In regard to the question about fear and animosity, I agree that interpreting the statement as a criteria for the severity of breaches to the precepts is a complicated interpretation. I don't read the loophole, that is I don't think the Buddha was suggesting that it is possible to break the precepts without causing fear and animosity if not now then further down the road. Sure, we can try to imagine situations where we could break the precepts and not create fear or animosity, but that is imagination. Better to observe real life. Can one truly steal from a large organization without them noticing or caring? The money companies like Walmart spend on security and the warnings they post about shoplifting suggest not. Can one use drugs and not create fear? What about the supply chain to produce drugs? If drinking alcohol, even if one is not an addict, if one is supporting a business that also profits off addiction, isn't one partially responsible for the fear and animosity created by addiction? Even if no one else knows, isn't it possible to create fear or animosity in our own mind because of the thought others might do the same things to us we do to others? This is by no means an exhaustive list, just a few examples to think about. Producing fear and animosity is not limited to the here and now, it can also occur in the future. Do we always understand the ramifications of our actions? I am reminded of the sutta http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
which warns us not to try to sort out the exact workings of kamma. Trying to figure out if there is a loophole to breaking the precepts may be fruitful in that by going down that road we can see for ourselves that it is in fact the wrong path. Some of us need to learn things the hard way. I know that because I tend to fall into that group.
As far as the dependent origination goes, I am not advanced enough to tackle that directly. But bear in mind this sutta was addressed to Anathapindika, one of the chief lay disciples of the Buddha (and my current inspiration). He is mentioned in many suttas, and in one sutta even teaches about right view (AN10.93). He does mention dependent origination, saying "Venerable sirs, whatever has been brought into being, is fabricated, willed, dependently originated, that is inconstant. Whatever is inconstant is stress. Whatever is stress is not me, is not what I am, is not my self. Having seen this well with right discernment as it actually is present, I also discern the higher escape from it as it actually is present."http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
How that relates to consciousness in the dependent origination as described here still a little beyond me, but the two descriptions appear to be related in that they both say things that are fabricated are inconstant (subject to birth old age sickness and death) and are therefore suffering. Since Anathapindika was a lay disciple and not a monk it does not appear that dependent origination is beyond the scope of everyday life.
This leaves me with some questions. First, when the Buddha is talking about the cessation of consciousness in general or the cessation of consciousness specifically related to the fabrication conditioned by ignorance? And second, why does Anathapindika link dependent origination to nonself? How does non self fit into the chain as described in AN 10.92 and elsewhere? Are either of these issues addressed elsewhere on the Dhamma Wheel forums?