Interesting question! I do have a hierarchy, I guess. I would care less if it was a fish than a deer and less for a deer than a giraffe. In the same way that I care more about a fish than a worm, and a worm more than an amoeba. Not all living things are the same in my view.PS would you care if it was a fish or a deer?
With regards to the kids it's more just the unsanitary nature of splitting an animal that large open close to toddlers and having the blood run under their feet. It's just gross.
Would you care more if it were a chimpanzee, dolphin or whale?
Edit: I would also point out that it didn't help the zoo's PR nightmare to give the giraffe a name if they were planning to destroy it.