Plants aren't conscious. Animals are. I think that is a rather fundamental distinction, don't you?They have no problem eating plants either. They're morons who project human intelligence and emotion onto animals which lack the capabilities to view the world or experience like we do.
Anyway, I'm not really sure what you're going on about here. Are you arguing that everyone who wants to preserve any species from extinction is anthropomorphizing? I happen to like tigers, for example, but I'm under no illusions about their intelligence being similar to that of humans, not am I projecting anything "human like" on to them.