Animals have long been regarded as “lower than” rather than “different than” human beings. This is an oversight that the human race needs to overcome if we are to more forward as enlightened beings!
The belief that other life forms are "less than" has contributed to us giving other species and their well-being little consideration when we make resource use decisions. This has resulted in the widespread destruction of natural areas that non-human life expressions rely on to survive and thrive. This is a tragic oversight that has greatly impoverished the world we live in and the lives we are capable of living within it!
Animals are also used, largely unnecessarily, by humans to support the fulfillment of their own selfish desires with little regard for the well-being of the animals involved. This further degrades our relationship with the non-human beings of the world and injures our own moral integrity.
As the human race gradually advances in consciousness I expect that our relationship with the natural world and the beings within it to undergo a radical change where each decision we make will take into account the well-being of non-human species as well as our own. In this way, I believe, we will gradually create a world worthy of being called "divine" thanks to the expansion of our compassionate nature!