Human and Animal Interaction
Animal Rights and Abuse

What is sentience?



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Sentience differs from self-awareness, intelligence, and reason.

In order to be considered sentient, an organism must have the ability to feel and experience subjectivity.

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Sentience is the ability of an organism to perceive the environment and experience sensations such as pain, suffering, pleasure, and comfort. An organism that is sentient has the ability to receive stimuli from the environment, and then interpret the stimuli as sensations or emotions. The sensations may feel good, bad, or neutral. The organism determines how best to act based on the sensation or emotion, and uses bodily responses or behaviors, in order to avoid negative sensations such as pain and suffering, and achieve positive sensations, such as pleasure or comfort.