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  Subjects -> ANIMAL WELFARE (Total: 103 journals)
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Animal Sentience : An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling
Number of Followers: 2  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 2377-7478
Published by Humane Society Institute for Science and Policy Homepage  [1 journal]
  • Plant sentience' Between romanticism and denial: Science

    • Authors: Miguel Segundo-Ortin et al.
      Abstract: A growing number of non-human animal species are being seriously considered as candidates for sentience, but plants are either forgotten or explicitly excluded from these debates. In our view, this is based on the belief that plant behavior is hardwired and inflexible and on an underestimation of the role of plant electrophysiology. We weigh such assumptions against the evidence to suggest that it is time to take seriously the hypothesis that plants, too, might be sentient. We hope this target article will serve as an invitation to investigate sentience in plants with the same rigor as in non-human animals.
      PubDate: Wed, 15 Mar 2023 14:36:11 PDT
  • Jurisprudence and animal protection

    • Authors: Carlos Montemayor
      Abstract: Jurisprudence is based on normative principles that go beyond instrumental reasoning and practical goals concerning what is convenient. It concerns justice and truth. The empirical evidence justifies the legal protection of various species on legal grounds. Given the risks we face regarding climate degradation, international legal agencies must expand the framework of human rights and environmental law in order to effectively protect animals and their environments.
      PubDate: Mon, 06 Feb 2023 13:58:57 PST
  • Animal sentience research: Synthesis and proposals

    • Authors: Andrew Crump et al.
      Abstract: Most commentaries on our target article broadly support our approach to evaluating evidence of animal sentience. In this Response, we clarify the framework’s purpose and address criticisms of our criteria. A recurring theme is that a framework to synthesise current evidence of sentience is not the same as an agenda for future directions in animal sentience research. Although future directions are valuable, our framework aims to evaluate existing evidence and inform animal welfare legislation.
      PubDate: Fri, 16 Dec 2022 10:31:28 PST
  • Integrating evolution into the study of animal sentience

    • Authors: Walter Veit
      Abstract: Like many others, I see Crump et al. (2022) as a milestone for improving upon previous guidelines and for extending their framework to decapod crustaceans. Their proposal would benefit from a firm evolutionary foundation by adding the comparative measurement of life-history complexity as a ninth criterion for attributing sentience to nonhuman animals.
      PubDate: Thu, 08 Dec 2022 11:12:10 PST
  • Pros and cons of a framework for evaluating potential pain in decapods

    • Authors: Robert William Elwood Professor
      Abstract: The rigorous framework for research into potential pain in decapods was successful in allowing legislators in the United Kingdom to evaluate a complex scientific issue. However, it might produce problems for research. I discuss doubts about the usefulness of the eight criteria. Some have yet to receive any investigation and others do not allow much inference about pain. In addition, some existing studies are not covered in the framework. Most worrying, however, is the potential for stifling future research of novel areas that are excluded from the framework.
      PubDate: Wed, 30 Nov 2022 15:13:44 PST
  • A framework for evaluating evidence of pain in animals

    • Authors: Matilda Gibbons et al.
      Abstract: Crump et al. define eight criteria indicating sentience in animals, with a focus on pain. Here, we point out the risk of false negative or false positive diagnoses of pain. Criteria of different levels of inclusivity are useful for using the precautionary principle in animal welfare considerations, and for more formal scientific evidence of pain. We suggest tightening the criteria -- from more general evidence of sentience to pain alone -- because crucial evidence for animal welfare decisions might otherwise be missed for animals subjected to invasive and injurious procedures.
      PubDate: Wed, 30 Nov 2022 12:52:16 PST
  • The dissonance between knowing animals are sentient beings yet eating them

    • Authors: Yana Bender et al.
      Abstract: Animal sentience is linked to the bigger picture of climate and health crises and “carnism” is a factor in the dissonance among (1) knowing animals are sentient, (2) caring about their feelings, and (3) not acting accordingly. We discuss our responsibility as researchers and as individual human beings.
      PubDate: Tue, 06 Sep 2022 03:45:27 PDT
  • Decapods as food, companions and research animals: Legal impact of
           ascribing sentience

    • Authors: Jonathan J. Cooper et al.
      Abstract: This commentary provides an overview of the practical implications of attributing sentience to protect decapods as food, companion and research animals in the UK context. Recognising their capacity to suffer has implications for humane slaughter in farming and fishing sectors. It should also place a greater duty of care on owners of captive decapods, considering their needs and avoiding unnecessary suffering. The recognition of decapod sentience should also have an impact on their protection as research animals, although research with a potential to cause suffering may be needed to better understand decapods’ capacity to suffer.
      PubDate: Sun, 04 Sep 2022 07:15:58 PDT
  • Motivated science: What humans gain from denying animal sentience

    • Authors: Uri Lifshin
      Abstract: Resistance to the idea that non-human animals are sentient resembles erstwhile resistance to the theory that the earth is not the centre of the universe, or that humans evolved from “apes”. All these notions are psychologically threatening. They can remind people of their own creatureliness and mortality and might make them feel guilty or uncertain about their way of life. An honest debate over animal sentience, welfare and rights should consider the human motivation to deprive animals of these things in the first place. I briefly review empirical evidence on the psychological function of denying animal minds.
      PubDate: Thu, 11 Aug 2022 03:30:47 PDT
  • Lack of imagination can bias our view of animal sentience

    • Authors: Brian Key et al.
      Abstract: How an animal reacts to a sensory stimulus is often used to assess whether that animal can experience feelings such as pain and pleasure. This behavioural path is typically complemented with reference to how a human would normally respond to and experience an analogous stimulus. Together, these approaches can lead to a “hard to imagine otherwise” argument for feelings. It is time to go beyond these qualitative assessments and to now determine whether a nervous system can execute the neural functions necessary for sentience.
      PubDate: Tue, 02 Aug 2022 18:27:07 PDT
  • Animals may be more reliably emotional than humans

    • Authors: Gerben A. van Kleef
      Abstract: Despite considerable advances in the study of animal sentience, reluctance to credit non-human animals with emotional capacities persists. I argue that this reluctance is untenable in light of (evolutionary) theory and empirical evidence. Humans may differ from animals in their ability to reflect on, reason about, and deliberately regulate their emotions. If anything, however, this implies animals’ emotional displays provide a more valid and reliable window into their internal states than do humans’, whose displays may be strategically altered. Any signs of pleasure or distress thus constitute direct readouts of animal wellbeing. It is time we start treating animals accordingly.
      PubDate: Thu, 28 Jul 2022 06:40:36 PDT
  • Extending the null hypothesis to invertebrate pain sentience

    • Authors: Eva Kakrada et al.
      Abstract: In 1985 Macphail proposed his Null Hypothesis that there were no qualitative differences in intelligence across vertebrate species. A recent review of the literature has found overwhelming support for his view. Studies also suggest that, with respect to cognition and the neural mechanisms that support it, the Null Hypothesis should be extended to invertebrates. We suggest, on the same premise, that the Null Hypothesis should be extended to pain sentience in invertebrates. Although few studies have been conducted, behavioural and neural evidence for pain sentience has been found in various representative invertebrate species.
      PubDate: Mon, 25 Jul 2022 06:32:10 PDT
  • The reality and prevalence of animal sentience

    • Authors: Antonio Damasio
      Abstract: Rowan et al use findings from neurobiology, clinical neurology, and general biology to argue for the extensive presence of sentience in animals, but they are wisely cautious concerning when in the phylogenetic scale that emergence occurred.
      PubDate: Wed, 20 Jul 2022 06:31:03 PDT
  • Decapod sentience: Promising framework and evidence

    • Authors: Jon Mallatt et al.
      Abstract: Strong points of the target article by Crump et al. are that it offers clear criteria for judging whether decapods are sentient, an effective semi-quantitative grading system for this purpose, and an astute, critical review of the literature. It concludes plausibly that major subgroups of decapods are sentient. A minor problem is that it includes classical, Pavlovian learning as a marker of sentience along with the more valid marker of complex (e.g., operant) learning. Another minor problem is that it does not distinguish results that are negative because of likely absence of sentience from results that are negative because they have not yet been gathered. Future studies should explore how decapods are sentient with so few neurons in their nervous system (
      PubDate: Sat, 16 Jul 2022 05:06:27 PDT
  • Animal sentience in Indian culture: Colonial and post-colonial changes

    • Authors: Nanditha Krishna
      Abstract: The Indian tradition has respected animal sentience and non-injury toward all life. It is repeated consistently in Sanskrit literature and the later literature of the Jains and the Buddhists. Change came with the advent of Islamic rule followed by the British, who built slaughterhouses. The hunting of wildlife increased and several wild predator species were wiped out. The result was the series of legislations for animals which were initially proposed by the SPCAs and later by NGOs. In 1976, the Constitution of India was amended to make the protection of wildlife and compassion for living creatures a fundamental duty. However, in spite of the importance of the non-killing of animals, the meat industry for both domestic consumption and export has been growing. It is an ongoing struggle between activists, governments and the business class.
      PubDate: Thu, 14 Jul 2022 13:08:16 PDT
  • How much of a pain would a crustacean “common currency” really

    • Authors: Simon A. B. Brown
      Abstract: We should be suspicious of the idea that experiencing pain could enable animals to trade off different motivations in a common currency. It is not even clear that humans have a common motivational currency reflected in evaluative experience. Instead, pain may capture attention, inhibiting attention to competing motivations and needs, thereby making genuine trade-offs harder. Our criteria for pain in invertebrates should be part of a more subtle theory of the relationship between pain and decision-making.
      PubDate: Tue, 12 Jul 2022 16:33:14 PDT
  • Animal sentience science and policy

    • Authors: Andrew Crump
      Abstract: Animal sentience research cannot be divorced from its ethical and political implications. For example, discovering which animals are sentient is vital for deciding which require welfare protection. Two legal case-studies illustrate the importance of scientists in such debates: the UK Animal Welfare (Sentience) Act 2022 had input from animal sentience researchers, whereas the US Animal Welfare Act 1966 did not. The former defined sentient animals much more plausibly than the latter. I accordingly argue that sentience researchers should inform policy, and that this is achievable without sacrificing scientific integrity.
      PubDate: Sun, 10 Jul 2022 07:30:32 PDT
  • Sentience as part of emotional lives

    • Authors: Frans B. M. de Waal
      Abstract: It is high time to explore the sentience of invertebrate animals, but this topic cannot be discussed without also exploring their emotional lives, including positive emotions. Sentience probably evolved to allow the regulation of emotions by endowing them with feelings.
      PubDate: Sun, 10 Jul 2022 07:16:53 PDT
  • Sentience criteria to persuade the reasonable sceptic

    • Authors: Patrick Butlin
      Abstract: When presented with evidence that Crump et al.’s criteria are satisfied for the animals in some taxon, a sceptic could reasonably continue to suspend judgement about whether those animals are sentient. This is because the criteria refer to abilities which are associated with sentience in humans, but it is not clear that sentience is necessary for these abilities. The criteria could be strengthed by requiring evidence of a contrast in performance between cases in which information is carried by felt and unfelt states.

      PubDate: Fri, 08 Jul 2022 12:53:24 PDT
  • Unconscious humans, autonomous machines and the difficulty of knowing
           which animals are sentient

    • Authors: Marian Stamp Dawkins
      Abstract: The framework proposed by Crump et al. still leaves much doubt about whether invertebrates such as crabs are sentient. For example, many complex behaviours - even in humans - occur without sentience. Also, simple machines could easily meet all of Crump et al.’s eight proposed criteria for sentience. Acknowledging the limitations of what we currently know about sentience is important both for formulating legislation correctly and for advancing scientific understanding of this most puzzling of biological phenomena.
      PubDate: Fri, 08 Jul 2022 08:21:03 PDT
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  Subjects -> ANIMAL WELFARE (Total: 103 journals)
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School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
Email: journaltocs@hw.ac.uk
Tel: +00 44 (0)131 4513762

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