The artificial animals are meaningless and superficial trappings. He worships any truly living animal as sacred. Still, in his quest for spiritual guidance, he is also forced to turn to the fraud and trickery of Mercerism. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep is a book that parodies man's superficial quest for religion through the fraud of animal worship and shows how man will even turn to inanimate objects for moral guidance.
The story is told through the world of Rick Deckard. He is a bounty hunter who hunts down and kills the illegal Androids. The Rosen Corporation has built the new Nexus-6 robots so lifelike that they are almost undetectable. In a world where there is little that resembles life in the past, Deckard must seek out and destroy that which has the potential to replace it. The world has become splintered and alienated. People exist on the margins of life, outcast and distanced from any reality. Humans are segregated by health and kept at a distance from truth by the propaganda of the Android Buster Friendly's non-stop television show and the fraudulent religion of Mercerism. Having destroyed nearly all of the original creation, man must now decide which of his own replacements are good and which are evil. The story of morality is told through the animal kingdom.
Animals are the one constant that everyone has a connection to. ...
The Sidney's Catalogue has become the new bible, carried wherever they go and looked to for truth and guidance. When an animal that appears to be real confuses Rick he states his belief in Sidney's. He says, "Sidney's never makes a mistake. We know that too. What else can we depend on" (p.41). The bounty hunter that was trying to eliminate the false humans from earth was also dedicated to finding the only true animals left on the planet. Syndey's had become his bible.
Virtue was evaluated by man's treatment and care of the animals he owned and knew. When Deckard was trying to purchase a horse from his neighbor, his neighbor rebuffed his request. Barbour, the neighbor said, "It would be immoral to sell my horse" (p.10). Deckard replied, "Sell the colt, then. Having two animals is more immoral than not having any" (p.10). Deckard and his neighbor were in a tug of war over the contention that there was a proper and moral responsibility to owning an animal. It did not involve the treatment of the animal, only the ownership. Ownership of one animal was righteous, more was gluttonous, and less was depraved.
In Dick's book, animals were elevated to the elite level of ethics and Godliness. To know an appreciation for an animal was to make you a better human being. When John Isadore was returning to the pet repair shop to have what he believed was a robotic cat recharged, the cat expired. He was glad that it had died and now he "...no longer had to listen to the nerve wracking wheezing of the construct: he could relax" (p.72). Animals, and especially robotic ones, did not move Isadore.
The war had left Isadore mentally challenged and he had been, "...reduced to this ignomous task with its attendant emotional by-products" (p.72). His mind had been reduced and