Commentary Type

Invited Commentary


Andrew N. Rowan, Joyce M. D'Silva, Ian J.H. Duncan, and Nicholas Palmer, Animal sentience: history, science, and politics


In their target article, Rowan et al (2022) make a welcome attempt to chart the development of Western progress over the past two hundred years toward formally recognizing that animals feel. They outline the heroic efforts of Compassion in World Farming to gain for animals the status of sentient beings rather than merely human property. A broader view exists, from human prehistory to the present day, in which animals have been (and still are) understood to be sentient by indigenous peoples as well as by some Eastern religions. Growing recognition in the West that animals feel represents a new age of enlightenment.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Author Biography

Clive Phillips is visiting professor at the Estonia University of Life Sciences and former Foundation Professor of Animal Welfare and Director of the Centre for Animal Welfare and Ethics, University of Queensland, has studied the welfare of cattle and sheep, and other animals, and the ethics of animal management. Website