Take Heart!
From Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)

Animals Know

According to new research animals have a sense of morality and can tell right from wrong. Professor Marc Bekoff, from the University of Colorado, Boulder, in his new book Wild Justice, writes about the cases in which many species of animals show "moral" behavior. Dominant wolves dominate fairness by ‘handicapping’ themselves by engaging in role reversal with lower ranking wolves, showing submission and allowing them to bite, provided it is not too hard; and rats have shown that they will not take food if they know their actions will cause pain to another rat, are some examples.

Although the ability to act morally should not be a requirement in order not to be treated as a commodity, it could certainly help the case to be good stewards of God's animals by showing them compassion and mercy.

Read more at Animal Issues