At the beginning of the novella, old Major gives a moving, passionate speech, where he encourages the animals to rebel against their human masters and establish an egalitarian society ruled by animals. Old Major focuses his speech on the oppressive, malevolent nature of humans and labels human beings as an animal's worst enemy. Old Major elaborates on the various ways humans oppress animals on the farm and encourages them to rise up against their masters. Old Major's motto is
Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend (Orwell, 5).
He then proceeds to warn the animals about adopting human habits and behaviors. The intelligent pigs eventually adopt Old Major's warnings and use them to create the Seven Commandments. Following the death of old Major and the creation of the Seven Commandments, old Major's motto is then reduced to a single maxim, "Four legs good, two legs bad," which is repeated on a constant basis by the unintelligent sheep.