The WEIRD (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, Democratic) mind also appears to be unique in terms of how it comes to understand and interact with the natural world. Studies show that Western urban children grow up so closed off in man-made environments that their brains never form a deep or complex connection to the natural world. While studying children from the U.S., researchers have suggested a developmental timeline for what is called "folkbiological reasoning." These studies posit that it is not until children are around 7 years old that they stop projecting human qualities onto animals and begin to understand that humans are one animal among many. Compared to Yucatec Maya communities in Mexico, however, Western urban children appear to be developmentally delayed in this regard. Children who grow up constantly interacting with the natural world are much less likely to anthropomorphize other living things into late childhood.
Source: We Aren't the World (I recommend reading the whole article, it is full if interesting and important facts.)
American children are constantly exposed to lies about animals. Much of the media they consume features animals that talk, think, and act like humans. They are exposed to this media far more than they are exposed to actual animals, and this fills their minds with mistakes.
For example, I was quite old before I realized that cats do not have the mental capacity to understand pointing at an object. Only dogs and humans, and some great apes, understand the concept of focusing attention on a thing that another creature is pointing at. I had assumed that cats can and should understand communication via pointing. My understanding of their actual behavior and capabilities was wrong, distorted by both my untutored instincts and by my unending exposure to media and a culture that treats their actions as human.
There are many, many people in our country who never stop projecting human qualities onto animals. Most pet owners act as if their animals had human feelings, emotions, and desires. Pet behavior is interpreted as if it was human behavior. Cultures that have a better understanding of animals and the natural world do not make this mistake. They treat their animals as tools, fundamentally inhuman things that must be well-maintained but have no rights or purpose other than the jobs they perform. They view the WIERD relationship with animals as insanity.
If or when I have children, I will try to make sure that they have a lot of exposure to the natural world, and as little exposure as possible to media that features human-like animals. I want them to grow up with a realistic understanding of the world, and not a mind full of lies.