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Animal Emotions

New sentience journal explores how animals think and feel

All Animals magazine, March/April 2016

By Jonathan Balcombe

Photo by Don McLeish

As a graduate student in the late 1980s, I found little research available on animal feelings. Since then, scientific interest in how animals think (sapience) has flourished, and the related field of how animals feel (sentience) is finally gaining traction. Until now, however, there has been no go-to place for scientists and other stakeholders to publish their ideas on this timely topic.

And so The HSUS is excited to announce the launch of Animal Sentience, a new scholarly journal dedicated to animal feelings. It is a multidisciplinary, peer-reviewed, free, online resource represented by an editorial board of more than 50 renowned scholars in animal sentience and related fields. All serious submissions—regardless of their ideologies—are welcome.

To that end, readers will find a controversial article titled “Why Fish Do Not Feel Pain,” with critical responses from more than 30 leading thinkers in the field. Other highlights include an essay by Carl Safina, author of Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel; a series of commentaries on two recent books—How Animals Grieve, and Sentience and Animal Welfare; and an argument for veterinarians’ duty to report abuse of their animal patients.

“I am grateful to be able to help advance the scientific and public discourse on animal sentience,” writes Editor-in-Chief Stevan Harnad.

Read the Animal Sentience journal.

Jonathan Balcombe is director of animal sentience for the Humane Society Institute for Science and Policy.

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