It is interesting to see how humanity struggles with how to view the rest of the animal kingdom.
The Western, Judeo-Christian view is one of human dominance over other forms of life, where animals are put on the Earth for man to use according to his will. Some other religions & philosophical systems, however, see all life as interconnected & sacred.
A deeper understanding of the perceptions and mental experiences of other living things is leading us to a more insightful relationship with other creatures. People are beginning to realize that many animals also feel pain, enjoy social bonds, and have a rich inner life.
I am currently reading a book that my girlfriend's parents gave me, called "Baboon Metaphysics". They know that I like anything about monkeys or apes, and the book is excellent so far. It is about the observations of intricate social hierarchies and complex behaviors in primates.
The experimentation and industrial farming we currently force upon animals will one day be seen as ignorant savagery.
There are currently people fighting to gain certain rights for non-human species, in order to prevent their exploitation & abuse. One group, The Nonhuman Rights Project, is legally arguing for the "personhood" of chimps Leo & Hercules. They are trying to get these chimpanzees released from captivity into a sanctuary.
It has also been announced recently that Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will stop using elephants in their acts.
I think people are going to have to seriously reconsider the status of animal life, starting with species possessing complex cognitive functioning- like primates, dolphins, elephants, and other mammals.
Once a more empathetic view of these animals is established, then our relationship to other living beings can be re-examined.
Only then, will a more harmonious existence with all life in our world be possible.