If The One and Only Ivan concerns itself with anything, Shmoopers, it's animal rights. Strip away the art and the philosophy, the friendships and the dazzling crusades for freedom, and what lies at the heart of this book is a group of animals who have no business being locked up, forced to perform for human entertainment, or living at the mall in general. Ivan, Stella, and their animal friends have all known cruelty throughout their lives, and as we see them for the gentle creatures they are, the violence against them is presented as completely unacceptable.
Questions About Philosophical Viewpoint: Animal Rights
How do the animals at the Big Top Mall suffer emotionally? How about physically?
Do you think animals have moral rights?
What harms Ivan the most?
Is Mack the bad guy in Ivan's life? If not, then who is?
What does Ivan mean when he says he can't let Ruby be another "One and Only"?
Chew on This
The One and Only Ivan argues that no animals should ever be captured from the wild.
The One and Only Ivan argues that capturing animals is okay so long as they're treated well.