If you call someone an "animal", you are insulting them. So the word "animal" is a negative one in many respects. Many people view animals as property or commodities.
This differs radically from native american views, where animals are referred to as "relations". In most Indian languages there was no word to distinguish ‘animals’ in general from humans, simply words to identify separate species.
Native Americans’ relationship with animals was largely reciprocal, reflecting the belief that many creatures possessed their own spiritual power or "manitou". For English colonists, in contrast, animals were property over which they had a biblically ordained right to assert dominion; they were an economic resource to be manipulated and exploited.
Putting a price on animals symbolized the conversion of creatures into commodities"... a concept entirely alien to Native Americans.
If you view a creature as your "relation" you see them in a new way, not as a mere possession, but a creature deserving compassion.