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Do octopuses, squid and crabs have emotions?


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Octopuses can solve complex puzzles and show a preference for different individuals, but whether they, and other animals and invertebrates, have emotions is being hotly debated and could shake up humans' moral decision-making, says a York University expert in animal minds.

Most countries don't recognize invertebrates, such as octopuses, crabs, lobsters and crayfish, as sentient beings that can feel pain, but the United Kingdom is considering amendments to its animal welfare legislation that would recognize this.

"A London School of Economics (LSE) report commissioned by the U.K. government found there is strong enough evidence to conclude that decapod crustaceans and cephalopod molluscs are sentient," says York University Professor and philosopher Kristin Andrews, the York Research Chair in Animal Minds, who is working with the LSE team.

more at link...........................

the paper:




If the UK joins a handful of other nations to recognize the sentience of invertebrates, such as cephalopod mollusks and decapod crustaceans, by, for example, prohibiting the boiling of live lobsters, this will be based on evidence that emotions and felt experiences (i.e., sentience) are not limited to animals close to humans, such as the mammals. This topic has been heavily debated in both affective neuroscience (how to define an emotion?) and philosophy (what is the moral relevance of animal experiences?), but a consensus on the criteria for and implications of recognizing animal sentience seems to be emerging (1).



No sentience does not mean they will become space faring entities in the future!!! 😁

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5 minutes ago, Genady said:

What a strange question. Of course they do.

Yeah, I would have thought so. So probably this research is more about the often used throwing Lobsters, crabs etc, into boiling water while alive.

Here is more, on the methodology of the research.....



Despite striking evidence for sentience in some well-studied species, there are 750 cephalopod species and 15,000 decapod species—more than double the total number of mammal species. Most individual species have never been studied in detail.

But sentience has never been studied in most individual vertebrate species either. With vertebrates, it is usually accepted that we can make reasonable generalizations from laboratory species—such as rats and zebrafish—to other species.

Invertebrates should be treated in the same way as vertebrates. That means protecting under-studied animals if it is reasonable to generalize from strong evidence in a better-studied species. This principle led us to recommend extending protection to all cephalopod molluscs and all decapod crustaceans.


Hmmm, I am having fish and calamari for dinner tonight! 🤔😵


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2 hours ago, Genady said:

So, this question is not about their emotions. It is about our emotions. 

Both, most probably.

2 hours ago, Genady said:

So, this question is not about their emotions. It is about our emotions. 


46 minutes ago, beecee said:

Both, most probably.

It's more about research that has prompted other nations to follow the few that do hold such creatures as sentient beings and able to feel pain. I have often wondered about that aspect myself, with regards to everyday fish we catch with a hook, line and sinker. Do they feel pain with a hook, jagged in their mouths...do they feel pain when we pull the damn thing out, and are they suffering from the injuries/tears from said hook, if and when we throw them back? Secondary of course to the fact that we are carnivorous creatures, well at least have evolved into such, but I have read that we are anatomically herbivorous. Quite disappointing to me as a big meat eater. So we have evolved naturally into ominvores....I can live with that!!

Found the following article with apologies to our vegan brothers and sisters.....


Sorry Vegans: Here's How Meat-Eating Made Us Human:

Science doesn’t give a hoot about your politics. Think global warming is a hoax or that vaccines are dangerous? Doesn’t matter, you’re wrong.

Something similar is true of veganism. Vegans are absolutely right when they say that a plant-based diet can be healthy, varied and exceedingly satisfying, and that—not for nothing—it spares animals from the serial torments of being part of the human food chain. All good so far.

But there’s veganism and then there’s Veganism—the upper case, ideological veganism, the kind that goes beyond diet and lifestyle wisdom to a sort of counterfactual crusade. For this crowd, it has become an article of faith that not only is meat-eating bad for humans, but that it’s always been bad for humans—that we were never meant to eat animal products at all, and that our teeth, facial structure and digestive systems are proof of that.

You see it in Nine Reasons Your Canine Teeth Don’t Make You a Meat-Eater; in PETA’s Yes, It’s True: Humans Aren’t Meant to Eat Meat; in Shattering the Myth: Humans Are Natural Vegetarians. (Google “humans aren’t supposed to eat meat” and have at it.)

But sorry, it just ain’t so. As a new study in Nature makes clear, not only did processing and eating meat come naturally to humans, it’s entirely possible that without an early diet that included generous amounts of animal protein, we wouldn’t even have become human—at least not the modern, verbal, intelligent humans we are.

It was about 2.6 million years ago that meat first became a significant part of the pre-human diet, and if Australopithecus had had a forehead to slap it would surely have done so. Being an herbivore was easy—fruits and vegetables don’t run away, after all. But they’re also not terribly calorie-dense. A better alternative were so-called underground storage organs (USOs)—root foods like beets and yams and potatoes. They pack a bigger nutritional wallop, but they’re not terribly tasty—at least not raw—and they’re very hard to chew. According to Harvard University evolutionary biologists Katherine Zink and Daniel Lieberman, the authors of the Nature paper, proto-humans eating enough root food to stay alive would have had to go through up to 15 million “chewing cycles” a year.

This is where meat stepped—and ran and scurried—in to save the day. Prey that has been killed and then prepared either by slicing, pounding or flaking provides a much more calorie-rich meal with much less chewing than root foods do, boosting nutrient levels overall. (Cooking, which would have made things easier still, did not come into vogue until 500,000 years ago.)

more at link....



Interesting article to say the least. While I am omniverous, there are items I have never, nor ever will eat...eggs, kidney, brains, tripe ofal mussels, oysters clams etc. They just look to iffy and gouly to me!!! 🤢 Anything else, and its a case of "Look out guts, here it comes"


Edited by beecee
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