Impressive speech that, m'matey! I'm quite jealous actualy 'cos though I can think I can never articulate what is on my mind as eloquently as what you done there.
Bearing my lack of articulacy in mind, I would be very interested in your thoughts on this;
In both buddhism and Gandhi-ism (without claiming any authority for either philosophy) there is a massive emphasis on treating all sentient life forms (in both, taken as simply being the entire animal domain above single celled beings) with absolute compassion.
One common idea is, whilst the practice of absolute compassion towards human beings (self interest group) does not necesarily lead to absolute compassion towards animals, that the practice of absolute compassion toward animals does lead to absolute compassion towards human beings.
General gist there being that the practice of compassion towards those whom we have no self interest/identification with automaticaly leads to compassion for those within self interest/identification groups. The practice of compassion towards those within self interest/identification groups not necesarily leading to compassion for those without.
The practice of absolute compassion towards animals thus being the best way to make sure, that in our compassion towards human beings, that no sub-groups of humanity whom we have lesser self interest/identification with, or in, are likely to be left out.
I am thinking that whilst it is entirely possible to promote human rights without promoting animal rights that promoting animal rights without promoting rights for all of humanity is totally impossible.
Does that make any sense, in the context of this topic, at all?