Interesting question/hypothesis. I would say it has more to do with upbringing, including religion. Many of us were raised into cultures, religions, that said God gave man dominion over animals, that animals are ours to do whatever we want to do to them, that they have no soul (and humans do have according to these beliefs). According to many beliefs animals were even created on a separate day from humans, no biological relationship whatsoever, let alone any spiritual relationship.
Biological evolution shows us that we are animals too, that we are mammals, we breast-feed our infants just like other mammals. Eastern philosophies and religions take it even further that we can be reborn as animals. So I would say it has more to do with culture, religion, and upbringing.