Exposing the Big Game

Not that it should come as a surprise to anyone who’s ever befriended a dog or cat, or watched birds in their backyard, but in July 2012, respected scientists met in Cambridge and went on record to affirm that non-humans are conscious. Belated as the matter has been in gaining acceptance, their “Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness” was a welcome step in the right direction for the world’s most continually oppressed and victimized—those born of species other than human.

The declaration asserts:

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. Consequently, the weight of evidence indicates that humans are not unique in possessing the neurological substrates that generate consciousness. Nonhuman animals, including all mammals and birds, and many other…

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