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Life Sciences

Animal Sentience

Welfare

Publication Year

Articles 1 - 14 of 14

Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

Unique In Degree Not Kindness, Jennifer Vonk Jan 2019

Unique In Degree Not Kindness, Jennifer Vonk

Animal Sentience

Humans are certainly unique among living species. This is evident in the transformation of human environments and its resulting impact on other animals. However, many of the traits unique to humans are costly as well as adaptive and should certainly not be used to elevate their status above that of other species.


What Should We Do About Sheep? The Role Of Intelligence In Welfare Considerations, Heather Browning Jan 2019

What Should We Do About Sheep? The Role Of Intelligence In Welfare Considerations, Heather Browning

Animal Sentience

Marino & Merskin (2019) demonstrate that sheep are more cognitively complex than typically thought. We should be cautious in interpreting the implications of these results for welfare considerations to avoid perpetuating mistaken beliefs about the moral value of intelligence as opposed to sentience. There are, however, still important ways in which this work can help improve sheeps’ lives.


A Behaviorist Approach To Sheep Cognition, Intelligence, And Welfare, Lindsay R. Mehrkam Jan 2019

A Behaviorist Approach To Sheep Cognition, Intelligence, And Welfare, Lindsay R. Mehrkam

Animal Sentience

Marino & Merskin’s review sheds light on the complexity of the mind, learning, and cognition of sheep. Readily observable behavior has value in its own right for promoting the well-being of animals. A behavior-analytic approach can add substantially to the understanding of sheep as individuals as well as their learning capacities. The findings can also be applied to arranging their environments to promote their well-being as well as behavioral change in those responsible for their care and management.


Is Knowing Enough To Change Human Attitudes And Actions?, Liv Baker Jan 2019

Is Knowing Enough To Change Human Attitudes And Actions?, Liv Baker

Animal Sentience

Marino & Merskin present evidence on key aspects of cognition, such as theory of mind, learning, emotional valence, and sociality, to make a convincing argument that sheep are due consideration as individual sentient beings. With this information, what will it take to produce a real, meaningful shift in our attitudes and actions towards other animals, including a species as disadvantaged as sheep? What else do we need to know?


What Sets Us Apart Could Be Our Salvation, Anne Fawcett, Paul Mcgreevy Jan 2018

What Sets Us Apart Could Be Our Salvation, Anne Fawcett, Paul Mcgreevy

Animal Sentience

We agree with Chapman & Huffman that human capacities are often assumed to be unique — or attempts are made to demonstrate uniqueness scientifically — in order to justify the exploitation of animals and ecosystems. To extend the argument that human exceptionalism is against our interests, we recommend adopting the One Welfare framework, according to which animal welfare, environmental sustainability and human wellbeing are inseparably linked. Let us distinguish ourselves from other animals by resisting our short- and mid-term Darwinian inclinations, consuming less, reproducing less, and striving for a much longer-term biological fitness for us all.


Fish Sentience Denial: Muddying The Waters, Lynne U. Sneddon, Javier Lopez-Luna, David C.C. Wolfenden, Matthew C. Leach, Ana M. Valentim, Peter J. Steenbergen, Nabila Bardine, Amanda D. Currie, Donald M. Broom, Culum Brown Jan 2018

Fish Sentience Denial: Muddying The Waters, Lynne U. Sneddon, Javier Lopez-Luna, David C.C. Wolfenden, Matthew C. Leach, Ana M. Valentim, Peter J. Steenbergen, Nabila Bardine, Amanda D. Currie, Donald M. Broom, Culum Brown

Animal Sentience

Recent empirical studies have reported evidence that many aquatic species, including fish, cephalopods and crustaceans, have the capacity for nociception and pain, and that their welfare should be taken into consideration. Some sceptics, rejecting the precautionary principle, have denied that any study demonstrates pain or other aspects of sentience in fish. This target article discusses some of the scientific shortcomings of these critiques through a detailed analysis of a study exploring nociception and analgesia in larval zebrafish.


The Emotional Brain Of Fish, Sonia Rey Planellas Jan 2017

The Emotional Brain Of Fish, Sonia Rey Planellas

Animal Sentience

Woodruff (2017) analyzes structural homologies and functional equivalences between the brains of mammals and fish to understand where sentience and social cognition might reside in teleosts. He compares neuroanatomical, neurophysiological and behavioural correlates. I discuss current advances in the study of fish cognitive abilities and emotions, and advocate an evolutionary approach to the underlying basis of sentience in teleosts.


A Risk Assessment And Phylogenetic Approach, Culum Brown Jan 2017

A Risk Assessment And Phylogenetic Approach, Culum Brown

Animal Sentience

The precautionary principal is often invoked when talking about the evidence of sentience in animals, largely because we can never be certain what any animal is thinking or feeling. Birch (2017) offers a preliminary framework for the use of the precautionary principal for animal sentience combining an epistemic rule with a decision rule. I extend this framework by adding an evolutionary phylogentic approach which spreads the burden of proof across broad taxonomic groups and a risk assessment component which magnifies the likely impact by the number of animals involved.


Fish Pain: Would It Change Current Best Practice In The Real World?, B. K. Diggles Jan 2016

Fish Pain: Would It Change Current Best Practice In The Real World?, B. K. Diggles

Animal Sentience

Much of the “fish pain debate” relates to how high the bar for pain should be set. The close phylogenetic affinities of teleosts with cartilaginous fishes which appear to lack nociceptors suggests caution should be applied by those who seek to lower the bar, especially given the equivocal and conflicting nature of the experimental data currently available for teleosts. Nevertheless, even if we assume fish “feel pain,” it is difficult to see how current best practice in aquaculture would change. This is because of the need to avoid stress at all stages of the rearing process to optimize health, growth ...


Pain And Fish Welfare, Eliane Gonçalves-De-Freitas Jan 2016

Pain And Fish Welfare, Eliane Gonçalves-De-Freitas

Animal Sentience

The evolutionary approach of Key’s (2016) target article, generically comparing humans with fish of all kinds, is simplistic. The author ignores published research on structural and molecular aspects of pain in fish. The target article reads more like a selective polemic against fish welfare than an even-handed analysis.


Pain In Fish: Weighing The Evidence, James D. Rose Jan 2016

Pain In Fish: Weighing The Evidence, James D. Rose

Animal Sentience

The target article by Key (2016) examines whether fish have brain structures capable of mediating pain perception and consciousness, functions known to depend on the neocortex in humans. He concludes, as others have concluded (Rose 2002, 2007; Rose et al. 2014), that such functions are impossible for fish brains. This conclusion has been met with hypothetical assertions by others to the effect that functions of pain and consciousness may well be possible through unknown alternate neural processes. Key's argument would be bolstered by consideration of other neurological as well as behavioral evidence, which shows that sharks and ray are ...


Brain Processes For “Good” And “Bad” Feelings: How Far Back In Evolution?, Jaak Panksepp Jan 2016

Brain Processes For “Good” And “Bad” Feelings: How Far Back In Evolution?, Jaak Panksepp

Animal Sentience

The question of whether fish can experience pain or any other feelings can only be resolved by neurobiologically targeted experiments. This commentary summarizes why this is essential for resolving scientific debates about consciousness in other animals, and offers specific experiments that need to be done: (i) those that evaluate the rewarding and punishing effects of specific brain regions and systems (for instance, with deep-brain stimulation); (ii) those that evaluate the capacity of animals to regulate their affective states; and (iii) those that have direct implications for human affective feelings, with specific predictions — for instance, the development of new treatments for ...


Why Animal Welfarism Continues To Fail, Lori Marino Jan 2016

Why Animal Welfarism Continues To Fail, Lori Marino

Animal Sentience

Welfarism prioritizes human interests over the needs of nonhuman animals. Despite decades of welfare efforts other animals are mostly worse off than ever before, being subjected to increasingly invasive and harmful treatments, especially in the factory farming and biomedical research areas. A legal rights-based approach is essential in order for other animals to be protected from the varying ethical whims of our species.


Sentience And Animal Welfare: Affirming The Science And Addressing The Skepticism, Nancy Clarke Jan 2016

Sentience And Animal Welfare: Affirming The Science And Addressing The Skepticism, Nancy Clarke

Animal Sentience

Broom’s (2014) book is a well-researched and thoroughly written exploration and evaluation of the journey from the origins of animal welfare science to what we can say we now know and need to consider in relation to animal sentience and welfare. This book will help to counter any skepticism among academics and policy makers.