[sentience of animals] Sentient beings how experience a wide range of feelings, including joy and grief - 8 June 2009  
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Through his extensive study of the emotional lives of animals, University of Colorado ethology professor Dr. Mark Bekoff has concluded they are sentient beings who experience a wide range of feelings, including joy and grief.

Dr. Bekoff spoke with Supreme Master Television about how animal emotions compare to those of humans, highlighting that when we acknowledge the emotions of animal companion pets, we can’t deny that animals raised for food also have the same range of emotions.

Dr. Marc Bekoff – Ethologist and author of “The Emotional Lives of Animals” (M): and The simple notion is that the differences among species, the differences in degree rather than differences in kind. It means there are differences in kind of shades of gray, not absolute differences. So if you’re a good biologist, if you say a human feels joy then you can’t deny joy to other animals. And if you think dogs feel joy, then you can’t deny joy, or grief, or other emotions to cows, or sheep, or chickens. And that’s one of the big messages and it seems to be very, very compelling, that if you think your dog feels emotions, then you’re being inconsistent to say that cows don’t.

SupremeMasterTV (F): So you’re vegetarian? 

Dr. Bekoff (M): Yeah, I’m pretty much a vegan.

VOICE: The fact that animals, and especially farmed animals are sentient beings with a wide range of emotions highlights the lack of ethics involved in raising and killing animals for food. Swine flu, which originated and evolved on pig farms, is yet another external indicator that the practice of consuming animal products has taken us out of balance with our values.

Over this past weekend swine flu fatalities rose in the US and Dominican Republic, adding to about 130 losses of life across North and South America. Many victims have been children or younger adults. Total cases that have been identified are around 22,000 in 71 countries. However, these do not include cases that have not been medically tested and identified. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated the actual number of cases in the country is closer to 200,000, almost 20 times the current tally of 13,000.Our deep appreciation,

 Dr. Bekoff, for your compassionate research demonstrating the sentience of our animal co-inhabitants. We send our prayers and condolences to those individuals, families, and communities affected by the swine flu, and look forward to a widespread shift toward wellness through a life-affirming vegan diet.