Winter Spring 2003/ 04 Poultry Press  << Previous -Next >>

Stop Look Listen - Recognising the Sentience of Farm Animals
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Stop Look Listen - Recognizing the Sentience of Farm Animals (2003) is a must-have educational resource for humane educators, animal advocacy organizations, schools, and libraries. Available from United Poultry Concerns for $2.50 including shipping, Stop Look Listen is a documented report by Dr. Jacky Turner, including photographs, by Compassion in World Farming Trust, a world leader in "Advancing Farm Animal Welfare."

From the Preface
By Joyce D'Silva, CEO, Compassion in World Farming Trust

Everyone who cares about the protection of animals rejoiced when a Protocol was formally added to the European Treaty in 1997 recognising animals as sentient beings. This achievement was largely due to nine years of hard work by animal protection organizations such as Compassion in World Farming.
But fine sentiments, even enshrined in law, do not automatically change the reality on the ground. Even though "human rights" are enshrined in national or international law they are violated on a daily basis in many countries.

With the sentience of animals, there is a further problem. What do we mean by this term? Does it mean simply that animals can feel pain? It does mean that, but in our view it means much more.

It means that, as Charles Darwin so bravely put it, humans and the "higher animals" have "the same senses, intuitions, and sensations, similar passions, affections and emotions . . . the same faculties of imitation, choice, imagination, the association of ideas and reason though in very different degrees" (C Darwin - The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex, 1871). . . .

The time has surely come to broaden our definitions of animal sentience and welfare and embrace gut feelings and common sense. Find me a 7-year-old child who, upon seeing a bird in a tiny cage, does not immediately want to set the bird free. We can learn much from the uncluttered minds and open sensitivities of the young.
One problem with realising the full implications of animal sentience may not be the difficulty of "liberating" animals, but of liberating ourselves from centuries of conditioned thinking. Only then can we see animals for who they are and award them the respect and compassion they deserve.

In our report you will find numerous examples taken from the scientific literature showing how farm animals feel and think, and how current farming practices sadly still cause them suffering. My hope is that this report will help to move forward the process of full appreciation of the implications of farm animal sentience. The animals themselves have waited too long.



Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) has created a website devoted to the subject of animal sentience: what it means, how it can be shown, and why it is important. Starting with a major feature on farm animals, the site will grow to include sentient behavior in wild and companion animals: "We aim to make you appreciate the complexities of animal minds and, hopefully, help you make decisions whenever you are faced with an issue concerning the treatment of animals." www.animalsentience.com

 
Winter Spring 2003/ 04 Poultry Press   << Previous -Next >>