How civilized are adults?
Sigmund Freud wrote that “Children show no trace of the arrogance which urges adult civilized men to draw a hard-and-fast line between their own nature and that of all other animals.”
Freud’s observation is confirmed by the friendships that children readily make with animals. Unfortunately, the process of turning caring children into “civilized men” (and women) often involves terminating these friendships and mocking their significance.
The annual Douglas County Lamb Show & Barbecue serves this function of hardening hearts. Children who have cared for animals are expected to put their friends on the auction block and eventually under the knife. Amongst the civilized, it is deemed a sign of maturity to willingly exchange the lives of loved ones for money.