Typically, it is opponents of animal rights activist who charge that it is popular culture’s anthropomorphization of animals in animated fare like “Bambi” that turns people into animal rights activists. I’ve seen numerous people say they’d never let their kids what “Bambi” or “The Rats of NIMH” for precisely this reason (for the record, I think such concerns are largely absurd).
But along comes Paul McCartney who recently told the UK press that it was movies like “Bambi” and stories like “Dumbo” that turned him into an animal rights activist.
The Press Association quoted McCartney as saying,
If you think of Bambi, its mum gets killed by a hunter, and I think that made me grow-up thinking hunting isn’t cool. It always gave me that idea.
You look through a lot of these great stories. Dumbo, his mum is quite badly treated. A lot of these classic stories, through their efforts, kids, as I once was, have grown up feeling it’s a bad idea to be cruel to animals.
First, if I remember correctly, the animals in all these books also speak remarkably good English. I hope the reporter asked a follow-up question about whether or not McCartney also believes that deer and rabbits speak English to each other when human beings aren’t around.
Second, there is a qualitative difference in opposing animal cruelty and opposing almost every conceivable animal/human interaction as the group that McCartney shills for, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, does. (Except, of course, McCartney and his late wife Linda opposed things like animal research until she needed the fruits of that research to fight her breast cancer — then, well, screw the animals, that was a matter of life and death).
‘Bambi’ turned McCartney vegetarian. The Press Association, December 13, 2005.
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