In my experience, there is nothing wrong with becoming animal. Most hunter animals do not kill just to kill. They kill to eat and to survive. They fight, not to win, but to survive. And in the act, they will look into each other's eye as one gives up the ghost.
As a human animal, I choose to do one more thing. As we kill for food (most of us citified martial artists are very divorced from this practice), I try to honor the ritual of becoming a protector of the rest of the animal kingdom from which my food source came.
This, too, seems to be a major disconnect in modern Budo. Few of us question our food source, how it is raised, brought to market, and placed on our tables. We have no idea if the salmon will be running in 10 years or if the tuna will be radio active and die as a species.
And I suspect we will pay a very big price for maintaining such a disconnect. Soon, we will see horrific violence in our cities. Food wars, water wars, and terrirotial wars will be in our neighborhoods.
And I beleve only great courage, creativity and compassion will help us navigate our way out of it.
Fighting each other will only add fuel to the fire.
Chris, I agree that given choice most animals wouldn't even kill.
I assume you must be versed in Buddhism and a part of Buddhism I haven't seen touched on in these threads is that of past lives, previous existences. A fundamental tenet of Buddhism. The whole karmic cycle of being trapped in this recycled living. As O'Sensei was also well versed in Buddhism I find this surprising.
The reason I say this is that firstly it points to the spiritual continuous you rather than the body and secondly that the whole theory of such cycles is to do with acting against your own true nature, doing harmful things etc. No wonder the way out is love and true 'budo' is love.
Finally I'll leave you with this question: Throughout time immemorial through all your past lives and getting less and less aware what happened to your power? Why did it get less?