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


Mikhalevich & Powell (2020) argue for considering the welfare of invertebrates, especially insects, by asking whether invertebrates have the cognitive and neural characteristics necessary for sentience. This approach assumes that human neural and cognitive complexity is the basis of sentience. But insight might also be gained by turning this approach on its head and examining the notion that sentience may be a fundamental biological property, appearing very early in the evolution of life in all organisms with centralized nervous systems.

Author Biography

Lori Marino is Executive Director of The Kimmela Center for Animal Advocacy and President of The Whale Sanctuary Project. She has published over 130 articles, book chapters and articles on cetacean brain evolution and intelligence, farmed animal cognition, and the ethics of our relationships with the other animals. Website