If we anthropomophise a sardine, we discover his life is as hellish as can realistically be imagined. He is incessantly hunted for much of his short existance. His life consists of watching his family being devoured until he too is eaten. No other fate can befall him. The most known quote from the Killing Star describes his life extremely accurately: https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/184347-the-killing-star.
I have considered the ethical implications of ranch-based meat farming in this light. The buffalo will live a life of constant hunger, fear, fighting and fleeing. When he becomes frail (or injured, or sick), he will eventually be eaten by either hunters (if he is lucky) or scavengers. There is no other death possible on the savanna. But the bull in a herd in a large estancia, ranch or cattle station? He wanders as he pleases his entire life, free of predators, free of suffering and free of starvation. His death is, at least in the ideal, sudden, painless and unexpected. Would I rather be a buffalo or a ranched bull?