You gotta give them credit - the animal rightists know how to play the emotion heartstrings of typical Americans. Photos like this:
clog up a website that injects anthropomorphism into our relationship with other species.
The human characteristics commonly ascribed to animals in popular culture usually centers on either their perceived personality or disposition (for example, owls are usually designated as wise); their appearance alone (penguins are usually portrayed as plump aristocrats, because their plumage resembles a tuxedo); or a combination of both (raccoons are commonly portrayed as bandits, both because of the characteristic black stripe over their eyes, which resembles the stereotypical mask of a bandit, and because they roam at night, sometimes breaking into peoples' garbage). It should be noted, however, that such personification can be modern or ancient. For example, foxes are portrayed as cunning and have been for thousands of years, but penguins were not widely known of before the 20th century and so all anthropomorphic behaviour associated with them is modern.
Is it me, or does the cat look a little unexcited?