After much thought (preceding weeks), and the happenstance of events yesterday, Today I created the tag literature along with the post Do rabbits fight each other to the death?

To the best of my knowledge of our current 3,300+ questions none ask about behavior seen in fictional animal characters. I also do not believe the topic of questions on pets about fictional animals has ever been discussed.

I don't believe that the community has decided if questions that would fall under the literature tag would be in or out of scope. This meta posts gives us place to discuss it.

Why now? My wife and I have been reading the audio book Watership Down and as we read it I realized how many questions it brought to mind the cross into the scope of pet house rabbits.

Fictional works like '101 dalmatians' have had huge negative impacts on the lives of pets and their people Impacts in which Pet.SE could have to some extant minimized, or at the very least provided a venue for education.

I am proposing that questions about fictional animal characters that otherwise relate to topics in scope at pets be included a in scope.

Semi Related meta discussions.


I have to be honest, I don't think the intention of the site is really to address the question of fictional characters and their behaviors unless you can really draw a correlation to real pets such as your fighting example and the general public misunderstanding of it. That question strikes me as okay, though a bit borderline if you're not drawing a connection to commonly held belief or misbelief.

This question, What pellets are rabbits eating in Watership Down?, is really not tied to a good case. This reads as a "clear up my understanding of the author's intent" question as opposed to an actual question about pets.

To that end, I really don't think is the right way to go if the intention is to deal with misconceptions and not actually answer literary questions.

  • I agree that this might be more appropriate in the Worldbuilding area.
    – keshlam
    Nov 19 '16 at 3:51
  • @keshlam If a question has a home on another site, or not does not have direct bearing on this site. Occasionally when a question does not work at pets.se there is someplace else we can recommend sending it, but our first considerations is does it work or not here. Nov 20 '16 at 11:38
  • @john I disagree, I think pets.se has a duty to include all questions that will impact the life and relationships of people and pets. Is my position clear in the question or should I write an answer with it? Nov 20 '16 at 11:44
  • @JamesJenkins - I don't think your position is clear. The question I linked to is not a pets questions, it's a trivia question about the book. Even the fighting question looks more like a validation of the accuracy of the fictionalized portrayal rather than really being a question about pets. Maybe it's the way you're wording them, but I think it's a stretch to call them questions about pets.
    – Joanne C
    Nov 20 '16 at 14:04
  • @JohnCavan gave a shot at clarifying my position, thank you for your feedback. Nov 21 '16 at 18:19

Drawing on three basic concepts, leads me to believe "That questions about fictional animal characters that otherwise relate to topics in scope at pets be included as in scope."

  1. Fiction impacts learning

  2. When that fiction can impact the relationship between people and current or future pets, Q&A about it belongs in the Pets.se library

  3. SE sites tend to have high visibility on search engine results. Providing quality Q&A that address the true relationship between animal behavior in fiction and pets in a home, can only benefit the site and those who read it.

In the question What pellets are rabbits eating in Watership Down?

If it were written as below, there would be no question of being in or out of scope we would answer it much as keshlam did here If we assume that the 'my friend' vs 'fictional work' scenario neither is available for cross examination. It falls upon the experts at pets.se to provide answers.

My friend says his rabbits are often "eating pellets". My pet rabbit eats food pellets I buy from the pet store, but I don't see how that would apply to my friends rabbits as he does not buy pellets at the pet store.

What pellets are my friends rabbits eating?

The only difference in the two questions is what instigated the question, friend or fiction. The answer is the same, the benefit to Q&A readers is the same. A big difference is that many more people are familiar with and likely to be searching for answers related to animal behavior and the name of a fictional work than will be searching in combination to a friend. Q&A around fictional animals will tend to be brought before a larger audience when the fictional relationship is included in the question.

The counter argument has been made that questions that are rooted in fiction are 'triva' and somehow that makes it bad. When I searched for Stack Exchange & triva, I did not find anything indicating that SE and triva where not compatible. But I did find these.

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