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On Dr. Dolittle?

A reader who wishes to remain anonymous transcribed Dr. Dolittle‘s speech to his accusers before being sent to the insane asylum for the crime of compassion toward animals (check out "bad footage of the awesome opening credits" to bring back some memories of the 1967 version, with Rex Harrison). I saw the more current version as well, but I don’t recall the speech being included (anyone recall differently?).

Transcription is so annoying and time consuming for me that whenever I need it done I pay someone to do it. And I’ll pay just about anything to avoid doing this kind of work. That’s how much work–how much time–is involved.

Thanks for doing it and for thinking of me! Without further ado, I give you Dr. Dolittle . . .

I do not understand the human race.
It has so little love for creatures with a different face.
Treating animals like people is no madness or disgrace.
I do not understand the human race.
I wonder why do we treat animals like animals?
Animals treat us so very well.
The devoted ways they serve us and protect us when we’re nervous —
Oh, they really don’t deserve us, all we give them is hell!
Tell me how else man repays them, do we ever think to praise them?
No we don’t, and this dismays them, you can tell.
We’re riddled with ingratitude, we give no love or latitude,
in every way our attitude is, well, like animals.
Why do we treat animals like animals?
How can people be so inhumane?
Cows and chickens work to feed us, dog and horses show they need us
and though cats don’t always heed us, their affection is plain.
What do we do?
We neglect them; we do nothing to protect them;
we reject them, don’t expect them to complain.
We ignore them or we beat them; when we’re hungry, then we eat them.
It’s appalling how we treat them, it’s insane!
Like animals!
We humiliate and murder and confine them.
We create their wretched status, then we use it to malign them.
I mean, why should we say, "preening like a dog"?
Why should we say, "working like a horse"?
Why should we say, "eating like a hog,"
when what we mean is "eating like a man"?!
Don’t we? Of course!
A man of ill repute is called a "weasel" or a "rat,"
a woman you dislike becomes a "vixen" or a "cat."
A family that is blessed with healthy reproductive habits
occasions the remark, "Well you know them, they breed like rabbits"!
"He’s as stubborn as a mule!"
"He’s as stupid as an ox"
"He’s as slimy as a snake!"
"He’s as crafty as a fox!"
Remarks like that really get my goat!
Why don’t we say, "noble as a frog"?
Or, why can’t we say, "wealthy as a hen"?
True, we say, "devoted as a dog."
What we should say is: "chic as a giraffe," "pretty as a pig, eh?"
That’ll be the big day, won’t it?
But when? But when?!
When will we stop treating them like animals?
Is the human race entirely mad?
Women see a baby goatskin, or a lambskin, or a stoatskin!
And to them it’s just a coatskin —
Oh, it’s terribly sad!
When you dress in suede or leather, or some fancy fur or feather,
do you stop and wonder whether, for a fad, you have killed some beast or other?
And you’re wearing someone’s brother,
or perhaps it’s someone’s mother in which you’re clad!
Like animals, like animals, like … animals.
Well, it’s true, we do not live in a zoo.
But man is an animal too.
So why can’t you, like me,
like animals …

One Comment Post a comment
  1. Canaduck #

    Love it. Thanks a lot for posting, and thanks to the person who transcribed the song.

    February 27, 2008

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