ALL ANIMALS FEEL PAIN, but…
Do plants feel pain? NO! Plants do not have brains or central nervous systems. They cannot feel anything.
Watch this short, easy to understand, video from Mercy for Animals and chooseveg.com.
Mercy for Animals graciously granted permission for the use of this video on June 11, 2019.
In addition, since nonhuman beings generally possess keener, more acute senses than human beings,
nonhuman beings may feel more than human beings
according to Renowned Bioethics Professor Peter Singer who wrote Animal Liberation in 1975.
All animals feel pain. Professor Singer states, “The behavioral signs include writhing, facial contortions, moaning, yelping or other forms of calling, attempts to avoid the source of pain, appearance of fear and terror at the prospect of its repetition, screaming, crying, trying to physically escape.”(1)
Professor Singer explains that if sentient human beings feel pain, then sentient nonhuman beings do also because both species possess nervous systems. Both sentient human and sentient nonhuman beings have “nervous systems which provide physiological signs of pain: an initial rise in blood pressure, dilated pupils, perspiration and increased pulse rate, and if the stimulus continues, a fall in blood pressure.”(2)
Infamous and beloved Dr. Jane Goodall noted in her study of chimpanzees in In the Shadow of Man “when it comes to expression of feelings and emotions, language is less important than nonlinguistic modes of communication such as cheering, a pat on the back, an exuberant embrace, a clasp of hands, etc. The basic signals we use to convey pain, fear, anger, love, joy, surprise, sexual arousal and many other emotional states are not specific to our own species.”(3)
SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE SHOWS THAT CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEMS ENABLE ALL ANIMALS TO POSSESS THE ABILITY TO FEEL.
ALL ANIMALS HAVE CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEMS.
THUS, ALL ANIMALS HAVE THE ABILITY TO FEEL.
OKAY, NOW THAT WE UNDERSTAND NONHUMAN BEINGS DO, IN FACT, HAVE FEELINGS, WE KNOW THAT NONHUMAN BEINGS ARE SENTIENT because
Sentience is the capability of feeling.
Sentience represents the exclusive requirement for consciousness or self-awareness. All human and nonhuman living beings possess sentience because all living beings have the ability to experience feelings of pain, sadness, loneliness, depression, pleasure, happiness, love, joy, etc.
(1) Peter Singer, Animal Liberation, The Definitive Classic of the Animal Movement (New York: Harper-Collins Publishers, 2009) 11.
(2) Singer 11.
(3) Singer 14.