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Civil Rights activists care
, so much so that opponents derisively label them "bleeding hearts". But what they fail to consider is that the Zombie Advocate's friends may well rip it from their chest.
The Zombie Advocate is a (usually) normal
person who advocates for the "human rights
" of... well, things other than humans. Not just zombies, but also robots, monsters, and other inhuman creatures
that may inhabit the setting. They will argue against killing them and make a case that they're not dangerous, but Reluctant Monsters
who are no different from human
at all. Well, except for
, made of metal and/or having died.
They may not even be that far off. If the creature being advocated for is genuinely good
the Zombie Advocate can get The Hunter
to stop from committing a Van Helsing Hate Crime
regret. In more idealistic stories they're instrumental in getting
the angry villagers
(or disdainful scientists)
and the misunderstood monster to reconcile — until some idiot goes invoking an Interrupted Cooldown Hug
, that is. Interestingly, they may well have hated or feared the monster just like everyone else, only changing their mind after discovering
On the other hand, the Zombie Advocate may have that hand bitten off
by the "person" they're "helping."
In settings where the monsters really are
evil inhuman murderers this position becomes suicidally misguided. When a loved one is turning
or turned into a monster
, the Zombie Advocate may go into denial
and hide their condition or pretend nothing is wrong. While trying to protect them from discovery and destruction is understandable, it is no less suicidal or genocidal.
Extremely far gone advocates may even try to care for them and "feed" them. Of course, if the non-human is intelligent, it may well be the creature is tricking them or offering conversion.
In both these latter cases, they usually die at the hands of their "loved one".
See also Inhumanable Alien Rights
, which is what a justified Zombie Advocate
is fighting against. Compare Black Shirt
and Gullible Lemmings
. Not to be confused with soulless lawyers
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Anime & Manga
- In High School Of The Dead, a group taking refuge on Saya's parents' estate criticize them for slaughtering the undead indiscriminately rather than searching for a cure. Who are eventually eaten by the zombie hordes because those idiots from the orgybus messed up and let them into the compound. Just in case you were wondering, they actually try to reason with the zombies while they are being eaten. (The ringleader panics, stabs a zombie in the eye before the moment of truth, and is still in denial.)
- Sakaki from Azumanga Daioh is an odd example of this, as the "zombies" in question are cats who only seem to be a danger to Sakaki herself, as they (one, nicknamed Kamineko, in particular) attack her every time she tries to pet one. That said, she still keeps on trying and becomes distressed when Kagura or others try to scare away or hit the cats to get them to release her fingers.
Films — Animation
- Belle in Disney's Beauty and the Beast becomes this for the Beast toward the end, trying to stop the angry villagers from Storming the Castle with Torches and Pitchforks.
- How to Train Your Dragon has Hiccup advocate for dragon-kind. He is, however, an example of the former kind of Zombie Advocate (that is, where it's not sheer insanity to take such a position), and the movie is ultimately about proving that dragons aren't a danger to vikings by choice and the two races can get along just fine. Once he helps destroy the giant monster-dragon that has enslaved the other dragons and is forcing them to pillage the viking village to feed its endless hunger, anyway.
- The sequel reveals that Hiccup's Missing Mom Valka took a similar stance. She was dismissed as a fool after she was carried off and presumably eaten by a dragon when her son was an infant, while she concluded that the villagers would never listen and spent the following two decades as a hermit studying the residents of her sanctuary while keeping them from harm.
- In the Second Renaissance sections of The Animatrix, there are protests and a Million Machine March promoting civil rights for sentient machines.
Films — Live-Action
- The Dead Next Door has a scene in which protesters advocating zombie rights are attacked by the zombies.
- Ghostbusters raised the possibility of ghost advocacy groups when they showed a cover of The Atlantic magazine that asked "Do Ghosts Have Civil Rights?"
- Colin: The zombie's sister chases away kids trying to terminate him, then pleads with her boyfriend to take him back to their apartment and tie him to the shower head. She shows him family photos (which he snarls at), gets bitten for her trouble, hides it, then dies and comes back to wander the Earth with her brother.
- Survival of the Dead has a plot that boils down to a group of Army deserters stumbling across an island divided between the rule of two clans. The Muldoons are Zombie Advocates to a man/woman, chaining up or imprisoning their zombies and striving to teach them to feed on animal flesh rather than human flesh. The O'Flynns recognize that the zombies are nothing but predatory corpses and are determined to wipe out any zombie that shows up on the island. End result is the two clans being more concerned with shooting each other then with dealing with the growing army of zombies on the island.
- Surprisingly absent in the Underworld franchise, in spite Awakening having the perfect setup for it. Even the human cop forming a temporary alliance with Selene seems off-put at the notion of having to work with a vampire to defeat the lycans. But for some strange reason, even with the loved ones being turned into vampires, nobody ever bothers to petition for their loved ones' rights or form advocacy groups.
- The X-Men film series revolves around this trope, usually from the mutants' perspective. Many analogies to civil rights and other topical issues are made on all sides, with comparisons to the Civil Rights movement, the Holocaust, weapons in schools, coming out ("Mom, Dad — I'm a mutant"). A commonly-cited fan analogy is in the "Civil Rights movement" theme, Professor Xavier is an Expy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s ideals of peaceful coexistence and mutual respect, while Magneto embodies more of a Malcolm X type of militant, us-versus-them, mutant superiority archetype.
- Xavier also tends to invert this by being a firm advocate for humanity, despite his own admission that mutants like himself are the next stage in mankind's evolution and the future of their species.
- Journey To The West: Conquering The Demons: Tang believes that demons can be reformed through song. This keenly foreshadows the fact that his three disciples will be demons recruited to his side.
- Hermione in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire started S.P.E.W., the Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare. Notable in that house elves do not want better treatment, being a race of Extreme Doormats. Considering that they are physically and mentally incapable of disobeying their owners, it may be fair to say the elves generally lack the ability to independently "want" anything in particular, Dobbies and Kreachers notwithstanding. Hermione's understanding of the situation gradually improves from Book 4 ("The other elves will see how happy [Dobby] is, being free, and slowly it'll dawn on them that they want that too!”) to Book 7 (after Kreacher is punishing himself for calling her a Mudblood: "Don't you see how sick it is, the way they've got to obey?").
In general, it's clear that a lot of masters take advantage of their house elves' psychology and end up physically and mentally abusing them in ways that sentient creatures shouldn't have to put up with. Word of God states that Hermione eventually gets a job in the Ministry working to pass laws requiring that House Elves are treated humanely in their positions. A good example of the problem is Dumbledore's hiring of Dobby. The first offer was good wages and weekends off, but Dobby talked him down.
- Spoofed in Reaper Man with Reg Shoe (a Zombie Advocate who is, himself, a zombie) and his "Fresh Start Club". This gets more spoofed in a later book where Vimes is so fed up with Reg's complaints that he offers Reg a job in the Watch as a liaison with the supernatural community. Soon enough Reg is complaining about the other Zombie Advocates being unreasonable and there is a growing list of complaints against Reg's treatment of supernatural beings.
- A similar thing happens with the Black Ribbon Temperance Society, a society of Friendly Neighborhood Vampires who pledge to refrain from drinking human blood in the hopes that that will get them treated better by people. It usually works.
- The Campaign for Equal Heights are an extremely pushy human-run Dwarf rights group. They campaign against the use of phrases such as "Short Weight" and that since Dwarfs are shorter than Humans that there should be three Dwarfs hired for every two Humans. The Dwarfs themselves are generally baffled by the campaign. Besides, if they are insulted by a Human they have other ways of dealing with it, sometimes involving a battleaxe.
- The trolls have an equivalent organization, the Silicon Anti-Defamation League, though it is implied to be under the thumb of troll gangster Chrysoprase.
- Also Adora Belle Dearheart, who takes care of the adequate treatment of Golems.
- The Compleat Ankh-Morpork City Guide mentions the League of Goblin Friends and the Orc Rehabilitation Society, for the Disc's most despised races of "edge people".
- The "Breath of Life" movement in the Felix Castor series are this for all the undead, at least in principle.
- In the Simon Canderous series, the vampire Aidan Christos is a bit of a Jerkass, but the liaison between humans and vampires once the vampires convince the DEA they don't want to wipe out humanity or cause a human-vampire war.
- Anita Blake is — in the early novels — an ardent defender of zombie rights, and lobbies in support of a Bill of Zombie Rights. Not because she thinks they're harmless. It's more about respect for the dead, and preventing their being raised for irresponsible reasons. Like, um, necrophilia. Yeah, it's that kind of series.
- In Warm Bodies, a zombie eats a guy's brain and falls in love with his girlfriend. The two fall in love, which heals other zombies through The Power of Love and turns the girl into a Zombie Advocate. This is one of the few instances in which a Zombie Advocate in a Zombie Apocalypse movie is shown to be right.
- The whole point of the Generation Dead series. The series is about a world where certain teenagers are coming back from the dead. There is a lot of Fantastic Racism against them, and their problems are similar to several real life minorities. One case even parallels famous AIDS sufferer Ryan White. Tommy Williams, a "living impaired" person, is an advocate for their cause.
- A Doctor Who spinoff book, the Dalek Survival Guide, briefly discusses someone who tried to be this for the Daleks following a period trapped with a Dalek. She appealed to be allowed to see her Dalek and discovered, to put it mildly, that the Dalek did not return her feelings.
- Robin Dyer, from the Dan Shamble Zombie PI stories, is a literal Advocate for zombies, as well as vampires, werewolves, witches, and the numerous other "unnaturals" of the setting. Although human herself, this young civil rights attorney is building a career around untangling the countless legal issues arising from the Big Uneasy, and ensuring that even no-longer-human citizens retain their human legal rights.
- In Strands of Sorrow, The Secretary of Education, during her stint acting in place of the missing President, orders all clearing operations halted, with talk about charging those involved with crimes against humanity, due to the fact that the infected are still technically human. She also orders that the infected be captured and restrained instead of killed, in spite of the fact that the CDC determined that there was no way to reverse the infection and make the victims whole again and that it would be impossible to carry out her orders given the conditions of a zombie apocalypse.
- From The Walking Dead:
- Hershel Greene thinks of them as sick people and keeps a barn filled with his infected family members and neighbors, even those that get trapped trying to enter his farm. And he feeds them. With chicken.
- In season 4, Lizzie does not believe that the walkers are any different from normal people. This leads to her murdering her little sister in order to prove that, when she turns, walkers are just like them.
- The vampires of True Blood have lobbyists and talking heads just like every other special interest group.
- In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Gib Cain scoffs at having to deal with "People for the Ethical Treatment of Werewolves" after Buffy and co. stop him from killing a werewolf on the grounds that it's still a human being. It even spewed a real-life counterpart.
- In the latter part of season 2 of Battlestar Galactica, a group of activists briefly emerged who argued that the Colonials should pursue peace and coexistence with the Cylons. This despite the fact that the Cylons had almost entirely eradicated all of mankind in a nuclear holocaust and pursued the scant few survivors into deep space, the activists still characterized Admiral Adama and Galactica's campaign to protect the fleet from being wiped out of existence as a "relentless war machine".
- When the study group plays Dungeons & Dragons on Community, Britta keeps getting distracted from their actual goals by such causes:
Abed as NPC: How can I help you, dear madam?
Britta as PC: Oh please, no need for such deference. I am no better than a gnome.
Abed: Yes, you are, madam. You are a human warrior, which is five species classes greater than I.
Britta: That's disgusting! Don't talk like that!
Abed: I am so sorry, madam! Please don't report me for execution!
Britta: Oh, no, no, no, I didn't mean that! Guys, we’ve GOT to do something about these gnomes!
Jeff: BRITTA, ASK THE STUPID GNOME WHERE WE CAN GET A PEGASUS!!
- The whole plot of In The Flesh, revolves around medicated and rehabilitated former zomb- Partial Deceased Syndrome sufferers being reintegrated into normal society. Unfortunately, those who campaign for their civil rights and protection are often lambasted by supporters of the Human Volunteer Force, who see no distinction between "rotters" who are medicated and those who are still rabid.
- Mentioned but not shown in Doctor Who. Many people in Pete's world thought it was inhumane to keep the Cybus Cybermen locked up because they're still human (sort of).
- On Fraggle Rock, Mokey once feels sorry for the Doozers having their buildings eaten, and convinces the other Fraggles to stop. Turns out the Doozers like having their hard work destroyed because it leaves room for them to keep building.
- Shadowrun. In his will the dragon Dunkelzahn set up an organization called the Astral Space Preservation Society. One of its duties was to "protect the rights of the denizens of astral space". Some of these denizens are insect spirits (which infest and take over human beings), toxic spirits (which are used in the evil plans of toxic shamans) and Horrors, who are Eldritch Abominations that devastate the surface of the Earth every few thousand years.
- He also bequeathed a significant sum to whoever could come up with an artificial flesh substitute for ghouls, so they would have a chance to re-enter society. While the efforts have so far been unsuccessful, ghouls are capable of maintaining a semi-civilized lifestyle if they can satisfy their Horror Hunger in non-illegal ways (like corpses they didn't kill).
- Mystara has one of Transplanted Humans areas bringing lycanthropes to Glantri. They eventually got enough of a political clue to organize the underground Canine Protection Society and claim they are persecuted out of prejudice much like the dwarves were before. They leave dwarves and halflings alone; conversely, some dwarves quietly support them with money as an indirect revenge against Glantrians. The real plan is very simple: to spread lycanthropy around until there are enough of them, because once there are 5000 supporters who live in one area far enough from the capitol (which is the case) and agree on which noble they want as the Prince, the last step is perfectly legal — they can officially request an Act of Enfiefment and get their own principalty.
- The existence of a "People for the Ethical Treatment of Zombies" protest group occurs in a few All Flesh Must Be Eaten settings, usually with their annihilation being played for laughs.
- Hunter: The Vigil in the New World of Darkness has an unusually respectful variant of this in the Talbot Group, who are Hunters who focus on trying to rehabilitate and cure spirit-ridden and werewolves. They resort to violence only as a last resort, and are generally one of the nicest people, though somewhat misinformed in their purpose. Most notable, Uratha can not be cured of being werewolves, anymore than, say, Africans could be cured of having dark skin — werewolfism is a genetic trait.
- Dead Reign has the Zombie Lover character type. Some just see the zombies as ill loved ones sick with a really bad disease, others consider them to actually be an improvement over humanity.
- In Flipside, Maytag tries to help Bloody Mary, a mass-murdering cannibal, genuinely hoping that she'll be able to help her reverse her condition. Her determination to help is pretty solid, especially considering that Mary has just eaten Maytag's arm and killed a good man whom she admired.
- Rick in Basic Instructions takes this view for a strip, even claiming the possible creation of a zombie utopia. However, the whole thing was a set-up for a joke about people only valuing others for their brains.
- Tsukiko from The Order of the Stick is unlike most necromancers in fiction. Rather than see the undead as slaves, she considers them morally superior to the living on the grounds that the dead don't lie or go around hurting feelings. She acts motherly toward her vicious flesh-eating creations, and flirted with the lich Xykon in their first meeting. The whole thing is mostly Played for Laughs. In her case it's more of a Logical Fallacies situation: she reasons that since the living are mean liars who go around hurting each other, the undead (as the antithesis of living creatures) MUST be kind, loving gentle creatures. She holds to this belief regardless of the mountains of evidence to the contrary right up until the End. There's also other reasons for her behavior.
- Redcloak is one for goblins, as is his (formally mortal) deity the Dark One, and the entire plot is set into motion by the Dark One's plan to get goblins more rights, either by holding reality hostage with the Snarl, or allowing it to be destroyed and recreated with himself now one of the gods making the rules. As for why this is necessary, OOTS takes place in an RPG Mechanics Verse, where monsters like goblins literally only exist to be killed for XP.
- In a story arc in the World of Warcraft-based comic, Dark Legacy Comics, Keydar joins a group that supports NPC rights, culminating in violence towards NPCs being made illegal. In the world of an MMO, killing NPCs is integral to society, so the economy crumbles and people starve as they can't get meat or loot anything.
- In Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures , Rachel-Rebecca the Third established civil rights for The Undead after winning the case for her own murder.
- MegaTokyo: The Magical Girl tries to save a zombie Godzilla. (Guilt is a factor here, since she precipitated the infection.)
- Exterminatus Now has zombies rather vehement in this regard. Not that it helped (see also a few next pages).
- In Bruno the Bandit, Bruno is going to be forced to to fight a dragon on live television. Suddenly, a group of straw PETA stand-ins rush the stage and start protesting the mistreatment of this majestic creature. The dragon immediately eats them.
- Penny Arcade gives us the PETO, which stands for People for the Ethical Treatment of Orcs.
- PvP's Skull the troll briefly ran a troll-rights group at one point.
- In Hanna Is Not a Boy's Name, Hanna gets pissed when someone implies that Zombie is a thing and not a person. It could be because Zombie is his friend and business partner, but he also earlier was apologetic to a vampire bat for potentially implying that all bats look the same.
- The Zombie Rights Campaign is dedicated to advocating the rights, and fighting the stereotypes, of zombies.
- The Chick introduced in I Am Not Infected is a member of a group of zombie rights protesters, who seems to hang out with the guys' pet zombie and "girl talk".
- Mark Lilly, from Ugly Americans. Actually, this is almost the entire point of the show.
- Generator Rex episode "Outpost" introduces Green Fist, group breaking out captured EVOs from Providence bases. Their leader, Valentina claims they return EVOs to their natural environment and is the first character who ever called Rex out on being a Hunter of His Own Kind.
- Godzilla: The Series has S.C.A.L.E, an Animal Wrongs Group that thinks mutations are the final step of evolution and that they should run free in the world. Kaiju running free = City-destroying rampages. The "poor creatures" they want to free from Monster Island include a giant king cobra, a fire-breathing mosquito, a giant bat, and a bipedal squid-like monster that feeds on tar (and, considering the man-made things found in cities that are made from tar...).
- Lion-O from ThunderCats (2011) is the only Cat who will defend the rights of the Lizards, the Cats' sworn enemy. And to a lesser extent Dogs too.