[marches around the RMB with "Entropy Kills!" picket sign]
I suppose seeking the assistance of qualified professionals to deal with anxeity or related issues is part of "growing up." I can see how my specific phrasing might have seemed dismissive, but I stand by the general notion. Speaking as someone who's done the panic attack thing at work/in public more than once.
An Internet quiz!
No, no, food, people suck, rubber and leather, cool, yes, ok/probably not replaced, no, yes (like almost everyone else in the industrialized "first world"), crap, probably don't/mine doesn't/true but not entirely relevant, great, depends, probably not.
I've found hosting a vegan/vegetarian meal to be highly effective in at least convincing people they won't immediately die. A lot of the time, they actually like it. Although I'm just following Isa Chandra's recipe's most of the time.
Cats and dogs have been accepted into the human social group, originally for their utility (hunting, guarding, killing pests, etc). At no point hundreds of thousands of years ago did cows start following humans around while providing precisely the same utility, so that particular variety of domestication didn't occur. It probably helps that cats and dogs are socially sophisticated in a way that cows are not, which is to say that humans, cats, and dogs don't herd in precisely the same way cows do.
Of course, if avoiding unnecessary suffering on the part of any animal capable of experiencing it is ethically important, then none of this is particularly relevant.
Intelligence and suffering are tangentially related, at best. Again, we can go to certain IRL trolley problems to demonstrate that it can be ethically permissible to favor one individual/group over another, even if both are equally intelligent.
Don't confuse sapience with sentience. Such confusion is probably the origin of speciesism.
IQ is racist and economically tone-deaf statistical chicanery that needs to go away.
More likely, it whether the animal in question can be reasonably expected to experience pain, anticipate it, and take active measures to avoid it. The ability to anticipate and prepare for future eventualities helps.
Such non-humans share characteristics with humans, sure, but that's not particularly surprising given how evolution works.