Yet, we do cruel things to animals--smart animals, affectionate animals, cute animals--all the time. People raised on farms understand this. Pigs are sociable, loving, and a hell of a lot brighter than Dalmatians. Have you seen what gets done to them? Do farmers weep about it? Calves are adorable. But veal is delicious.
Of course, it is argued, the dog--man's best friend, the family pet--is different. So says modern bourgeois America, which has turned the pet into a full-fledged member of the nuclear family, even more sacred than other human beings (such as curmudgeonly aunts). Disney, by anthropomorphizing its critters, exploits this American mushy-mindedness, and makes us forget that pets are, in the end, just animals. But God gave man dominion over the beasts of the earth: If an animal has economic utility, we should farm it.
In 1991, when Disney re-released the animated 101 Dalmatians, demand for Dalmatians soared. Here is a prediction. This December, it will happen again: Tens of thousands of children will hound their parents into buying charming Dalmatian pups for Christmas. As before, many of those charming pups will, in two years, grow up into charmless dogs. Hundreds of them, perhaps thousands, will be abandoned or dropped at the pound. They will be shut up in cages. Later, they will be euthanized.
Now why is that better than becoming a fur coat?