gotta say, i agree with you zan - it's just idealism to think that animals can all instantly be set free, or that they can or should be treated exactly like humans.
i would like to see an end to all animal exploitation, including the keeping of 'pets' (our fettered friends) but i don't see them as mini humans either.
if people were to treat all animals (not just the cute ones!) with respect, and all 'farm' animals were truly free ranging, it would still be wrong that they were being 'kept' against their will, and it would still be wrong that they were killed. it would, however, be an improvement on factory farming, and it might well be the first step to people really thinking about animals as sentient beings. thinking about animals this way would hopefully make people go a little further with their thoughts until they arrive at veganism.
however, i also see your point Korn in that veganism as a movement, needs to hammer home the message that it is morally unnacceptable to use/restrain/incarcerate animals for food or entertainment, or science.