Let's deal with the allegation of speciesism first. All the major animal protection organizations support animal welfare regulations, and I don't see them signing on for humane rape or humane child molestation campaigns. But they also don't engage in campaigns for humane dog-beating. In fact, these things seem equally bizarre:
- Humane rape campaign
- Humane child molestation campaign
- Humane dog-beating campaign
I think we have to figure out what's bizarre about #1 - #3. Then we can ask ourselves if an animal welfare campaign is bizarre in the same way. What's bizarre, I take it, is that, from what we know, rapists, child molesters, and dog beaters have no compassion for their victims. That's why they commit these horrible acts. It seems preposterous and futile, then, to try to influence them to tone it down. Any resources you shifted from trying to stop rape to trying to make rapists kinder would just be misdirected and wasted.
Are animal welfare campaigns preposterous and futile in the same way? No, because animal consumers are not like rapists and child molesters. They don't eat animals out of cruelty. In fact, they can be both consumers of animals and quite compassionate. An animal welfare campaign trades on that, helping animals through regulation precisely because the vast majority cannot be helped by convincing people to give up animal consumption, animal research, etc.
There's another, deeper reason why it's not inconsistent to support animal welfare regulations, but reject #1 - #3. Using animals for food isn't actually analogous to committing rape or molesting children or gratuitously beating dogs. (No kidding!) I'm inclined to think using animals for food is wrong because it's unnecessary; whenever it's necessary, it's not wrong. But it seems altogether inappropriate to think about rape (etc.) that way. Rape is more deeply and fundamentally wrong, not just wrong because "unnecessary."
This is relevant where the issue of regulation is concerned because if you think animal consumption can be necessary, and sometimes is necessary, then you think the balance of harm to benefit matters. That means you must think it does improve things in a core sense, and not just peripherally, to reduce the amount of harm inflicted on "food" animals. By contrast, the core wrongness of rape is not reduced when a rapist inflicts less suffering.
But the main reason to think one can consistently take one stand on animal welfare regulations, and another on #1 - #3, is because the facts about animal consumption are different from the facts about rape, child molestation, etc. We know #1 - #3 are so futile as to be preposterous but have no reason to see animal welfare campaigns in the same way. They can do more good than abolitionist campaigns alone, because the majority of voters/consumers are resistant to ending animal exploitation, but quite willing to support humane reforms.