Jennifer Mather, What is in an octopus's mind?


Mather argues convincingly for the existence of minds in octopuses based largely on laboratory experiments. Many of these experiments are highly invasive and involve mutilation and death. Moreover, octopuses are now being hailed as a “new model” for biological research and are being enthusiastically bred in captivity, both for research and for food. We argue that the compelling evidence for mind in octopuses must be accompanied by intense scrutiny of the ethics that shape how we treat them and that the intrinsic value of their individual lives must be recognized.

Author Biography

Barbara J. King, Professor Emerita of Anthropology, College of William and Mary, writes and speaks about animal thinking, feeling, and ethics. Among her books are How Animals Grieve and Personalities on the Plate: The Lives & Minds of Animals We Eat. Her work has appeared on NPR and in Scientific American, the Atlantic, Aeon, Undark, and TLS. Website

Lori Marino, neuroscientist, President, Whale Sanctuary Project, and Executive Director, Kimmela Center for Animal Advocacy, has written over 130 publications on dolphin and whale brain evolution and anatomy; intelligence and self-awareness; and the effects of captivity on social mammals, including cetaceans, elephants and primates. Website