Irina Mikhalevich and Russell Powell, Minds without spines: Evolutionarily inclusive animal ethics


Mikhalevich & Powell (2020) argue that it is wrong to dismiss the idea of sentience in invertebrates. Here, I expand on the evidence for crustaceans responding to noxious stimuli in ways that are not explained by mere reflexes, and that are consistent with pain. I consider the idea that male praying mantids must not feel pain because they may continue to mate whilst being consumed by the female. I finish with thoughts about the idea that because robots may be constructed to act as if they experience pain, the argument that animals might experience pain is diminished.

Author Biography

Robert W. Elwood, Emeritus Professor of Animal Behaviour, Queen’s University, Belfast, works on pain, information-gathering, motivation, and aggression. Website