You know, I meet many different stories of how people have been brought up thinking about animals or pets. As an example, my husband recalls from his childhood (in a very funny and endearing way) how his mother used to put on gloves to pet the neighbours dog.
I really do love spreading the word about a compassionate human/animal interaction, simply because I think these little gods children deserve to feel included in a greater consciousness of love, which only humans can provide for them. I therefore get disgressed if I visit a culture where children are not brought up to think and act lovingly towards animals. It so happened that my husband and I recently met an otherwise very decent lady from a culture where children are not brought up to think in a compassionate way about animals. It was clear that she got uncomfortable when I spoke about animals and she admitted that she hadn't always been kind to animals. Well, the easy way is to condemn, but if you're trying to show how to go on in a loving way, itsn't it much better to offer exampleship and let people forgive themselves for whatever pain they may once have inflicted? I believe this is possible by being responsible for your acts today, tomorrow and in the future by consciously deciding to not let acts of cruelty or hurt have access through your life. Certainly as adults the choice is ours!
Image from parkhurstpumpkinpatch.com