Talking animated animals are fine; ditto talking tomatoes and celery sticks. But not processed foods. Why? Because all foodstuffs are dead. Even recently picked, fresh-smelling vegetables at outdoor farmer’s markets are dead. All food markets are, in a sense, large, antiseptic funeral homes for foodstuffs composed of elements that were once fresh and alive before they were picked, chopped, slaughtered, refined, pasteurized, reconstituted and corporatized. If you’re drinking fresh milk right out of a warm cow or swallowing the yolk out of freshly-cracked eggs a la Sylvester Stallone in Rocky — okay, not dead. But you certainly can’t get much deader than hot dogs (partly made from the unusable guts of steers scooped up from the slaughterhouse floor) and sausage, which of course were once pigs. (During an early ’80s visit to a working farm in New York State I ate fresh sausage from a recently butchered pig, and the taste was very robust and even spicy but that didn’t change anything.) Therefore the idea that foodstuffs are cute little quipsters with souls, personalities, hopes, dreams and crushes on would-be girlfriends is pathetic.