Nobody assumes that people working for improvements for mistreated racial minorities must be particularly attached to those races to bother to help them. We simply value these activists for caring about those unlike ourselves, and in a weaker position. Similarly animal rightists should be seen simply as people working for improvements in the conditions of animals: a moral issue. The first group is trying to overcome the results of racism, the second group speciesism (analogous with racism).
"Speciesism: the assumption that man is superior to all other species of animals and that he is therefore justified in exploiting them to his own advantage." (Chambers Dictionary, 1993)
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