Woodruff, Michael L (2022) Sentience in decapods: Difficulties to surmount. Animal Sentience 32(11)
Andrew Crump, Heather Browning, Alex Schnell, Charlotte Burn, and Jonathan Birch, Sentience in decapod crustaceans: A general framework and review of the evidence
In the target article Crump et al. present 8 criteria to assess whether decapods experience pain. Four of these -- sensory integration, motivational trade-offs, flexible self-protection, and associative learning -- could be used to assess sentience in general. In this commentary I discuss difficulties with using these criteria to provide evidence of sentience in decapods, particularly if this evidence is to change public opinion and policies. These difficulties are lack of evidence, the potential to eventually explain the neurobiological basis of the behaviors chosen as criteria, thereby eliminating any explanatory work for sentience, and the reluctance to bring animals that are not cuddly under our moral umbrella.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Animal Studies Commons, Behavioral Neurobiology Commons, Biological Psychology Commons, Comparative Psychology Commons, Ethics and Political Philosophy Commons, Marine Biology Commons, Philosophy of Mind Commons, Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology Commons, Zoology Commons