What the populace considers acceptable (sAttvika)/otherwise, is, for the most part, unfounded. The need to understand nuances is in total lost on the lot, hence the need for some hammering. And that ended up with some interesting notes from old, true commentators.
medhatithi is the only one who offers a long gloss on bhagavAn manu's oShadhayaH smRRiti. In the context of pashu vadha in yaj~na, this smRRiti under consideration states they get a better place. medhatithi states, this is an arthavAda and not a vidhi since the context doesn't concern them.
What's of interest here, is the stature of the statement the smRRiti itself makes. In the presence of specific shrutis can't hold it as mere arthavAda. The shrutis(1) get quoted by Ramanuja in his commentary on Gita. In the context of adhyAya 2, he uses the aforesaid Rk, to uphold that the war/killing is as much dhArmika as agnIShoma (2).
(1) taittirIya saMhita, shukla yajus, Rk 1, etc (with minor differences).
(2) As a side note and a marginal one of digression, the use of agnIShoma is of interest from Ramanuja's shoes. In the presence of others including but not limited to jyotiShToma, vAyavya, he sticks to this one. Why this is of any importance is a silly one. To draw minor attention, to do with his theo-ontological views. That is for another note in itself.
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