Meh... It's a very complex topic of conversation.
Nature is cruel... Survival is cruel... To some extent, mankinds actions can be justified by that... But in other ways, we are simply out of line...
Raising lifestock for food and clothes and etc. is perfectly fine. Slaughtering endangered wildlife for the fur trade or nonsensical things like ancient chinese traditional medicine, unsustainable hunting, killing for sport, etc. are simply not acceptable.
The members of our species that do such things, are the weakest links in our chain. And I think we seriously need to lose a few million of them, if we are going to go places that we won't regret being at.
Is that cruel? I don't think so. Nature can seem cruel sometimes, but the difference between cruelty, and harsh necessity, is if something is actually necessary. I think we've proven that such things are indeed necessary if we want our planet to remain healthy, which means for it to have a diverse, pure, balanced ecosystem, of which our species is simply a part of. Yes, we have added a lot of technology into the mix, but such things are not necessarily unnatural.
Evolution gave us our intelligence to keep us alive. We don't have claws, fangs, fur, and other such things. We can't see in the dark, we don't have infrared vision, we can't hibernate or fly, and we are far from the most athletic of creatures. Truly, if not for our wits, we would be long since extinct.
The catch is, we have become too effective at our survival. Evolution relies on natural selection. We have intervened with that, and kept our weakest members alive when in all reality, they shouldn't have made it. And we have driven extinct, a number of otherwise thriving species, through hunting and habitat destruction.
We are responsible here. It's up to us to take on that responsibility, and help our planet and our fellow creatures out of the rut we dug them into in the first place... Or at the very least, stop battering them and let them recover on their own. That's a far cry from our current path, but we need to make it happen.
Until we as a civilization can manage to do that, I feel no remorse when I hear about some disaster, be it manmade or natural, causing our society damage. One of these days a meteor or a plague or something is going to seriously wound our species, and honestly, we'll have had it coming.
Oh and side note, until we wise up enough to shed the bane that is religion from our society, I'll consider the rest of the animal kingdom to be smarter than us... I don't see the squirrels outside praying to ridiculous gods that don't exist... I know that offends religious people... It should... Because they are acting completely fecking retarded, and I'm calling them out on it.
But oh well, that's just my 2 cents. Say what you will about it, I'm simply an observer to our societies actions. There's little I can do to change the minds of 7 billion other people... But I'm confident that if we continue on this path, until we reach a point where the only habitat is farmland, and the only animals are livestock and pets, people will look back on the pictures and stories about the beautiful ecosystems that once existed, and they'll resent the fools who squandered it all for their own selfish gains.