I've noticed that when people show a lot of affection towards their pets, for example claiming that the pet is their best friend or grieving for a very long period of time after the pet dies or paying for expensive veterinary care even for relatively minor injuries/illnesses, other people are quite scornful and say things like, 'It's only a dog' or think that the person is crazy.
This seems unfair to me. If someone did that for another human it would be seen as honourable. Why is animal companionship seen as less valuable as human companionship, or the affection that a person can feel for a pet less important than what they can feel for a human friend? It's the same thing as that most people would often rather kill a goat than kill another person. Why do we value the lives of animals so much less than humans? Is it just natural to care more about what is like us (like an extended version of racism?) Or is it because we attribute most importance to a human degree of intelligence or emotion? Should it be like this?
I understand that someone asked this in regards to religion, but I'm not sure that even religious people give animals the same importance as humans.