Agreed that laws should be consistent but this isn't just a problem with animal cruelty laws.
There's nothing wrong with wanting to be humane to animals, even ones that are ultimately killed for their meat (such as pigs). It's possible for an animal to live a perfectly content life and then be killed quickly and with as little pain as possible. And that's what a lot of people are campaigning for.
Reducing animal cruelty is not at odds with breeding livestock for food. We can have both. And to not support one because you want the other is disingenuous.
You are reading your own extra motivation into what I said. I stated that your premise ("cruelty to animals is punished purely because of ethical considerations for the animal's well being") is false. I provided evidence to support this. That is all. I did not make a moral or ethical statement. I am not suggesting or proposing anything. Simply pointing out that our protection of non-human animals is in fact based on concern for humans, not for the animals in question.
Fair enough; I didn't intend to put words in your mouth. I was responding to what you said about "ignoring animal abuse when it happens to pigs" and just providing a counterpoint to that: that not everybody is ignoring it, and that there's no reason why we should ignore it either (because it's not an "ethical dilemma" -- a "dilemma" presupposes we can't both reduce the suffering of pigs and continue to eat them, except this isn't actually the case because we can do both). I appreciate the point you're trying to make though, that laws are made not just based on ethical considerations, but also based on how people feel about these things.
I realize not everyone ignores it, but I was speaking to the question of law. It is perfectly legal to do things to a pig that will land you in jail if you do them to a dog. And then there's plenty of things that are not legal to do to a pig, that you can do anyways because the law isn't enforced.
It does pose an ethical dilemma. Of course we can reduce the suffering of pigs. Yet we choose not to. We choose not to, because we like cheap pork. This presents us with an ethical dilemma if we actually think about the issue. Most people make a significant effort to avoid thinking about the issue, because they do not want to consider the ethical dilemma of "if I eat this bacon I cause suffering vs if I don't eat this bacon I won't taste bacon". Treating pigs humanely would require a massive increase in pork prices, which would reduce the amount of pork related pleasure people can have, thus a dilemma of its own. Treating pigs as we treat dogs would involve not killing them for food, totally removing the pork pleasure, and again poses a dilemma.