I Never Watch Animal Movies
In the olden days, 1963, people went to the movie theaters and saw two movies for one admission price. Sometimes, the second feature was a Disney nature film.
My mother always gave my brother and me money to see a movie on the weekend. It was her way of getting rid of us for a few hours. I remember one particular Saturday when I decided I’d had enough. When we came out of the theater, Mom was waiting in the car at the curb in front of the theater. As I got into the car, I proclaimed to her, “I’m never watching another animal movie because an animal always dies!” I never have. I was 13 years old.
Incurable Animal Lover
I entered this world loving animals. There’s a picture of me around two or three years old holding up my little puppy. It looked like a chihuahua mix. It was almost as big as me. As I recall, its name was Socks. Daddy got the dog for me that day, and before the day was over, Socks ran out into the street, and a car hit him. That was the end of Socks. I was devastated. Daddy went out that same day and got another puppy. I imagine it was the brother of Socks—this one we named Corky. We had Corky longer than Socks. I don’t know whatever happened to him, but I hope he didn’t meet the same fate as Socks.
When I was 10 years old, I read Black Beauty. I should say I read half of Black Beauty. I got to the chapter where Ginger, the horse died, threw the book down and cried all night. To this day, I haven’t finished reading Black Beauty, and I haven’t read a book about an animal since.
I remember being in an English class in junior college. The instructor told the class about the time he was stationed in London during WWII. One day he decided to go to the movies. In those days, your admission got you a short newsreel. He said the newsreel included scenes of soldiers carrying dead bodies from bombed-out buildings. There wasn’t a whisper in the theater while the scene unfolded. Next, the camera panned over the London Zoo. A dead elephant lay on the ground in all the debris. A loud ahhh sounded out from the audience. I don’t think he understood this, but I did.
Disney Animal Movies
An animal always dies in the Disney documentaries. It’s usually the mama bear or lioness, leaving their babies to fend for themselves. I always came out of those movies crying. Even Bambi and The Lion King broke my heart.
Shortly before Diane Sawyer retired from anchoring the ABC National News, she took a poll. She asked viewers to go to ABC’s website and tell the saddest movie they ever saw. She revealed the results the next day, and Old Yeller won. If you haven’t seen it, don’t! It is far worse than Ginger’s death in Black Beauty.
I’ve always been a deep thinker. I think all the time. A deep thought came to me one day. Why can we watch people getting blown apart, stabbed to death, raped, mutilated in a movie, and not blink an eye? Yet, if an animal other than ourselves dies, we sob our hearts out. I think I have the answer.
Animals want nothing more than to give and receive love from us. Some want to eat us, instead, but when they aren’t hungry, they want to love us. Did you ever watch the Born Free Reunion? What a tear-jerker.
A cow, pig, sheep, or goat will bond with us. Think about that the next time you cook meat. I hate the food chain. I don’t even like to fish.
If I see a spider in the house, I’ll find a thin piece of cardboard, scoop it up and take it outside. As I said, I’m crazy.
In reality, if I saw people being killed up close and personal, it would bother me very much. However, in the movies, it doesn’t, because it’s people who cause all the world's cruelty. That’s just my theory.
I’d love to read your thoughts on this.