The basic principles of Animalism are derived from the dream that Old Major had before his death. The pigs had elaborated Old Major's teachings into a “complete system of thought” and call it Animalism. The pigs teach the principles of Animalism to the other animals on the farm, encouraging them to join in a rebellion against the farm’s master, Mr. Jones.
Ultimately, the pigs are able to reduce the principles of Animalism to what they term the Seven Commandments, which form the basic laws that all the animals on Animal Farm must obey forever. Snowball and Squealer explain these Seven Commandments to the others and also inscribe them in white letters that are big and bold enough so that the animals can read can read them from thirty yards away. Of the Seven Commandments, the Golden Rule is to avoid men or anyone that walks on two legs, not four. Specifically, the first rule of Animalism is that “Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.”
Conversely, any animal that walks on four legs or has wings, is a friend. Moreover, no animal shall wear clothes, because it is not natural, according to Animalism, just as no animal shall sleep in a bed. No animal can drink alcohol. Most importantly, no animal shall kill any other animal, and all animals are equal.
Initially, the animals in Animal Farm respond with some skepticism. In fact, the author notes that "at the beginning," the pigs' unveiling of Animalism
met with much stupidity and apathy. Some of the animals talked of the duty of loyalty to Mr. Jones, whom they referred to as "Master," or made elementary remarks such as "Mr. Jones feeds us. If he were gone, we should starve to death.
Ultimately, however, the animals are all on board with Animalism and for the rebellion against Mr. Jones. They look forward to self-rule and the expected freedom that it will bring. They are also proud of their farm, as it belongs to them under the tenets of Animalism.