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The Emotional Lives of Animals – Adrenalin Junkie Orangutans and Individualist Sheep
Humans ARE animals = need for the term
Animals are sentient = a someone rather than a
Sentience: self-awareness, experience emotions and
sensations eg pain, suffering, pleasure.
All sentient beings are individuals eg there’s not a
Source: Mark Bekoff ‘Scientists Finally Conclude Nonhuman
Animals Are Conscious Beings’ in Psychology Today.
Sentience is often recognised in cats and dogs.
Cats and dogs
• Tool use : Eg chimpanzees, even crows (video).
• Self awareness: Mirror self recognition eg magpies.
• Grief: Therapy sessions eg baboons grooming after deaths.
• Pleasure seekers, not just pain avoiders: Orangutans are
“adrenaline junkies”. They participate in “snag riding” –
deliberately swinging on weak branches that may collapse.
• Fairness: Dogs won’t offer their paw if another dog is getting a
treat for it and they aren’t.
• Graciousness: Being good/nice/co-operative is important for
all social animals, not just humans eg elephants rescue
• Sentience: The “bedrock of ethics” = all sentient beings should
be part of the “moral community”.
Not distinctly human
Source: Interview with Jonathan Balcombe, who is a scientist studying animal behaviour.
What about sentience in farm
‘The one thing that I have
learned through getting to
know all the animals that
have passed through the
gates of Edgar’s Mission is
that they ALL are
individuals with unique
personalities and traits that
go way beyond those
dictated by their species’
(Pam Ahern – Co-founder,
Edgar’s Mission Farm
Edgar’s Mission Farm
Sanctuary in Victoria.
Have a strong sense of
Can recognise the faces
of at least 10 people and
50 other sheep for at
least two years.
React to facial
a smile than a grimace,
just like humans).
Source: Scientists at the Babraham
Institute in Cambridge.
For more information on wool, see:
Ability to tell people
A greater sense of
spatial awareness than
Source: scientific study on animal
behaviour, reported in the Guardian.
Source: RSPCA ‘What happens with male chicks in the egg industry?’
Show excitement when
Source: Donald Broom, a professor
at the University of Cambridge.
Source: RSPCA ‘What happens to Bobby Calves?’
Smarter than dogs eg
Video: pigs at Edgar’s Mission.
Source: John Webster, a professor at the
University of Bristol in England.
Video: Stephen Colbert with Claire
Daines on Temple Grandin.
For more information on…
Emotional lives of animals:
Visit a farm animal
Vegan starter packs.
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Every Monday 7-8pm.