Good question: Why are we so passionate about animals?
CBS News - 07/29/2015
Researchers at Northeastern University have studied human empathy for animals. In one experiment, people were given a false news story about a victim being beaten with a bat. The participants in the study were most upset when that “victim” was a 1-year-old child, followed by a puppy, then a dog and, finally, an adult human.
One of the researchers, Professor Jack Levin, told the Huffington Post, “Contrary to popular thinking, we are not necessarily more disturbed by animal rather than human suffering. Our results indicate a much more complex situation with respect to the age and species of victims, with age being the more important component.”
That might suggest people have more empathy for humans and animals who can’t take care of themselves.