He's not Mr. Steer. Or Fred.
No. He's Mr. Steak.
His identity is inextricably bound up with the foodstuff he will become. He only achieves his meager personhood in relation to his eventual death and consumption.
We feel for Mr. Steak. What might he have accomplished, had he been surrounded by people who cared about him, and not merely the meat from which he was made? Who could he have been?
His doom was foretold even at his christening.
Imagine an alternate ceremony:
When called into being, he is known as Black Beauty, instead. Or, say, Resolute. Or Glory. Even, yes, Fred. All of these would have made fine names for a steer with as much potential as Mr. Steak once had.
He was branded from his earliest days, his thoughts crammed into a crate whose boundaries were defined by his death. Therefore, the goofy, brainless expression.
And the buttons and the plastic, um… puppets? Nothing is so trivial as to be beneath his endorsement.
Addendum: We know everything we need to about this poor freak.