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Years ago, we believed that we weren’t animals and that animals were here solely for our use. Indeed, a cow was just a walking burger, steak or Sunday roast, keeping itself fresh and tasty ready for when we were hungry. Luckily, for their sake, things have progressed significantly from then and now we recognise that animals (including our "superior" human selves in that category) can experience emotions from more simple 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 and feelings and in some respects, having an awareness that "you are you". In fact, the scientific evidence for animals being sentient is vast — so clear that three scientists read 2,500 papers studying sentience in nonhuman animals and concluded confidently that sentience does indeed exist. If you saw Blue Planet II recently, for example, you’ll have ...

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