One time, they speak about animals as if they were equal partners with humans, but on other times, they demand that humans are not put on the same level with animals. This intriguingly hypocritical posé is inherent to the environmental movement nowadays. Either they want men become animals again, or they want men to be some pure better being, because he is (by their definition) the crown of creation.
In the end, it is a difficult choice that not only buggers Greenpeace and PETA activists (sometimes they even battle themselves over such issues), but also reasonable and realistic people. It is hard to tell, because evolution must have made one step, when humans became creative and distinguished themselves from animals. This cognitive step is what seperated us. It is untrue that we are the climax of said evolution, because even today we evolve. But the classification of sentient being shows that we are still the crown of creation.
It is true that animals like babies can feel pain and both don't show much self-awareness (if we talk about babys straight after birth). They both behave more alike, but the difference is the potential to outgrow this stadium. While animals cannot outgrow their instincts, babies grow and learn things that lie beyond their first apparent inability to think in self-awareness.
So, we can talk about humans as being above animals. And here is were the problem arises.
If we are above animals, and we reject taking this crownship of every human being, then how can we allow genetic modification without the others consent. And we can't get the consent of an unborn child, this is for sure.
This is a hard topic and one that has to be solved by philosophy and not by politics or even better on an individual case-to-case level.
However, I deeply detest the inherent contradictions in the environmental movement that shows that their philosophy lacks logic and foundation.
One half argues that animals are equal to people, the other half argues that genetic engineering puts humans on the same level with animals.
In the end, Greenpeace argues that humans are both animals and not like animals. Anyone familiar with basic Set Theory knows that this is a contradictionary argument that cancels itself.
So, which one is right? Given the anti-human and anti-individual rights approach of Greenpeace and PETA, I'd say it is true that they regard humans as animals: Ready to do what they order them to do.