That’s an oddity of English, actually. English is a bit of a bastard language, and the food stuffs that are called the same as the animal are the foods one of the groups that influenced English didn’t eat. I’m sure I should be more specific here, I’ve watched documentaries on the topic, but it’s been a long day and I forgot the details. Point is, in other languages we happily eat pig with the same name as it stands in the farm.
Funny thing about striking too close, from my experience this is much more likely to happen to people who are further removed from the animals. If it was about being able to identify with the animal, you’d think all farmer’s kids would grow up vegan. Yet veganism seems more prevailing among city kids.
Sorry to go off topic this much. I guess what I’m trying to say is words have power, but the power lies in the use, not the word itself. In dutch, we can use “mens” as a derogatory word, while “mensch” in German (which sounds exactly alike and has the same literal meaning) is high praise.