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Years ago, we believed that we weren’tanimals and that animals were here solely for our use. Indeed, a cow was just awalking burger, steak of Sunday roast, keeping itself fresh and tasty ready forwhen we were hungry.

多年以前,我们坚信我们不是动物,动物存在的唯一目的就是给我们使用。甚至,一头牛只是一个会走路的汉堡,或星期日烤肉中的牛排,保持自己的新鲜和美味,随时准备就绪以防我们饿了。

(译注:在英国,除了圣诞大餐外,最深入人心的大概要数那SUNDAY ROAST(星期日烤肉)了,系该国炸鱼薯条之外的传统名菜。据说起源于工业革命时代的约克。只在周日供应。)

Luckily, for their sake, things haveprogressed significantly from then and now we recognise that animals (includingour “superior” human selves in that category) can experience emotions from moresimple ones such as happiness and sadness to more complex ones such as empathy,jealousy and grief. Animal sentience is defined as the ability to feel,perceive and experience subjectively. In other words, it’s about emotions andfeelings and in some respects, having an awareness that “you are you”.

幸运的是,为着它们的福利,相比那时事情已经有了很大的进展,如今我们认识到,动物(包括这个类目中作为“高级”人类的我们)能够体验感情,从比较简单的那些比如高兴和悲伤,到复杂得多的比如同情、嫉妒和悲恸。动物感觉能力被定义为:主观地感受、觉知和体验的能力。换句话说这关乎情绪和感觉,以及在某些方面,意识到“你是你”。

In fact, the scientific evidence foranimals being sentient is vast – so clear that three scientists read 2,500papers studying sentience in non-human animals and concluded confidently thatsentience does indeed exist.

事实上,动物有感情拥有大量的科学证据,因其太过明显,以至于三位科学家阅读了2500篇研究非人类动物感觉能的论文后,自信满满地推断,其感觉能力是确凿存在的。

If you saw Blue Planet II recently, forexample, you’ll have seen the footage of a pilot whale carrying around her deadcalf. For most humans, this clearly demonstrates a form of grieving,particularly given the behaviour changes in the wider family pod.

举例来说,如果你最近看了《蓝色星球II》,会发现领航鲸随身带着她死去幼崽的镜头。对大多数人来说,这清楚地示现了某种形式的悲恸,特别是考虑到这种行为会在更广泛的鲸群家族中变化。
The evidence for sentience

感觉能力的证据

Studies have shown that sheep are able torecognise the faces of their sheep friends even after being separated for twoyears. Elephants from strong family groups with immense memories and they crywhen they are hurt (both physically and emotionally). Capuchin monkeys knowwhen they are receiving unequal pay (grapes vs cucumber) and Macaques developindividual cultures, particularly when it comes to how one should wash apotato.

研究已经显示。即使分开了两年,绵羊也能认出它们羊朋友的脸孔。来自强大家族集群的大象拥有极多的回忆,受到伤害时(身体的和情感的)它们会哭泣。卷尾猴会晓得它们收到了不平等报酬(葡萄vs黄瓜),猕猴发展出了个体文化,特别是当涉及该如何清洗马铃薯时。

Chimpanzees like to keep the peace byredistributing bananas if someone complains that their share is unfair and evenrats have been shown to demonstrate empathy by giving up their favourite snackto save a drowning friend. They also giggle when being tickled.

如果有抱怨说它们那一份是不公平的,黑猩猩喜欢用重新分配香蕉的方式来保持和睦,甚至老鼠都会放弃它们最爱的零食来拯救一个溺水的朋友,已经表现出了同情。挠它们痒痒时它们也会吱吱地傻笑。

Fish use tools and octopus weigh up whetherthe effort needed to gain a food reward is worth it depending on the type offood. There is also plenty of evidence on how animals have individualpersonalities and indeed how some are a glass half full type while others aremore glass half empty.

鱼类会使用工具,章鱼会根据食物的种类去权衡获得该食物的努力是否值得。也有大量的证据表明动物是有个性的,确有一些的个性类型像是半满的杯子,而另一些更像是半空型。

But it isn’t just from watching theirbehaviour that we can say animals are sentient. When we examine the brains ofspecies (and indeed individuals), we can draw parallels from what we know abouthuman brains and start to make assumptions.

但是,我们能够说动物有感觉并不仅仅源自观察它们的行为。当我们研究各物种(甚至是个体)的大脑时,我们可以从对人类大脑的了解中推演出相仿的结论,并开始作假设。

Emotions mainly stem from a part of ourbrain called the “limbic system”. Our limbic system is relatively large andindeed humans are a very emotive species. So when we come across a brain thathas a smaller limbic system than ours, we assume it feels fewer emotions. But,and here’s the big but, when a limbic system is comparatively much bigger thanours, we don’t assume it feels more emotions than us. Most likely because wecannot imagine something that we do not feel or even know about.

情绪主要来源于我们大脑中称之为“边缘系统”的部分。我们的边缘系统相对而言是很大的,而人类确实是个非常容易动情的物种。所以当我们碰到一个有着相较我们更小边缘系统的大脑时,我们会假设它感受到的情感更少。但是当一个边缘系统相较而言比我们的大得多时,我们并不会假设它能比我们感受到更多的情感。这多半是因为:我们无法想象自己感觉不到甚至不了解的事物。
 


The act of killing

杀戮行为

In some marine mammals, their limbic systemis four times larger than ours is. In addition to this, some marine mammalshave spindle cells, which we originally thought were unique to humans, allowingus to make rapid decisions in complex social situations. Arguably, would theseevolve if they weren’t used for the same (or at least similar) purposes.

有些海生哺乳动物的边缘系统比我们的大四倍。除此之外,一些海生哺乳动物具有纺锤形细胞,而我们起初认为这是人类特有的,它能使我们在复杂的社交场合快速做出决定。可以认为,如果它们不被用于相同(或至少相似)的目的,这些物种会进化的。

One potential reason why we don’t likethinking too much about animal sentience is because we like to kill animals.Some to eat and some, quite simply because we do not like them. Look at thosepoor spiders in autumn, coming in to find some shelter, only to meet their endbeing smacked by a slipper wielding human. We also turn a blind eye tosystematic cruelty on an mass scale to ensure we save some money on meat at thesupermarket. It’s far easier to pretend these animals don’t have feelings oremotions so that we can enjoy a cheap dinner without the emotion of guiltcreeping in.

我们不喜欢过多思虑动物的感觉能力,一个潜在原因是:我们喜欢屠戮动物。一些是用来吃的,还有一些情况也挺简单,只是因为我们不喜欢它们。看看秋天里那些可怜的蜘蛛,只是进屋来找个避难所,却被一个挥舞着拖鞋的人类拍打而一命呜呼。为了确保我们在超市里的肉上省下一点钱,我们也对大规模的系统性残忍熟视无睹。假装这些动物没有感觉或情绪会容易得多,这样我们就能享受便宜的晚餐而不会有暗自袭来的内疚感。

So is animal sentience a big deal? Yes, itis. We need to ensure we include it everywhere to safeguard the welfare of allanimals, not just our pets. We live in a world where a lady putting a cat in abin causes immense public shaming, yet we’ll pop down to the nearest fast foodoutlet and eat meat that has lived the most abhorrent life ever withoutthinking twice. It really is time that we spent more time thinking about thethinking beings around us.

那么,动物也有感觉是个很大的问题吗?是的,它是。我们需要确保将这种认知周遍每个地方,以保护所有动物的福利,而不仅仅是我们的宠物。在我们生活的世界里,一位女士把一只猫放进垃圾桶会蒙受巨大的公共羞辱,然而我们会直奔最近的快餐连锁店,然后毫不犹豫地叫点肉吃,这些肉已经活过了最最令人痛恨的生活,这种生活我们绝不会想要再次想起的。真的是时候让我们花更多时间去思考在我们周围存在的这种思想了。