Welcome to the forum, Ben.
Great questions. I’ll take a shot at mulling over one.
The idea that God is happy with animal suffering is a deduction from two premises.
- God created the world and is sovereign over it, so everything “natural” is what God intended/wanted.
- Animals suffer in the world God created.
Therefore, animal suffering is what God wants.
I would say you have some work to do to establish that first premise. I don’t know why I should “presuppose” it’s true.
I take the Bible to be God revealing his character and how we are to understand him. Often he must reveal himself through metaphors and stories because this is the way our limited minds can access truth about the divine. Some of the metaphors and stories we are given to understand God depend on us resonating and relating to the idea that animals are worthy of care and compassion:
He is a shepherd lovingly caring for sheep: (Psalm 23, the parable of the lost sheep, the parable of the hired hand and the shepherd)
He knows when sparrows fall, and cares. (Matthew 10:29)
Jesus assumes that everyone would recognize the wrongness of leaving a donkey, ox, or sheep to suffer in order to keep the Sabbath laws. (Luke 14:5, Matthew 12:11)
Those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head. So, I think any deductions we make about what God must be like because of our observations about the world must be held up next to what God has directly revealed himself to be in the images and stories he has given us to help us understand him.