Many of us have come across videos on Youtube that depict the intelligence of certain animals (or a collection of different animals) in a positive way. Many of these videos are meant to surprise us by showing how ingenious a pig, crow, etc. can be. These videos often state that the animal being portrayed is even "smarter than a dog", or "as smart as a human".
Every coin has a flip-side, and this issue does too. The phenomenon described in the first paragraph really refers to the initial phases of learning to respect other animals. As I said above, for people who have little or no respect for other animals, these types of videos may lead to a greater respect for the latter. As we move deeper into improving our relationship with other animals, however, and start developing true compassion towards them, we begin to realize that the intelligence of an animal is not as important as the life of that animal. This is why we should be careful not to be too divisive when we discuss the intelligence of other animals – dividing them between "smart" and "dumb". Although it is true that some animals are smarter than others, we must remember that all sentient beings have a right to live. This is really the card that trumps the rest. Placing too much importance on intelligence will inevitably lead us to conclude that it is OK to kill certain animals because they’re simply "stupid". We don’t kill people because one is smarter than the other, or because they might have mental deficiencies, so we shouldn't do this with other animals either.