Don't you find it curious that "animal" is often used as a perjorative -- he's a fucking animal, they were treated like animals, living like an animal -- an indication of debasement: yet the root of "animal" comes from the Latin for "soul"? That therefore the animal in question is one into life has been breathed?
When you talk about the crimes people commit, in the language of
they were butchered like animals/ treated like animals/ scorned like animals/ shoved into train cars like cattle
Aren't you really fumbling towards the conclusion that NO animals deserve to be treated "like animals?"