The Mind Of A Grasshopper
A Sentience Article from

June 2021

Scientific evidence suggests that arthropods possess cognitive functions comparable to those of vertebrates, a finding that has significant welfare implications.


We were all once invertebrates. Whether human or snail, we share a common evolutionary ancestor. In the modern Linnaean system of classification, invertebrate animals are extremely diverse. They include mollusks (snails, slugs, clams, octopuses, squid), arthropods (grasshoppers, dragonflies, lobsters), and arachnids (spiders, tarantulas).Despite this incredible variety, they are classified into a single group and mostly denied welfare protections. Indeed, research sponsors encourage scientists to experiment with these animals rather than vertebrates, to promote more “ethically sound” research.

The situation is improving for some cephalopods such as octopuses, squid, and cuttlefish. Beliefs about sentience in these animals is evolving and they are now considered honorary vertebrates. Some regulatory entities in the E.U. and U.S. are even recognizing welfare considerations for them. In contrast, the U.S. federal government still considers all invertebrates “dissective tissue”. Most other arthropods such as insects, arachnids, and crustaceans — despite the presence of a central nervous system and behavioral flexibility — are not viewed as sentient and thus not worthy of moral status.

The authors posit four reasons for the current exclusion of most invertebrates from science policy and ethical considerations....


Please read the ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE: The Mind Of A Grasshopper 

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