First, a disclaimer of sorts: I like animals and have no problem with pets (except cats). Having said that, I cannot tolerate people who believe animals are on an equal level with humans. They are not. Even the stupidest human alive is vastly more intelligent than the smartest animal. Animals may have some "human-like" characteristics but that does not make them human. I feel a mixture of sorrow and revulsion for people who treat their pets like they are equal parts of the family. Worse, by far, than these mostly harmless individuals are the members of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). I am all for treating animals with respect and not abusing them. That is about as far as I'm willing to go. PETA though will, and often does, go to ridiculous extremes. These people seem to care more about animals than their fellow humans. Seriously, these individuals scare me. While I certainly wouldn't put them in the same category as terrorists, I am quite comfortable classifying them as extremists.
So who is to blame for this culture that sometimes places animals above humans? Why, Disney of course. It sounds funny but I am more than half serious. Most of these people are of a generation that grew up on Disney movies. What is the one common theme of Disney movies? Yep, animals with human characteristics (they even talk). I believe over the years these people's subconscious reinforced the idea of animals as humans so that as they grew up they believed real animals were the same way. Why else would some people be so fanatical about animal rights? I mean they have car insurance for your pet now! I'm not kidding. It's Geico I think and maybe others. This is ridiculous. It's only been maybe the last thirty years or so that people have been such strong animal activists. There has to be some underlying cause for that. I choose to blame it on Disney. They can take the hit.