essentially killing it by depriving it of its ability to move, breathe or sleep. If that isn't cruel, what is?

Despite these inhumane practices, most fans see no problem with transfiguration magic being featured prominently in the Harry Potter universe. As was stated earlier, the Harry Potter world is based on our own, in which there is plenty of animal cruelty. If millions of animals are being slaughtered every day, what's the big deal about transfiguration being used as a metaphor in the world of magic? It could help younger readers appreciate that animals are living beings and that mistreating and hurting them is terrible.