I harbored illusions that they had gone off to be someone else's pet, and it took me quite awhile before I fully realized they probably wound up as someone's dinner. I knew I would never eat lamb and the idea that anyone would seemed as bizarre to me as eating the family dog.
People will often cry at sad stories of a child who lost his beloved dog, but if it is a cow or sheep or chicken, it doesn't resonate the same way. And they may say that is because they are not "companion" animals. But I think that is because people are conditioned to see what they expect, and no one likes the cognitive dissonance that could result from eating a companion animal. For I know that I have never had a friend like Emily, neither before nor since. I think even if I had never known her, I would have wound up vegan eventually regardless. But there is no denying that her life and death affected me deeply.