I haven't read this work, but just from a literary point of view, this quote uses the understood qualities of animals to shed light on humanity. For instance, lions are noble creatures, and although there is always a "leader" or "alpha cat," they hunt equally and live as equals in a community. Foxes, on the other hand, while clever and witty, are also known as being devious, wiley, and completely untrustworthy. Foxes are usually loners as well.
So, the quote would make it clear that it is more honorable and noble to live peacefully in a commune of lions who have your back (even if it means that you don't stand out or assume leadership), than to believe that you are "in charge" of a bunch of backstabbing foxes.
Hope this helps in some small way.