Normally my posts are quite serious and long-winded so today I thought I’d try something different! This will appeal to the TV/film/book/animal lover inside all of us as I list my top five fictional role models.
As the two most inspiring characteristics in my life are veganism and animal rights activism, it’s no surprise that out of the five animal-lovers that I look up to, three are explicitly characterised as vegetarian. This list is subjective to my personal feelings and opinions, but I love all of these characters and I believe that if they were real, they would help make the world a better place.
Without further ado, let’s get to the list:
Elle Woods (Legally Blonde)
“I’m here to speak for those who can’t speak for themselves.”
Elle Woods is a great example of a woman who defies all typical stereotypes. But that’s not the only reason why I love her. She’s a vegetarian, animal lover who fights for the rights of animals who don’t have a voice. The film (Legally Blonde 2) is jokey and the message is lighthearted (she wants to send a wedding invitation to her dog’s mother!), but the facts are still there. Cosmetic testing on animals is wrong, and Elle is determined to use her power as a lawyer to get it banned.
Phoebe Buffay (Friends)
“Don’t hate. You don’t want to put that out in the universe.”
Another vegetarian, Phoebe is that ditzy hippie chick that everyone needs in their life. She’s so unashamedly herself, and doesn’t care what other people think of her. She’s funny, and cares for her friends. What’s not to love about her?
Fern Arable (Charlotte’s Web)
“This is a matter of life and death and you talk about controlling myself? … The pig couldn’t help being born small, could it? If I had been born very small at birth, would you have killed me? … This is the most terrible case of injustice I ever heard of.”
Ah, Fern, the first girl to open my heart to compassion before I even knew what to do about it. The illustrations and emotive language in the Charlotte’s Web story made me sob into my pillow as a young child, pleading that Wilbur the pig didn’t die. Little did I know, but this children’s story laid the foundations of care and love for other animals in my heart, but it wasn’t until five years later (when I was 11), that I actually connected the dots and stopped eating meat. Fern was not explicitly a vegetarian, but her love for Wilbur opened the hearts of many young children, creating a generation of caring, loving kids (thanks, E.B White! — who was vegetarian).
Nausicaä (Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind)
“No matter how many weapons you have, no matter how great your technology might be, the world can not live without love!”
Nausicaa remains one of the most powerful, inspirational women of the fictional world to me. I want to thank Hayao Miyazaki a hundred times over for creating many, many strong female characters to stand as role models for people who watch the Studio Ghibli films. Nausicaa can be described as an eco-warrior, who wants nothing but peace and love on her planet. Her love and compassion for the insects (the Ohmu) is what ends the war and restores the peace. Moral of the story? Love always wins, and by that I mean love for everything – plants, animals, people, nature. Treat everything with kindness and respect, and kindess and respect is what you’ll receive.
Lisa Simpson (The Simpsons)
“My interests include music, science, justice, animals, shapes, feelings…”
Lisa Simpson always seemed to be a bit different from the rest of her family. A straight A, book loving girl who was somewhat of a social outcast at school only distanced herself further when she became vegetarian. Of course it’s not a prominent part of the Simpson’s story-line but it is one of her defining characteristics. Her intelligence, compassion and free-thinking opinions are what make her the awesome role model that she is. I used to watch the Simpsons every evening, and Lisa was the character I identified with the most. So it’s no surprise really that she influenced some of my opinions (vegetarianism being the main one). Thanks, Lisa!
Do you have any favourite fictional characters? Which characters have influenced you the most over your life? Let me know in the comments! Don’t forget to share this page and subscribe to the website for new content. You can also find me on Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Instagram, Google + and Tumblr for even more!