The immense intelligence and self awareness of species like elephants, dolphins, pigs, and octopuses has long been documented. For the first time in history a team of international scientists have released the Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness citing evidence for the claim that many animals exhibit the same degree of consciousness and awareness as humans. They act on instinct just as much as we do.
This even includes animals that are extremely unlike humans, such as birds and many forms of sea life.
The absence of a neocortex does not appear to preclude an organism from experiencing affective states. Convergent evidence indicates that non-human animals have the neuroanatomical, neurochemical, and neurophysiological substrates of conscious states along with the capacity to exhibit intentional behaviors.”
The scientific evidence is increasingly indicating that humans are not unique in possessing the neurological substrates that generate consciousness.”
Can we please get rid of zoos already? I’m tired of hearing the argument “the zoo keepers really take care of those animals.” If I am forced into a cage, I don’t care how well I am taken care of, I want out, even if it means death. The paradigm shift in the way we think of intelligence and consciousness must continue in order for our compassion to transcend its current limitations. I fail to see how saving an animal from being hunted by locking it in a cage surrounded by gawking eyes is compassionate.
For more reading and research on consciousness in animals check out the links in the sources and resources section below!