Why Newt Scamander of ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Is a Magical Animal Ally

Published by Carolyn Englar.

As Newt Scamander is told in the second installment of the Fantastic Beasts film series, he’s never met an animal he didn’t love.

We feel you, Newt.

We haven’t found a wizard in the Harry Potter universe who cares more about animals than Newt. His version of romance is comparing his love interest’s eyes to those of a salamander. He carries his adorable nifflers with him everywhere he goes, despite the mischief they cause. And his very name is Newt.

Here are five of our favorite quotes from the popular Fantastic Beasts films that are pure animal rights magic:

“There are no strange creatures, only blinkered* people.

(*“Blinkered” means “limited in scope or understanding: narrow-minded.” Don’t worry—we didn’t know what it meant, either.)

People often fear or distrust things they don’t understand. We applaud Newt for combatting prejudices against animals, as only prejudice allows us to deny others the rights that we expect to have for ourselves.

After all, as PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk has said, “When it comes to pain, love, joy, loneliness, and fear, a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy. Each one values his or her life and fights the knife.”

“She was born to run.”

Newt knows that animals are meant to live in their natural habitats—not to be abused in captivity.

In Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, we first meet the magical zouwu while she’s held captive in an evil traveling wizard circus. After she escapes, Newt is able to earn her trust with the help of what appears to be a cat toy. (He’s a wizard, so we won’t ask questions.) Newt understands that she’s destined to run free, not live in a cage for human entertainment.

“[T]hey’re currently in alien terrain surrounded by millions of the most vicious creatures on the planet … humans. 

It’s ironic that humans fear animals such as sharks, snakes, and crocodiles, when in fact, our species is the deadliest predator of all.

Newt understands this threat and is always working to protect magical individuals from harm. His enchanted suitcase contains a sanctuary, allowing each animal he saves to roam within their own unique habitats.

“I’m writing a book about magical creatures … to help people understand why we should be protecting these creatures instead of killing them.” 

Magical or not, all animals deserve to be protected.

Teaching compassion for animals is important at any age, especially with young children. Informing kids about empathy reduces the likelihood that they’ll grow up to be abusive toward others and can help end cruel types of behavior before they become a violent pattern. So we certainly applaud Newt’s undertaking here.

Visit PETA’s humane education division, TeachKind, for resources that can help teach others to develop compassion for all sentient beings.

“You do not seek power—you simply ask, ‘Is a thing right?'”

This is the reason that Dumbledore—played by former PETA campaign star Jude Law—gives after asking, “Do you know why I admire you, Newt?”

Newt understands that animals aren’t ours to abuse in any way and knows that protecting those who can’t defend themselves is everyone’s responsibility. PETA knows that sometimes it takes doing what is right—not what is popular—to bring about necessary change in order to save the lives of animals. And our tactics continue to be effective in winning victories for animals everywhere.

But if you come across a magic wand, definitely let us know.

Join Newt and PETA in the fight for animal rights and put your compassion to action!

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind