Written originally by Snowball, the Seven Commandments were the "unalterable" principles of Animalism. Since not all of the animals can remember them (or read them), they are boiled down into one basic statement: "Four legs good, two legs bad!" (with wings counting as legs for this purpose), which the sheep constantly repeat, distracting the crowd from the lies of the pigs. (This was later exploited by Napoleon - see below - as the sheep often interrupted Snowball during crucial points during his speeches.)
All of the Seven Commandments are eventually broken by the pigs for their own personal gain. Squealer constantly changes the Commandments to the pigs' benefit, taking advantage of the other animals. For example:
In the end, the pigs learn to stand on two legs and regard the four-legged populace as inferiors. They start to wear Mr. Jones' clothes, sleep in beds and drink alcohol. They brutally order the killings of all of the confessing animals (who are forced to confess to crimes they did not commit when they see the animals' poor quality of life). Later, when Boxer the horse–their most loyal and hardworking follower–is hurt, he is "sent to the vet" but actually sent to a horse-slaughterer by the pigs who buy a crate of whiskey with the proceeds. The pigs tell the rest of the animals that the slaughtering van they saw was no longer owned by the slaughterer but by the vet, yet not painted over, and that Boxer died despite all the attention and medical procedures that were given to him at the hospital.
The Commandments' summation "Four legs good, two legs bad!" is changed to "Four legs good, two legs better!" as the pigs become more human.
By the end of the book, Squealer reduces all of the commandments into a singular law to control the other animals completely, while appearing to keep within the old boundaries of the Animalism laws:
This ends up being the famous "slogan" of Animalism. It is a famously remembered line from the book, and is quoted during debates and discussions about communism. It is an example of doublethink, a concept Orwell used in ''Nineteen Eighty-Four.
The Five Commandments of Animalism:
Edited Five Commandments of Animalism: