Preachers lose me at the “God loves you” part. Why would he? Humans are a particularly unlovely species. Cats are cuter, dogs more faithful, lions far braver. Few animals kill for sport (except Orcas and baboons.) None burn or slowly drown others in cages or throw gay cousins (yes, it occurs in the animal world) off tall buildings. Is God so needy that He created and entire class of very flawed beings just so He could correct us? I’d really like to know.
PS: The animals suffer for man’s Original Sin. It’s not even fair.