I've decided to reply to some of the statements you made and I will eventually watch your videos (I am guilty of ignoring the links).
I do change my mind about this though. This made me re-think my analogy and I should have known better
I can't tell you how many times I have changed my mind. But the fun is in re-thinking what we think we know in the face of new information. Why should we cling to certain beliefs and uncertainties and close our minds off to new info? Why narrow our perspective of the world? I only wish enlightened people had been more candid with me earlier in my life instead of worrying about offending me by expressing opposition to my views.
I applaud you for being honest in saying that you have changed your mind in the course of our discussion. I wish I had some of this honesty and humility when I first started socialising online. Those are very admirable qualities. And whether you expect, desire or are indifferent to how others view you after such admission, you have potentially increased your chances of being a well liked person
in these circles regardless.
They are basically the same as far as intelligence, and very similar, and any other 'colour' in between (other animals, and life) are still just a collection of atoms with what I think have feelings whether others notice it or not. And the feelings I attributed to them all was just an emotional illusion of empathy, (or selectively ignoring it) as a mental-self-defense-mechanism to keep me 'moral', so I 'can sleep at night'. (We humans are ultimately so selfish...)
Interesting psychology behind the scenes there. I have something similar going on in my head. I can hear pigs squealing before they are slaughtered - and I feel for them - but I am still quite happy to eat them (even after learning that they are "closer cousins" to humans than dogs). I still wouldn't eat a dog though. I have started reading "The Moral Landscape" by Sam Harris (finished his essay on "Lying") and it is astonishing to learn, or be reminded of, the various things that we humans tell ourselves in a process of self-deception that will somehow retain our sense of being moral and be convincing enough to the point where we presume to already know what's best for us.
I'm not saying it's immoral to eat meat. Just saying, if you want some, look it in the eyes, and kill it yourself. If you can't do that, than don't go to a grocery store and get it wrapped in plastic!
I see the value of this statement and this is indeed what some individuals need to hear. But some could make the argument that they would rather have others slaughter animals for their consumption. They could say things like, "I'd rather not get my hands dirty." Another form of retaliation that you would have to prepare yourself for in a debate would be the reasoning that if you don't eat meat the animals will have perished in abattoirs in vain. The meat industry will go on and pigs will continue to be slaughtered as long as some of us have a gustatory penchant for pork. EDIT:
Just watched the short videos you posted! The internet certainly helped to increase our Dunbar's number and it is indeed true that eating meat helped us to develop our brains (how animals first shaped our minds). Eventually we formed a bond which started from the earliest humans studying animals and talking advantage of them. Have you check out documentaries about the cat's evolution and how it came to be domesticated? The little silvesters began to hunt and kill pests for us and we provided food and shelter in return. So cool!