Reber, Arthur S. (2017) What if all animals are sentient?. Animal Sentience 16(6)
Jonathan Birch, Animal sentience and the precautionary principle
Birch develops a useful framework for determining when the Animal Sentience Precautionary Principle (ASPP) should be invoked. He rightly notes that there is a lack of agreement among social scientists, ethicists, and legislators even about whether the precautionary principle is useful, let alone when and how it should be implemented. His proposal is to establish a kind of cognitive threshold, and only when an animal shows a sufficient level of sentience would the ASPP be appropriate. From the point of view of the Cellular Basis of Consciousness model (Reber, 2016), all animals are sentient. If correct, the problems Birch identifies need to be confronted from a different perspective.