Scientists: Animals are as conscious and aware as humans are

An international group of prominent scientists has signed The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness in which they are proclaiming their support for the idea that animals are conscious and aware to the degree that humans are — a list of animals that includes all mammals, birds, and even the octopus. But will this make us stop treating these animals in totally inhumane ways?

While it might not sound like much for scientists to declare that many nonhuman animals possess conscious states, it’s the open acknowledgement that’s the big news here. The body of scientific evidence is increasingly showing that most animals are conscious in the same way that we are, and it’s no longer something we can ignore.

The group consists of cognitive scientists, neuropharmacologists, neurophysiologists, neuroanatomists, and computational neuroscientists — all of whom were attending the Francis Crick Memorial Conference on Consciousness in Human and Non-Human Animals. The declaration was signed in the presence of Stephen Hawking, and included such signatories as Christof Koch, David Edelman, Edward Boyden, Philip Low, Irene Pepperberg, and many more.  The declaration made the following observations:

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3 responses to “Scientists: Animals are as conscious and aware as humans are”

  1. Lynne says :

    I totally agree with this after having worked in rescue for so many years.

  2. Mac says :

    well, of course they are. They’re living creatures. Not items to be placed at random.

  3. philipzhao says :

    Buddha said all sentient beings are created equal.

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