The world of John Milton’s epic poem Paradise Lost (1674) is richly populated with non-human animals. This essay asks what glimpses of the lives of animals Paradise Lost offers, not just as backdrops to the human story of Adam and Eve, or as carriers of theological and allegorical meaning, but as beings in their own right. It argues that Paradise Lost shows a remarkable interest in non-human animals as existing not for human beings, but for themselves and for each other – and that this is true, moreover, for animal life both before and after the Fall. In this sense, the non-human animals in Paradise Lost simply carry on with their lives, unaffected by the drama of the Fall, and not partaking in humanity’s postlapsarian plunge into history. The poem also questions whether the lives of non-human animals can ever be transparently available to human perception and understanding.