I'm not sure it was sad. It's true, it sounds like an overreaction but at the time, the owners believed it was the kindest thing to do.
We look kindly sometimes on the idea of euthanasia, the death of someone who is in terrible pain. Why then is it wrong to terminate the life of an animal if the intention is to prevent it from suffering?
Every species has a basic survival instinct and that is why we believe in the sanctity of human life. But the desire for survival doesn't extend to another species. So a cat has no qualms about killing a bird if it needs to. Nor do we if we want to eat it. The only reason we extend the sanctity of human life to a pet is because we treat it as though it were human. In the scenario of war, that rationale is broken. Survival of the human species is more important than the survival of an animal.
I would not be so upset by it if it was to save suffering, but it seems a lot of people did it because the pets might suffer not because the pets were suffering.
I would equate it with euthanasing the elderly because they might get ill and suffer, but before they have any signs of anything! I believe above all, that the animals still deserve to be treated with respect.
On the one hand, I find it sad as well, but on the other hand, I do understand the panic some pet owners must have felt. And when you are responsible for a pet, I think it can sometimes be hard to decide when it might be better to end its life.
I assume you are using "we" to mean the human race, in which case you may be generally right that they are not given respect, but I still do not believe that it is the right attitude. Personally, I do treat those animals with respect. I have never got on with the phrase "Human rights"; there are many humans I do not think worthy of them! I do not believe that we should have any particular rights, just for being human. With power comes responsibility.
I thought it was odd at first that you included cucumbers and mushrooms in that list, but when I thought about it, I include things such as the desecration of the rainforests and pollution of the planet in this area.
I agree with this quote regarding Islam, although I don't know where the sparrow came from as a starting point... From the BBC "The Prophet said 'Whoever kills a sparrow or anything bigger than that without a just cause, Allah will hold him accountable on the Day of Judgement.' The Prophet explained that a killing would be for a just cause if it was for food."
I had never heard of it either. Personally I'd rather Pip took his chances with me, should war be declared, as his chances of survival are at least as good as mine - probably, as the article points out, rather better. And if food rationing should happen, he would get his fair share of mine.
I heard a bird cry, sharp and free. My name is Jordan.