Okay, people, if you ever want to make me cry, just tell me a story about animals getting hurt.
In college, during freshman orientation, my orientation group went to House of Pies (it's a Houston restaurant - sort of a mom-and-pop IHOP, open 24 hours) in the wee hours of the night. Someone I barely knew but later turned out to be a really good guy friend told a story about a kid at his high school being mean to cats with firecrackers. Everyone laughed but me. I started crying. Then said guy friend felt bad and I had to comfort him. "It's okay - it's not like you were trying to make me cry - you didn't know" etc.
This weekend during a fun brunch with some friends, I found out one of my friends had witnessed a stray cat being viciously killed in her backyard by some neighborhood dogs. It was 3am, and there was nothing she could do about it. Rationally, I understand that. But I am still really sad about it. (Spay or neuter your pets, people. Stray animals have horrible lives.)
My former roommate has given up both of her cats to animal shelters since she moved in with her boyfriend (now fiance). I understand that people's lives change, and sometimes that means they are no longer able to care for pets. Do I have to be happy about it? No. I have two cats of my own, and I have waged an emotional battle with myself for the past 3 weeks over the cat that I know is still up for adoption. Emotional side: he's a good cat, and doesn't deserve to die if someone doesn't adopt him. Rational side: You already have two cats, and one of them does not adapt to change well at all. Plus, neither of them was happy when cat-up-for-adoption lived here. Let it go. (I'm really trying to let it go, but it still breaks my heart. He's a good cat.)
One of my college roommates left her dog out in the heat this summer without water, and it died. It was her fault. I don't think I will ever forgive her for it. Does this mean she is a horrible person? No. She made a horrible mistake, and her pet paid for it with its life. Am I still friends with her? Yes. But I don't know how I'd react if she got another dog.
I cried off and on for a week after the flooding in Houston due to Tropical Storm Allison; I lived there in 2001, so I got to experience it first hand. The basements in the medical center flooded, which is where all the research animals were kept. Over 100,000 animals drowned, in their cages, with nothing they could do about it. 100,000. It still makes me cry.
So yes, I love animals. More than the average person. I view my commitments to my pets very seriously. I work very hard not to judge others about it. I don't always succeed, but I do try. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and as long as their pets are well cared for, that is the important thing.