Blathering endlessly about abstract rights is the opposite of acting regularly to provide care, aid, and support to tangible individuals. Both claim to be helping others, have a pro-social orientation, etc., but one is fake and the other real. I'm not trying to shame people into giving up everything and becoming Mother Teresa, but we should not rationalize our lack of commitment to others by defensively saying, "Yeah but we support their rights."
As a side note, look at how fake the homophile movement is -- they support abstract rights for gays, but won't take the time or effort to urge them back into the closet where they'll be safer to themselves and others. Or even get them to dial down the number of cocks they suck in a week, amount of drugs they blow through in a weekend, etc. Totally fake. All that hot air is just to win a status contest within their faggot-friendly social circle.
Returning to the animal rights people, they come in a variety of flavors, but the most visible and audible are the vegans. They are nerdier and more anti-social than non-vegans, suggesting another case of people who want to distance themselves from some sympathy group, while rationalizing it with intellectual posturing, and claiming a moral high-ground because they support some set of abstract rights.
Are vegans more likely to care for animals? Then they should be over-represented among veterinarians. Bla bla bla about how they might have to administer a sick animal a drug that has been tested on other animals. Just a bunch of intellectual rationalizing -- the sick animal needs medicine to get better.
I couldn't find any formal studies, but at least three informal sources that say, if anything, vegans or vegetarians are less likely to be animal doctors, and that they're happy ordering a steak so rare it moo's. Here is a Yahoo question to this effect, and all respondents who know veterinarians say zippo are vegetarians, except for one who says that 2 of 10 vets she knows are. Here is an interview with a vegan veterinarian, where both the interviewer and the vet agree that vegans are very rare among vets. That is rationalized away by a strained analogy to doctors who smoke -- but they know it's bad and smoke anyway, whereas the vets aren't plagued by guilt about eating meat in the first place. Finally, here is a list from some big vegan website about 10 professions that need more vegans, which lists veterinarian, agreeing with the other sites that it's damn rare to find them.
What about caring for animals as pets? Again no formal studies showed up. (The General Social Survey did have a question about not eating meat, but no questions about owning pets.) The forums I browsed didn't give a clear picture, but it did sound like there's at least a sizable minority who are against owning pets. This doesn't make them look as bad as their near absence among animal doctors, but it still shows how farther in the callous direction they are compared to normal people.
Here for instance is a FAQ on veganism from Animal Equality, which includes this passage under "Domesticated animals" (I realize not all vegans are this doctrinaire):
Vegans do not believe in the breeding of domesticated animals such as horses, dogs, cats, hamsters, rabbits, birds or fishes. Domestication is not in the animals' best interests, as they are dependent on humans for everything that is important to them in their lives. Humans decide what and when they will eat, where they will live, whether they receive affection or exercise, if they are allowed to socialise with members of their own species, and as property, they can be bought, sold, given away or abandoned. 'Pets' may bring us pleasure, but the animals themselves belong in their world, not ours, with the freedom to live as they choose. Vegans do rescue and adopt abandoned animals however, seeing them as refugees deserving of care while they are in this world, but they do not perpetuate the institution of 'pet' ownership.
I doubt that vegans rescue abandoned animals at greater rates than non-vegans, but data or even impressions on that will be hard to come by. In any case, just listen to the wording -- "the animals themselves belong in their world, not ours." Leave me alone and I'll leave you alone -- how's that for mutual affection, empathy, and care-giving? Only to an inveterate cocooner does that sound like good cheer and concern. You know that's how these misanthropes feel toward their family, too: "Mom and Dad, I'd like to show my love and respect for you by cutting you out of my life, and I hope you'll show the same by cutting me out of yours."
What fucking planet did these people come from? Or did I fall asleep and somehow wake up on theirs? Damn, man.
I can't help but touch on one of the other points above, not related to whether they're more caring toward animals or not. Domesticated animals are highly dependent on their owners, but so are we on them. It's not asymmetrical or exploitative. Aren't vegans always whining about how dependent the non-vegans are on domesticated animals for food, clothing, textiles, medical testing, etc.? Woah dude, it's like the animals are exploiting us the way an only-game-in-town monopoly gouges the community. They've got us hooked on their butter and leather -- it's not fair, and we've got to liberate ourselves.
So they cannot be concerned with one species exploiting another, since the animals are exploiting us, making us rely so much on them for our well-being -- especially cats and their owners! It is the very dependence of one species on another that vegans are repulsed by, as though any enduring ties would always wind up being chains. Again it is only the deranged mind of the cocooner that pushes self-reliance to such an extreme.