Animal Sentience in Photo and Video

From time to time I try to include stories about animal sentience in the hope that the realization that animals are sentient beings may help to bring an end to the cruelty and the exploitation that they suffer with increasing frequency.

“When animals express their feelings they pour out like water from a spout. Animals’ emotions are raw, unfiltered, and uncontrolled. Their joy is the purest and most contagious of joys and their grief the deepest and most devastating. Their passions bring us to our knees in delight and sorrow.” 
Marc Bekoff, The Emotional Lives of Animals: A Leading Scientist Explores Animal Joy, Sorrow, and Empathy – and Why They Matter

The videos photos below show that animals are sentient beings with a wide range of emotion and behaviours similar to humans and maybe many unique to their own species

Sheep often show affection for one another as they are doing in the above photograph.

Doesn’t this baby elephant’s behaviour remind you of a human child?

Unfortunately unlike mammals such as dogs, cats and elephants crustaceans such as this tiny creature struggling to survive are less likely to be considered as sentient or in other words aware and conscious of the world around them. Clearly from the video below this is not the case as this poor little animal fights for his life.

The following link has more information about sentience in crustaceans

The pig in the video below is clearly aware of his brother’s plight and is obviously taking hay to him.

Watch this incredible video of an elephant rescuing people from a fast flowing river. Sentient, emphatic and compassionate surely!


The following link has more information about sentience in crustaceans

These animals are clearly enjoying themselves, what better proof can you have that animals are sentient beings

This video will show you just how intelligent animals are

Please always keep in mind that animal intelligence should really not be compared to our own and all animals are uniquely intelligent in order to function in their natural habitat.

Respect the animals with whom we share this world, respect their right to life, to live it as nature intended. Animals are not an adjunct to humans, they are not here to satisfy our desires but they like us exist for their own reasons. As far as possible harm no living being.


Related Links

Animal Sentience Stories:


Let Fish Live

Animals Enjoying Themselves

“…the lower animals, like man, manifestly feel pleasure and pain, happiness and misery. Happiness is never better exhibited than by young animals, such as puppies, kittens, lambs, etc., when playing together, like our own children. Even insects play together, as has been described by that excellent observer, P. Huber, who saw ants chasing and pretending to bite each other, like so many puppies.

The fact that the lower animals are excited by the same emotions as ourselves is so well established, that it will not be necessary to weary the reader by many details.”
Charles Darwin The Descent of Man

Sadly the fact that non human animals are “excited by the same emotions as ourselves” is not well established though things are improving in this regard.

Indeed animals feel pleasure, are capable of play and enjoying themselves as the video below demonstrates.

Everyone Deserves Joy  –   From Animals Australia this video will warm your heart


“Who says that animals don’t experience pleasure?

They feel remarkably similar emotions to humans – including euphoria, love and mischievousness”
Jonathan Balcombe

Yes indeed animals experience pleasure but for anyone with any doubt please read the article below from my website think differently about sheep and consider the accounts, anecdotes and personal stories which strongly suggest that they do.
Animal Sentience Stories: Pleasure

Indeed everyone deserves joy, sadly the lives of most animals are anything but joyful. Please visit the websites below to see how you can help animals to have a better happier life.

Animals Australia


PETA UK   Scroll to the bottom of the page for more international websites


New Zealand Declares Animals as Sentient Beings

There is little that seperates humans from other sentient beings.

Some good news for a change as New Zealand officially recognises animals as sentient beings:

Animals are now legally recognised as ‘sentient’ beings in New Zealand

“The New Zealand Government has formally recognised animals as ‘sentient’ beings by amending animal welfare legislation.

The Animal Welfare Amendment Bill was passed on Tuesday.

The Act stipulates that it is now necessary to ‘recognise animals as sentient’ and that owners must ‘attend properly to the welfare of those animals’.”

Read More:

To my way of thinking the recognition of animals as sentient beings should mean an end to their enslavement, exploitation and mistreatment, including killing them for any reason.

Unfortunately this is not the case.

While this is excellent news representing a significant step forward and may improve life for many animals it does not of course bring to an end animal slavery, exploitation and abuse such as killing them for their flesh. No matter how good the welfare laws are to protect animals at the end of the day animals still cannot live out their lives as nature intended free from negative human interference, and for farm animals ultimately a premature death. According to the above article, while cosmetic testing is banned, testing for research purposes continues though the New Zealand government now demands that checks be made as to whether there has been ‘assessment of the suitability of using non-sentient or non-living alternatives in the project’ and ‘replacement of animals as subjects with suitable non-sentient or non-living alternatives’. I assume that if there are no non sentient alternatives they are still prepared to use sentient creatures for research, animals who suffer pain and fear and wish to live as you or I do.

Hunting also appears to continue if it “is part of a generally accepted practice in New Zealand for the hunting or killing of wild animals of that type or animals in a wild state of that type”.

“30AWilful or reckless ill-treatment of wild animals or animals in wild state
  • (1)A person commits an offence if the person wilfully ill-treats a wild animal or an animal in a wild state.

    (2)A person commits an offence if the person recklessly ill-treats a wild animal or an animal in a wild state.

    (3)A defendant has a defence to a prosecution for an offence against subsection (1) or (2) if the defendant satisfies the court that the conduct alleged to constitute an offence is or is part of a generally accepted practice in New Zealand for the hunting or killing of wild animals of that type or animals in a wild state of that type.

Animal Welfare Amendment Bill:

Nonetheless all things considered at the least we now have another government which officially recognises that animals are sentient beings.

In January 2015 France recognised animal Sentience.

Recent amendments to French Civil Law have modified the classification of animals from ‘personal property’ to ‘living beings gifted with sentience’.

“We wholeheartedly congratulate France on the passage of the new amendment which formally establishes what we already know in our hearts: animals are ‘living, sentient beings’ that deserve protection.”
Mike Baker, Chief Executive of World Animal Protection:

Also in the EU treaty of Lisbon animals are considered as sentient beings.

Sadly ethical progress takes time with small incremental steps rather than great leaps forward, but progress is progress.  However we should not become complacent as there is still a long way to go before animals are free from cruelty, harm and exploitation at the hand of man.

The next step is to recognise that as a consequence of their sentience all animals should be allowed to live free them from any kind of exploitation or the negative interference of humans including but not exclusive to the following purposes: rearing for meat or other animal derivatives, labour, research and entertainment .

There is only one way to go if you truly recognise animals as sentient creatures and that is to go Vegan and campaign to improve the lot of animals everywhere in order to bring an end to the mistreatment of the myriad other species with whom we share this world.

Go vegan in 30 days with the 30 Day Vegan Pledge

This is a good target to set but please don’t give up if you don’t manage to go vegan in thirty days, all progress is good and it might take longer for some people. So please do not give up if you do not reach your target in a set time.

This news though is welcome progress indeed and hopefully other countries will follow New Zealand’s lead.

Related Links

New Zealand Declares Animals Are Sentient Beings

Animals have feelings, French parliament rules:

Read more Animal Sentience Stories

This article is also included in my Website Blog Vegan Rambles: