Humane Educator's Toolbox: Animal Sentience Mosaic

Image screenshot Sentience Mosaic.
Recently a group of scientists released the "Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness," which declares:

"Convergent evidence indicates that non-human animals have the neuroanatomical, neurochemical, and neurophysiological substrates of conscious states along with the capacity to exhibit intentional behaviors. Consequently, the weight of evidence indicates that humans are not unique in possessing the neurological substrates that generate consciousness."

In other words: Many species of nonhuman animals are conscious.

As we spend more time observing nonhuman animals, and opening our minds and hearts, our knowledge about their emotions and intelligence is growing significantly. And as we learn more, we tend to care more.

Our friends at the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) have created a resource (h/t to Marc Bekoff) to help further our understanding of animals and to help support educators and others in exploring issues of animal sentience. As Marc Bekoff says, "The science of animal sentience is poorly understood and utilized, yet it underpins all the work that affects animals and is a growing international concern across many disciplines and sectors."

The Sentience Mosaic includes a variety of articles and videos dedicated to the science of animal sentience, as well as interviews and commentary by those working in this field. Articles can be filtered by topic (such as altruism, consciousness, play), by global issue (such as agriculture, sustainability, or human-animal conflict), and by year. Right now the collection of resources is small, but the site has the potential to become an invaluable resource for activists, educators, scientists, and anyone for whom animal sentience is relevant.

The site also offers a discussion forum, and events and debates related to animal sentience.

I highly recommend adding it to your toolkit.

~ Marsha

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