Animals are a part of the human imagination, of humanity itself. We read our children stories of animals: “Once upon a time there was an old pig…”
The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. Pigs are not the vessels of deliciousness, nor are they the fruit trees from which bacon is plucked. Pigs never were intended as devotional sacrifices.
Pigs are not beings that you can use as mere means. They may seem unconscious and amenable instruments to the aims of humanity. But pigs, and indeed all animals exist for their own reasons, they are not created for man.
the Porcine Oracle
Perhaps that is why children find it much easier to show compassion to animals. And why, as adults, we often can not fully escape the “Once upon a time” feeling that every animal is a conscious thinking and feeling being that knows as much or more than we do about the world.