This topic is actually hugely controversial.
Whoops. Here I go bringing up things I shouldn’t.
However, many vegans discuss their stances on this, so I might as well join in. The following information is purely my viewpoint and doesn’t reflect upon the community as a whole.
Because there are vegans that believe animals and humans are equally important. There are vegans that believe animal suffering is more important than human greed, and therefore pay more attention to animal rights than human rights. There are vegans that care more for human rights than animal rights, focusing more on long-term health and ecological survivability than whether or not animals are suffering because of our current actions.
There’s no good way to determine which stance is the “correct” one, in my opinion. Of course, it would make sense for humans to be mostly concerned with other humans. If it was a matter of life and death between an animal and a loved one, the overwhelming majority of us wouldn’t hesitate to save their loved ones. But that’s not really the debate here. What is being debated is whether or not we should care the other 99.99% of the time. When we aren’t being forced to choose between the life of an animal or loved one.
Personally, I believe that our species needs to strengthen our empathy. It is our own hubris that will bring about our destruction, if and when it comes.
It’s not a matter of whether or not humans should care about animals. It’s not a matter of whether or not humans should care about the rights of other humans. It’s a matter of how much.
How much should we care about whether or not an animal dies needlessly and helplessly? How strongly do we care about their suffering? How often do we buy fair trade, sweatshop free? How passionately do we fight for fair wages within and outside our own countries? How much do we care?
How much do you care?