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Thread: Wild things in Valinor

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Brego, your wondering wandering question found its way into my misty space between dreaming and waking. Jaguars in Valinor? Lions, bears, other large carnivores? Crocs? Or smaller predators, foxes, raccoons, even mice?

I know Orome hunted game that had to be challenging, but somehow the idea of a great magnificent Vala routing out and riding down a jaguar squeezes my heart miserably.

I somehow have always imagined much more easily the olvar of Valinor than the kelvar. Partly, of course, because of the importance of the Two Trees and the many gardens of Valmar; but the prey-and-predator relationship of our animal brothers and sisters still presents an uncomfortable calculation for me... Animals in the Blessed Realm, what do they eat? What did Huan eat?

Friends and fellow Tolkienists, great comfort will come from your sharing of thoughts. Elves, especially, what did we learn of this in the ancient days? I'm afraid I don't quite remember...

Hail Marghana. I suspect We may have kicked a hornets nest with this one. Tolkien states that there are more or additional creatures in Valinor which have yet to be seen in Middle Earth, would love to see some of them some day. I have a vision in my mind that the Valar tried to rid (by hunting) creatures of evil, twisted and corrupted by Melkor, which doesn't include general carnivors being part of the natural ecological world. What they ate. Goodness this smacks of Garden of Eden kind of trouble, didnt lambs lay with lions or something like that.....We do know that the Green Elves hunted and probably ate dear, however I always see Elves as Vegan.

Wow, never thought about that!

I'd say Orome hunted deers - I have a feeling that we would know more about it if his trophies would be more unusual. I'd say he hunted and after the chase he let them go - I just  can't see a Valar being proud of the animals he killed. He just enjoyed the chase. I don't think they had to eat to survive, but I believe they enjoyed eating what the nature gave them without killing living creatures. Of course that doesn't rule out Children of Iluvatar hunting and killing animals for food, their role in Arda's history were different.

About Huan - yes, it is interesting. But Huan wasn't an ordinary dog. What about Manwe's Eagles?

Oh, Indis, thank you so much for that comforting thought: yes, Orome chased them down and then let them go on their way.  Definitely!  I do believe that the Valar didn't eat as we understand eating, mostly because of sheer numbers.  They were these huge beings, the size of a three-story building,, so just imagine how much they would have to eat if they ate like we children of Iluvatar do.  But the animals... they would have to eat something, and if one considers the exponential population growth of some species, like mice and such, they would sadly have to be gobbled or else they would overrun even the immense mansion of Aüle.     

I remember a book I read years ago, Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat the Canadian zoologist.  Seeking to provide hard evidence that wolves were not responsible for the loss of deer populations, he took up residence in the neighborhood of a family of wolves and documented their every move for a year and more.  In short, it turned out that the wolves ate mice, dozens and dozens of them, that were a plague anyway.  Farley himself went on a mouse diet to prove that it was possible to survive on it, and had many more adventures that went into this wonderful book.

Meaning, then, that the big cats and bears and such in Valinor could have maybe preyed on species that require thinning.  And that would go for Huan and Manwe's eagles as well.  Let's say.  The fact is that the balance of Nature went very well for millions of years, until the seeds of Morgoth had their way with Middle Earth, and now so much has been lost.

And Brego, I too believe that Elves would be pretty much vegan or at least moderate consumers of animal-based foods.  Honey, most assuredly.  Eggs, what can I say...  But not all Elves!  I can easily see Fëanor and his sons devouring shanks of meat roasted over roaring fires.  Or what?

Then again, I don't think Elves were big eaters.  That would be why they were so amused by the unquenchable appetites of hobbits.

I remember that Orome and Tulkas and their many Maia and Elven followers hunted beasts of "tooth and horn" which apeared after the influence of Melkor seeped into the North upon his escape from Valinor after the destruction of The Two Blessed Trees. I don't think these creatures were of nature or of original creation. I think these were twisted and corrupted beasts not of the original "plan". I don't think hunting of for example dear or naturally occurring carnivors would have been looked upon Favourably by the other Valar since most of them were loved by other Valar or high ranking Maia like Nessa, Oromes spouse. I kind of think that killing creatures under her care would not have been welcomed. Melkor and Sauron Seemingy had power to changheld alter the living. I think in this group of creatures would be Warewolves, Fell Beasts and certain poor horses. Re the Eagles, in The Hobbit there is mension of them being cruel enemies but valiant friends and eating sheep. This is why they are wary of men, especially shepherds it would seem.

Some think the Green Elves might not eat meat, based on (from Silmarillion text): '... these folk [Men] are hewers of trees and hunters of beasts: therefore we are their unfriends,...'

But even if so, I think in general Tolkien's Elves ate meat.  

Need to correct something I mentioned above re Melkor.  I re read the section regarding Beasts of Tooth & Claw.  It seems that The Dark Lord was dabbling and meddling well before he was captured by the Valar.  Perhaps he was even practicing for what he had planned for the poor unfortunate Elves and Men in later days who found themselves enthralled by his powers....

In a text title Aman, it's noted (just to add a citation):

 

'But for their delight and use there were in Aman also a great multitude of creatures, without fear, of many kinds: animals or moving creatures, and plants that are steadfast. There, it is believed, were the counterparts of all the creatures that are or have been on Earth, and others also that were made for Aman only.'

The Elvish word fea(r) has been roughly translated as 'spirit(s)'

Thank you Galin for that information. Excellent.As well as all of you,I am grateful for knowledge I did not have a minute before.

Yes so it would seem that if all creatures had their forefathers and mothers in Valinor then some must have evolved to eat meat once they were moved to Middle Earth and wherever else they journeyed. For if they lived without fear in the West then they would have no fear of being hunted or eaten. This would surely then include the Elves which is comforting.

That would line up with Tolkien's biblical view of even Middle-Earth whether he meant it or not. A friend once said to him "you don't think you wrote all this alone" i am paraphrasing, meaning God had intervened and caused him to add this and that, the way his Illuvatar 'meant ' Bilbo and Frodo and the rest to suddenly do certain things. Tolkien believed what the Bible said , that following the flood I think mankind was then given a choice, they could now eat flesh instead of eating vegetation , fruits, grains exclusively. Never thought about it though.

Brego dear, I had an alert in my email that I had a message from you , but there was no message when I checked. I then went to the list to message you and did not see the name Brego whatsoever anywhere. I am at a loss what to do. Sorry.

Yes Leelee the message system is strange. I did send you a message but couldn't find you either..... I added you as a buddy and like magic you were there. I then sent a message, just to say hi. Anyway Ill try again.

Oh, I have problems since the very beginning here. I cannot send messages because when I look for someone I know, his/her name are not among the ones in the list. Must I add them to the buddy list previously? Thanks before hand for your help.

 

And sorry for not posting anything related to this thread....

Elbereth yes, that seemed to work for me.  The buddy list seems to be more comprehensive and contains everyones names, the list you get in the send message list seems incomplete.

Hope that helps...

Thank you very much for your help Brego. I will do as you told me.

indecision

I did some re reading over the weekend regarding Elves and eating meat and really couldn't find anything else.  A thought popped into my head though. 

Perhaps the Eldar were vegetarian or even vegan due to the fact that in Valinor these foods were freely available and lets face it would have to be the greatest organic produce ever in the world.

The Dark Elves maybe grew to eat meat due to the more scarce resources in Middle Earth.  I can imagine for instance that the Green or Grey Elves would not have had much open space for the farming of grain, seed and vegetables.  They weren't much for tree clearing (thank goodness).

Just a thought.

I believe that the eagles ate fish

They are great fishers Smile Smilie

Good question Marghana!

I had never before thought about it but I can't really imagine Elves eating flesh. Not at all. I have nothing to justify this opinion but they seem to be in harmony with Nature as a part of it; so killing an animal should be as killing one of their race. No no no.

I am sure someone will bring news about this, there must be some lines about it just somewhere.....