Kicking a puppy, shaking a baby, or bombing a third world nation are all knee jerk reactions, requiring only a dip in the shallow end of the intelligence pool, and no kindness whatsoever. It takes a compassionate heart, a balanced psyche, and a moral depth of understanding to craft a healthy, win-win situation. (Um, I think that’s OUR job—humans, after all, are supposed to be the intelligent ones.)
Barking Up the Right Tree
The way we treat our furry companions is tightly interwoven with how we interact with others, how we raise our kids, and with building an interconnected world based on kindness and appreciation. When the Dalai Lama was a young man in Tibet, he used to buy animals to save them from the slaughterhouses, and says, “Taking care of animals is essential to developing more happiness in human beings.” 
The Dalai Lama spoke about creating world peace through inner as well as outer disarmament in a presentation in Philadelphia on July 17th. Reporting on the event, Rob Kall wrote, “He explained that to reach a point where nations would outwardly disarm, people must first inwardly disarm, by becoming compassionate, not just with friends, but with all people, including those perceived as enemies.” And one assumes that His Holiness meant for this compassion to extend to the animal kingdom, as well.
Several days later, in a stunning breakthrough in consciousness, the Great Apes won legal rights in Spain when the parliament's environmental commission voted to support a proposal to grant our closest nonhuman relatives specific rights to life, liberty, and protection from torture. Peter Singer, professor of bioethics at Princeton University, and Laureate Professor at the University of Melbourne, notes, “Until now it has been assumed that animals are rightly our slaves, to use as we wish ... Recognition by a government that it can be wrong to enslave animals is a significant breach in the wall of exclusive moral significance we have built around our own species.”
In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog. ~Edward Hoagland
Inalienable Rights for All Beings