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Sentience is Everywhere: Indeed, It’s an Inconvenient Truth

MARC BEKOFF: ‘The science of consciousness has dethroned humanity from a simplistic hierarchy… Concerning what we know about the minds and cognitive and emotional capacities of other animals, one problem remains. As Jessica Pierce and I point out in “The Animals’ Agenda: Freedom, Compassion, and Coexistence in the Human Age”, the big problem is the failure of scientists and others to use what we already know on behalf of other animals. We call this the knowledge translation gap, and it specifically refers to the practice of ignoring tons of science showing that other animals are sentient beings and going ahead and causing intentional harm in human-oriented arenas. On the broad scale, it means that what we now know about animal cognition and emotion has not yet been translated into an evolution in human attitudes and practices. A great example of the knowledge translation gap is found in the wording of the Federal Animal Welfare Act, which explicitly excludes rats and mice from kingdom Animalia (even though a first grader knows that rats and mice are animals)’. Sentience has become an inconvenient truth: We are not alone in the community of sentient beings. SOURCE…

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