I like animals. And I like them for their innate animalness. I like the catness of cats, the dogness of dogs, the sheepness of sheep, and the tastiness of pigs.
Why should an animal be vilified for being itself, for acting according to its nature? Why should its behaviors be attributed to malice rather than the fact that it is an animal? Cats are not sneaky or evil – they’re cats.
Anthropomorphizing animals should be done carefully to bring out the characteristics of the animals (or for the sake of satire), not to make them screens onto which ridiculous human sentiments are projected.
If animals are just like people, then they are less lovable, not more and need less care, not more.
Finally, for me, animals are also food. It IS a little sad to have to take a life for the sake of nutrition, but that IS the way it is right now. I respect dissenting opinions on both sides of this statement, but I don’t want to debate it. If you’ve informed and examined your conscience, and you’re not trying to boss me around or manipulate me with talking animals, that’s good enough for me.
Cruelty is deplorable and I believe in limiting suffering as much as possible – I moved to the country in part to have greater control over where my food comes from. I slaughter and process my own meat chickens even though it is distasteful, in part so I don’t forget, and so I know that the animals lived as normal and healthy a life as possible before they were killed to feed me and my family, and because – what right do I have to ask someone else to do my dirty work? I try to have the courage of my convictions. And Babe tried to undermine that.