Choosing who conditions us CAN be an ethical choice. Responsibility for what we do with our energies probably IS an ethical choice. I'm really not very good at that.
I would like to think about optimization of my energies (and others' energies) vs. ad hoc claims by others (coming from all around each of us, often with little accountability for the outcome of any 'aid' that is given to them).
Helping out nonhuman animals surely goes TO them without any sense of accountability on their part for converting our aid to them into their service to others. Humans don't show a very LARGE amount of that accountability, either, but at least we have social cultures around the world in which, occasionally, the issue is mentioned and sometimes raised to a level in public consciousness. Of course, often notions of 'accountability' are selectively applied - to highly visible persons.