I don't think I could sustain love as a universal truth, intellectually. Is there any reason why that particular emotion should be given a seat before any other emotion? It seems like an unwarranted step. Pleasant feelings when bonding are everything that matters? Maybe not.
As for compassion, just because I feel a certain way about a person or an animal does not mean that everyone else -should- feel that way and cherish those feelings. There are no virtues in emotional dictatorships. I dislike seeing animals in pain, and in fact.. I'm a vegetarian, partly for that reason. But I can't demand anything of people, nor formulate ethics based on my sensitivities - I think that would be nearly solipsistic on my part. I get strong desires to nurture that which is vulnerable, in fact I would go as far as to say that I dont feel "love" unless there is vulnerability and sensibility involved. (might be some weird Fi thing or something with me) - a feeling which stands in very sharp contrast to all the rhetoric about "loving yourself" and the rest of the ego-driven nonsense. For me, love is raw felt-meaning, -against- what my ego might be telling me.
I suppose my biggest problem is the word "universal". Whose universe? The strictly human, non-animal universe? [assuming you dont consider humans in the exact same category as animals]. Hell, we have yet to thoroughly explore something as vast as the galaxy. Unless of course you mean, the psychological universe. Because as far as my limited knowledge of physics goes, I'm pretty confident that love is not the driving engine of existence. Natural selection is brutally antithetical to love, unless defined as sex.