Why is it a crime to kick a dog, but not to eat a cow?

People take for granted using all plants and animals as they wish. Based on which arguments do some limit themselves in that respect?

Cows are holy in India, we reject the eating of cats and dogs, Jews and Muslims don’t consume any pork and in China they eat anything that moves. 

We used to regard caged lions as normal, these days we pity them and wish for them to be free. That’s different for dolphins and parakeets. 

Can you reasonably discuss such an issue, or is this dependent on collective sentiments? And why do humans control all other animals?