Humans are conscious beings capable of expressing compassion and feeling deep emotions. Farmed animals including chickens, goats, cows and fish, too, are sentient beings capable of feeling a range of emotions and forming bonds with one another.
Sentience Of Farmed Animals
Animals process emotions and have many similar feelings just like we do. They can experience pain, suffering, joy and grief. They are capable of forming meaningful bonds with their families and have friends.
Some examples of animal sentience and emotions:
Cows are extremely social animals who form friendships and live in small herds with social hierarchies.
Chickens have calls to communicate and express their feelings of frustration or alert one another about food or predators.
Cows get happy and excited when they learn how to open a gate to reach their food reward.
Mother hens teach their chicks how to distinguish good food from bad.
Pigs are seen to greet other pigs by touching noses and grunting, and pigs who form close bonds even groom each other.
Pigs feel pain, fear and get stressed when they are kept in isolation.
Pigs learn from each other, have empathy and can even use mirrors to locate food.
Sheep can easily recognise each other and even human beings.
Separating an animal mother from her infant can make them feel sorrow and despair. When piglets are separated from their mothers, they frequently squeal to call her back.
Cows also have a strong maternal bond with their calf after birth, and they get very stressed when their calf is taken away from them. Cows also express pain, sadness and anxiety when they are treated violently.
Knowing about their emotions, we can extend our empathy to them, prevent animal cruelty, save the environment and live an eco-friendly and compassionate life.
How Can We Make Animals’ Lives Matter?
There are innumerable ways to make the world a more compassionate place for all beings. We can do this through small steps as follows. We can protest and prevent the abuse of farmed animals for human benefit. This can be done by signing petitions, spreading awareness about the ills of animal farming and pushing for legislation to advocate animal rights.
Apart from these, we can consciously choose to avoid using animal products. This can help prevent animal abuse and animal slaughter.