We are Sentientists

Where are sentientists around the world?

Here’s our wall of sentientists. If, like them, you’re committed to evidence and reason and have compassion for all sentient beings, why not join them and add your tile here.

Michael Sweeney

Committed Sentientist

I believe in extending moral consideration to all sentient beings as individuals with their own interests and values. I am also a longtime Humanist and member of the AHA because I believe in the separation of church and state and the promotion of a scientific rationalist point of view.

@EthicalSentient (Twitter), @EthicalSentient (Insta) and other social media.

Heather Browning

Committed Sentientist

Heather is a scientist (zoology and biology), philosopher & a former zookeeper & animal welfare officer. She is now a researcher at the London School of Economics specialising in non-human animal sentience, welfare, & ethics.

Find Heather's Sentientist Conversation with me here on Youtube or here on the Sentientism podcast.


Ben De Groeve

Committed Sentientist

If a sentientist is someone who wants to use evidence, reason and compassion for the benefit of all sentient beings, I consider myself a sentientist.

"The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge." - Bertrand Russell

William Satterthwaite

Committed Sentientist

I'm a sentientist because considering the common attribute of sentient beings, that is, the ability to suffer, has lead me to believe that all sentient beings deserve moral consideration.


Committed Sentientist

Because it is altruism that makes sense!

Christine Kane

Committed Sentientist

'The question is not, Can they reason?, nor Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?' Jeremy Bentham, Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation


Committed Sentientist

All sentient beings have interests that deserve full and rational consideration

Jeroen Willems

Committed Sentientist

It is my core value that every sentient being deserves a good, happy life. Whatever their race, religion, class, gender, sexuality or species may be. I want their suffering to stop. Reason and evidence is a must when trying to solve questions on how to help those who suffer, to discover who is suffering and how they are suffering. I prefer sentientism over animalism because it doesn't limit our moral circle to animals, but opens it to any kind of being who may be able to feel pain.


Julio Cesar Prava

Committed Sentientist

Because our choices need to be based on reason.

Bernard van Tonder

Committed Sentientist

I selected all sentient perceptual experience as my ultimate ethical value after studying philosophy and completely rebuilding my ethical beliefs without previous dogmas. It came as a result of thoughts that emerged around the being-for-itself concept in Jean-Paul Sartre's Being and Nothingness book and Peter Singer's work. Consequently I have become an act utilitarian, vegan and an effective altruist. The concept has had a profound impact on my significant long-term decisions. I am confident that the world would be significantly better for everyone if everyone valued sentient experience, maximised positive perceptual experience and minimised negative perceptual experience.

@EthosOpt (Twitter)

@bernardvantonder (Insta)

Alice Oven

Committed Sentientist

I'm a sentientist because I believe any living being who processes emotion, good or bad, deserves respect and should be treated as equal.


Committed Sentientist


Committed Sentientist

not fully sure yet. i so far like what i hear but like any group like this i like to check out the people and see if they match the words


Committed Sentientist

Simon Calver

Committed Sentientist

Josh Veganelli

Committed Sentientist


Committed Sentientist

I give value to beings who are sentient rather than being just alive.

Jasper Sanghera

Committed Sentientist

Thomas Shaw

Committed Sentientist


Committed Sentientist

my dad told me about it and i thought yep that sounds like me

Graham Bessellieu

Committed Sentientist

Why I’m A Sentientist:

- All suffering matters morally.

- No sentient being deserves to be treated as a commodity.

- Existing treatment is neither necessary for survival or morally justifiable.

- Cognitive science will continue to expand our understanding of the many forms of sentience.

- Recognizing our underlying genetic unity (ex. LUCA) is reason enough to universalize our compassion.


Jamie Woodhouse

Committed Sentientist

I'm a sentientist because there's no better way to understand the universe than using evidence and reason and because our morality should consider any being that can suffer or flourish. @JamieWoodhouse

1 10 11 12

Add my name to the wall!

"Just dive in and meet people where they're at" - Ashley Byrne - PETA Outreach Director - Sentientism Episode 153
"I went vegan finally when I fell in love with one" - filmmaker & writer Jay Shapiro - Sentientism Episode 151
Should Effective Altruism Take Abolitionism More Seriously? - Dhruv Makwana - Sentientism Episode 150
"Vegan pets... They're enjoying their lives more & they're living longer" - Dr. Andrew Knight - Sentientism Episode 148
"Animal research... much harm with very little benefit" - Neuroscientist Dr Katherine Roe from PETA - Sentientism Episode 147
Bursting "The Reality Bubble" - Ziya Tong - Science Broadcaster & Author - Sentientism Episode 146
A US Constitution For All Sentient Beings - Maybe Sooner Than We Think? - Professor Michael Dorf - Sentientism Episode 145
“How do you find meaning in a universe that’s doomed?” - Astrophysicist Dr. Katie Mack @AstroKatie - Sentientism Episode 144
"Why bad beliefs happen to good people" - Philosopher Neil Levy - Sentientism Episode 143
"Veterinarians are merchants of doubt for the animal agriculture industry" - Dr. Crystal Heath of Our Honor – Sentientism Episode 142
"All suffering matters morally" - Eva Hamer from Pax Fauna - Sentientism Episode 141
"Animal rights is a social justice issue now" - Fashion Activist Bel Jacobs- Sentientism Episode 140
"Who am I to take another's life?" - Paige Parsons Roache of UnchainedTV - Sentientism Episode 138
"What is it like to be another animal?" Lori Marino - Sentientism Episode 137
"Rationality comes with responsibility" - Kathy Hessler - Sentientism Episode 136
"The Creative Lives of Animals" - Author Carol Gigliotti - Sentientism Episode 135
"It just started to not make sense" ObjectivelyDan - Host of "Truth Wanted" Sentientism Episode 134
"I relate directly to other creatures - I don't need any belief system" - Karen Davis - United Poultry Concerns President - Sentientism Episode 133
Update: Sentientism Movement: Nov 2022
"I agree wholeheartedly with Sentientism" - A.C. Grayling - Humanist Philosopher & Author - Sentientism Episode 132
"Watching Earthlings hit me really hard" - Author Sandra Nomoto - Sentientism Episode 131
"The Animal Turn" podcast - challenges to Sentientism!
"What is compassion if it doesn't include all sentient beings?" - new YouTube conversation
Consumers can drive compassionate change - Ethos CEO Jill Ettinger - Sentientism Episode 130
Can Humanists and Atheists Break Free From Human Supremacism?
"We gotta make friends... that's the path to liberation" - DxE's Matt Johnson - Sentientism Episode 129
Knowing Animals and Vegan FTA! - talking about Sentientism
"It feels really good to be doing the right thing" - Alene Anello - Legal Impact for Chickens President & Founder - Sentientism Episode 128
"We need to transition [India]... the question is how?" - Economist Chaitanya Talreja - Sentientism Episode 127
"I've always identified with the 'Other'" - Adrian Tchaikovsky - Sci-Fi/Fantasy Author - Sentientism Episode 126
"Religion is at the intersection of everything I care about" - YouTuber & Podcaster Emerson Green - Sentientism Episode 125
"People can't not eat free vegan food!" - Pearl Monique Cole Brunt - Sentientism Episode 124
"Let's make a world with less suffering today!" PETA president and founder Ingrid Newkirk - Sentientism Episode 123
From Dairy & Beef Farmer to Animal Activist - VeganFTA's Jackie Norman - Sentientism Episode 122
"Compassion is a boundless capacity" - Lisa Kemmerer - Sentientism Episode 121
"The Politics of Love" - Writer Philip McKibbin - Sentientism Episode 120
"I have this instinct to go to the underdog" - Ana Bradley - Sentient Media ED - Sentientism Episode 119
"You can definitely be a victim & a perpetrator" - Farm investigator Erin Wing - Sentientism Episode 118
"As people who are harmed - how can we possibly perpetrate harm?" - LoriKim Alexander - Sentientism Episode 116
Sentientist Economics - Nicolas Treich - Sentientism Episode 115
"Humility should underpin our efforts to understand" - Journalist Marina Bolotnikova - Sentientism Episode: 114
"We are reflective animals - which comes with responsibility" - Susana Monsó - Sentientism Episode: 113
"Ought flows from sentience" - neuropsychologist & "Hidden Spring" author Mark Solms - Sentientism Episode:112
"The basis of all value is sentience" - Steve Sapontzis Take #2 - Sentientism Episode:111
"Bringing individual animals into the frame " - Author & Ethnographer Kathryn Gillespie - Sentientism Episode 110
"Incorrect beliefs impact the lives of others" - Street Epistemologist Mark Solomon - Sentientism Episode 109
"The Weight of Empathy" - author Lucas Spiegel - Sentientism Episode 107
"There's a myth that we can't understand animals... if we listen, we can" - Adam Cardilini – Sentientism Episode 106
Imagine a politics based on evidence, reason and compassion. Magnus Vinding has done just that in: "Reasoned Politics"
"The world is going to get better for animals in our lifetime" - Species Podcast host Macken Murphy - Sentientism Episode 105
"Veganism is the secular manifestation of Ahimsa" - author Jordi Casamitjana - Sentientism Episode 104
"Humanism is just way too focused on one animal" - Philosopher Constantine Sandis - Sentientism Episode 103
Misinformation and conspiracism in the vegan movement - on Freedom of Species
Modes of Inquiry - Talking About Sentientism
"There's a caste angle to how animal cruelty works in India" - Karthik Pulugurtha - Fish Welfare Initiative - Sentientism Episode 101
"I am relentlessly naturalistic" - Barbara J. King - Animal Author & Advocate – Sentientism Episode 100!
"The right to a fair start in life" - Carter Dillard of Fair Start Movement - Sentientism Episode 99
"Wars start because someone gets annoyed." - Richard Firth-Godbehere - History of Emotion - Sentientism Episode 98
Why is it so hard to talk about meat?
"Sentientism Salon" - online event - hosted by the American Ethical Union
"It's the same fight regardless" - Ex-Mormon writer Coral Sands - Sentientism Episode 96
Clearer Thinking - about Sentientism!
"The Sustainable Development Goals Are All About Us Humans!" – Dr. Helen Kopnina - Sentientism Episode 95
Talking to Humanists About Non-Human Sentients
"Artificial Animals" - a fascinating essay by Claire L Evans referencing Sentientism
Let's create more effective, compasionate narratives - Writer Alex Lockwood - Sentientism Episode 94
"I believe in the abolition of cages - human & non-human" - Rachel Krantz, author of "Open"- Sentientism Episode 93
"Science denial is about identity, not facts" - Lee McIntyre - Sentientism Episode 92
"Learning can liberate" - Mary Pat Champeau - Institute for Humane Education - Sentientism Episode 91
"Farmers say they want to take care of their animals... let's give them that opportunity!" – David Michelson of YesOnIP13 - Sentientism Episode 90
Freedom of Species - Talking About Sentientism
How can Africa avoid industrialised animal farming? - Cameron King of Animal Advocacy Africa - Sentientism Episode 89
"Punk music was my gateway into politics & ethics" - Sociologist Nick Pendergrast - Sentientism Episode 88
"You CAN change other people!" - Howie Jacobson of Plant Yourself - Sentientism Episode 87
"There's not a huge difference between how we treat farmed animals & how we treat people - as resources" Nandita Bajaj of Population Balance - Sentientism Episode 86
Uncomfortable Conversations - Sentientism outreach! Two new podcast appearances
"If you have experienced suffering you're aware of its badness" - Philosopher Michael Huemer - Sentientism Episode 85
"Nobody likes hypocrisy but we're all hypocrites" - Dr. Brian Earp - Sentientism Ep:84
"If I can open my mind about veganism... I can do anything... it was so liberating" - Jamila Anahata from the Afro-Vegan Society - Sentientism Ep:83
"Al Gore didn't want to talk about it!" - Dr Sailesh Rao - Sentientist Conversations EP:82
"Ethical value flows from reality" - Pablo Perez Castello - Sentientist Conversation EP:81
"'I love what you do for me' - isn't love!" - Cat Besch - Vietnam Animal Aid & Rescue Founder - Sentientist Conversation - EP:79
American Humanist Association Publishes Article on Sentientism
"A whole new relationship with non human animals that will blow people’s minds!" Jonina Turzi - Sentientist Conversations ep:78
Rod Graham's "Being" - Interview on Sentientism
Update: Sentientism Movement: Oct 2021
Humanism will Evolve into Sentientism - Peter Tatchell - Sentientist Conversations ep:76
Why Should We Care About The Environment?
Should Stoics be vegan? - philosopher Massimo Pigliucci - Sentientist Conversation ep: 75
"Veganism, Sex and Politics... pleasure, not sacrifice!" - Author C Lou Hamilton - Sentientist Conversation
"Making Compassion Easier" - Tobias Leenaert - Author and meta-advocate - Sentientist Conversation
"Boom! - the entire world changed - everyone was questioning everything" - Mariann Sullivan - Sentientist Conversation
"What will you say to your grandkids?" - @Soytheist Aditya Prakash - Sentientist Conversation
Pineal Podcast - Sentientism and Spirituality
"Are Panpsychism, Veganism and Sentientism Compatible?" - A Sentientist Conversation with Philosopher Luke Roelofs
"We need to develop Mental Immunity against epidemics of nonsense" - Andy Norman - Sentientist Conversation
"Time has come for non-human animals to be globally protected in UN-iversal law" - Sabine Brels of the World Federation for Animals
"When I adopted a dog - my whole worldview shifted" - Aditya from Animal Ethics
"The conversation has to start with you" - Jenny Splitter - Journalist and SciMom Founder
"May all beings be happy & free from suffering" - Cebuan Bliss
"Animal farming will end by the end of this century" - Jacy Reese Anthis
"You cannot go wrong with compassion" - primatologist Frans de Waal - Sentientist Conversations
"That's moral progress - you have to interfere in things" - Philosopher Kyle Johannsen
"I'm positive about our future... I experienced the rapid change in my own views" - Lu Shegay - Institute of Animal Law of Asia - Sentientist Conversation
"Factory farming is a complete disaster" - Financial Times Journalist Henry Mance
"We don't need a god - we can do it ourselves" - Philosopher Richard Brown
"We are entropic eddies complex enough to have woken up" - Sci-Fi author Peter Watts
"We don't have to wait until the 24th century for a Star Trek future" - Christopher Sebastian - Sentientist Conversation
Suffering matters even if we didn't cause it - Heather Browning - from Zookeeper to Philosopher
"I would consider myself a Sentientist now" - Tennis pro Marcus Daniell
"Ending animal testing is a win-win for humans and animals" - Neurologist CEO Aysha Akhtar
"There is no us and them" - Yasmine Mohammed - Ex-Muslim Activist - New Sentientist Conversation
"Animal activists don't have to be on the political left" - Josh Milburn - New Sentientist Conversation on Podcast and YouTube
"I'm concerned with oppression in all its forms" - Joey Tuminello - New Sentientist Conversation
"Maybe moral systems are harmful! Like religion, they are used to divide us." - Walter Veit - New Sentientist Conversation
"Freedom, equality & avoiding harm to others" - Psychologist Kristof Dhont - New Sentientist Conversation
"The root of all evil is in thinking some suffering doesn't matter" - Jane Velez-Mitchell - Sentientist Conversation
"Children are much less speciesist than adults" - Psychological Researcher Matti Wilks - New Sentientist Conversation
"There is suffering - end it!" - Actress Victoria Hogan - New Sentientist Conversation episode on YouTube and Podcast
"We're at the beginning of a huge movement" - Author Julie Taylor - New Sentientist Conversation on Podcast and YouTube
"Morality isn't linked to religion" - Amy Wilson - Activist Lawyer - New Sentientist Conversation on Podcast and YouTube
"Compassion needs to be grounded in reality" - Jessica Pierce - Bioethicist and Author - Sentientist Conversation on YouTube and Podcast
"The Peppa Pig Paradox" - activist academic Lynda Korimboccus - New Sentientist Conversation on the Sentientism YouTube and Podcast
"Sentientism captures everything - it's future proof" - Michael Dello-Iacovo - New Sentientist Conversation on Sentientism YouTube and Podcast
"No judgement... just how do we solve this?" - Humane Educator Zoe Weil - New Conversation on the Sentientism YouTube and Podcast
"The Ocean is Alive" - Ocean Ecologist Glenn Edney - New Conversation on Sentientism YouTube and Podcast
"We can't understand humans without recognising that we're animals" - Dr. Diana Fleischman - New Sentientist Conversation
Our Hen House podcast: Sentientism Episode!
"Maybe the point of being is to be loving" - Comedian Myq Kaplan - New Sentientism YouTube & Podcast episode
What if we re-wrote the Sustainable Development Goals for all sentient beings? Sentientist Development Goals?
"Us humans are slow learners" - Kim Stallwood - author & scholar - New conversation on the Sentientism YouTube and Podcast
An Introduction to Sentientism - on YouTube and podcast. "Talking to Humanists about other sentients"
From Human Rights to Sentient Rights: the next generation of rights thinking
"Every individual matters" - Marc Bekoff - New Conversation on Sentientism YouTube and Podcast
"If you hand most people a knife they won't stab a cow!" - John Oberg - New Sentientist Conversation
"Vet training reduces empathy for animals" - Vet Kevin Saldanha - New Sentientist Conversation
"Vegan stuff is going to be hot!" - Sociologist Corey Lee Wrenn - New Sentientist Conversation
"Change is possible but hard" - Jeff Sebo - Author, Activist, Academic - New Sentientist Conversation
"Imagining a better future through our everyday decisions" - Podcaster and academic Claudia Hirtenfelder - New Sentientist Conversation
Truth Wanted Live Call in Show - about Sentientism!
"Breeding into suffering is the root of the problem." - Sentient Media founder Mikko Järvenpää - New Sentientist Conversation
“A Fabulous Vegan Future!” - Jasmin Singer - New Sentientist Conversation
"How can I have been morally asleep for so long?" - Prof Randall Abate - New Sentientist Conversation
“De-centring the human” - New Sentientist Conversation with Josh Gellers. Also Happy New Year!
"Diverse sentients could live in mutual symbiosis" Graham Bessellieu - New Sentientist Conversation
"Being in balance with ourselves and the rest of the living world" - Author Gill Coombs - New Sentientist Conversation
"How can we do the most good for non-human animals?"- Jamie Harris - Animal Advocacy Careers co-founder & Sentience Institute Researcher - New Sentientist Conversation
"Let's end humanity's war on the rest of the planet" - Better Meat CEO & Animal Rights Hall of Famer Paul Shapiro - New Sentientist Conversation
"Humans might one day need to beg AIs for our sentient rights" - AI expert Roman Yampolskiy - New Sentientist Conversation
"As a Vet I Felt Helpless" - Vicky Bond, Humane League UK Managing Director - New Sentientist Conversations Video
"No victim, no problem!" - New Sentientist Conversation video with philosopher Floris van den Berg
"We'll look back on this era of humanity as barbaric" - New Sentientist Conversation video with campaigner CEO Naomi Smith
"Compassion alone is not enough - we need to systematise benevolence": David Pearce Video #Sentientist Conversation
From Devout Pentecostalist Sunday School Teacher to Sentientist Academic and Author - John Adenitire - New Sentientist Conversations Video
Drop the Retribution: Sentientist Justice
Update on the Sentientism "Movement" (if that's what it is)...
"My enemy, which I will destroy, is arbitrariness!" New Sentientist Conversation with Stijn Bruers
We Have a Sentientism Podcast!
"The aim is to convince 8 billion people to use evidence & reason & extend universal compassion to all sentient beings, thereby solving all the world's problems." New podcast interview!
"Do you want a habitable planet for your children?" A Sentientist Conversation with Zion Lights
Sentientist Conversations: Dr. Joe Wills
Podcast Alert: Future Based!
Sentientist Conversations: Bestselling Author AJ Jacobs
Sentientist Conversations: Actress Carole Raphaelle Davis
The Bridge
Fish Sentience! Free, online talk for the Sentientist community - 19 Nov!
Sentientist Conversations: Carole Raphaelle Davis (New Video!)
Sentientism @ "Future Design" and "Ask a Philosopher"
Ask A Philosopher - Open Q&A on Sentientism
Normalising rationality and compassion - Help us find Celebrity Sentientists!
Sentientist News - Making News Better?
Sentientist Politics - New Page!
New Sentientism PodCast Episode - All Things Risk
Help us build our FAQ!
Join Sentientism on WikiTribune Social
Association of Black Humanists Discussion on Sentientism - New Video!
Kialo Debate: Sentientism is the Optimal Universal Worldview
Free Zoom talk on Sentientism
Humanism needs an upgrade: Is Sentientism the philosophy that could save the world?
Beyond Species Interview
Dilemma HangOut - Conversation with Jay Shapiro
Video! - New page and a 3 hour discussion about Sentientism
Sentientism – Raising Awareness
Universal Declaration of Sentient Rights
Is Humanism good enough?
A Unifying Morality? How is Sentientism Different?
In a Sentientist World - What Disappears? - a new Sentientism Community
Animal Liberation and Atheism - Kim Socha
Interview with Open For Animals

Search by categories



Join our mailing list

and stay up to date

Latest work

"Animal rights is a social justice issue now" - Fashion Activist Bel Jacobs- Sentientism Episode 140

Bel Jacobs is a fashion journalist and activist. A Sentientist Conversation about "what's real?", "who matters?" and "how can we make a better future?"

From Dairy & Beef Farmer to Animal Activist - VeganFTA's Jackie Norman - Sentientism Episode 122

Find our Sentientist Conversation here on the Sentientism YouTube and here on the Sentientism Podcast.

Jackie is a former dairy & beef farmer turned full-time animal rights advocate. She is head of communications and a founding board member for the global non-profit, VeganFTA (For The Animals). She co-hosts their podcast and live shows. Jackie is also an author and public speaker.

In Sentientist Conversations we talk about the two most important questions: “what’s real?” & “what matters?”

Sentientism is “evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings.” The audio is also on our Podcast here on Apple & here everywhere else.

We discuss:
00:00 Welcome

02:28 Jackie's Intro

  • From beef & dairy farming to animal advocacy & veganism
  • Undercover investigator Erin Wing

04:20 What's Real?

  • Growing up in a UK village in the 1970's
  • Naturalist Gilbert White "England's first ecologist?"
  • Christian community & school "If you're good to go to heaven & if you're bad Satan's going to get you"… "Nobody ever questioned it"
  • Fitting in & FOMO "everybody went to church on Sunday"
  • Joining the church choir, but not being religious
  • Losing son Luke at 2 days old
  • "If god loves us all… how are all these bad things happening?"
  • "Any shred of belief I ever had… just went straight out the window"
  • Spirituality? Unexplained things… a clock starting without batteries… "things happening for a reason?"
  • "Maybe there's something greater out there… not god"
  • Exploring Buddhism after going vegan "All you have to do is just be kind"
  • Meditation & Yoga
  • "There is such synergy between veganism & Buddhism"

30:38 What Matters?

  • Good: "Not being mean… not killing" vs. god compliance
  • "I don't think there is a hell…" except for what we do to non-human animals
  • Sons coming home from Xtian school saying "god's going to strike me down!"
  • Being most authentic & open at times when "I had nothing"
  • Buddhism "has taught me not to judge other people… I get a lot of peace from it… being kind."
  • "Being compassionate towards yourself is the hardest thing to do"
  • Dairy farming: "What they are doing is evil… but you can't write them off as being evil"
  • "Everyone's got a reason for being the way that they are"

41:50 Who Matters?

  • Killing a spider, terrified, at 8 yrs old, then feeling "mortified that I had ended that life… that's never left me"
  • Husband Gareth carries a card to rescue bees
  • IWAF leaflet about seal culling
  • Going vegetarian in 1987 after a Viva factory farming campaign
  • "I couldn't believe humans could be so cruel"
  • Father loving nature but going shooting, being attacked by animal activists
  • Doing school presentations about animal rights "I couldn't understand why my friends weren't doing the same"
  • Running off with the local Kiwi barman at 19 yrs old to NZ cow farming country
  • "Dairy farming was the ultimate career for a person in New Zealand"
  • Learning to milk cows
  • Being lactose intolerant
  • Seeing a baby calf being bottle fed, with the mother on the other side of the yard… "I'm going to knock it on the head after"… "begging the farmer to let me keep her… she was my friend"
  • Uneconomic calves being killed at 4 days old
  • "Things just got buried… I ended up being in the industry for 18 years… I would always cry"
  • "Yes we know it's sad, but it's how it is"
  • "I never saw a happy dairy farmer… ever"
  • "You don't get the time to connect with an animal"
  • Hating separating calves from their mothers
  • Even having lost a son "I still didn't make that deep, deep connection that this is what we were doing to cows"
  • A 16 year old "pet" cow, Tilly, who had 14 babies taken away from her
  • "I never made the connection between dairy & death… but it's so much worse"
  • Leaving the marriage & the industry
  • Being broke, growing own food, meeting Gareth
  • Living in a van, a vegan FB friend sharing info about farrowing crates, going vegan "I can never be part of anything like that again"

01:13:40 A Better Future?

  • CAFOs and "family" / "humane" farms "The same things still happen"
  • SAFE, VeganFTA
  • Receiving death threats
  • Building bridges with farmers "They're also victims"
  • Milked documentary
  • Farmers transitioning. Many want a way out
  • "Vegans don't see farmers as the humans they are"
  • "We're so focused on the animals that we're not always focused on the solutions"
  • Resisting oppresssion of humans too
  • Religion & animals
  • "Never underestimate your influence!"
  • "Everything that arises also ends… the suffering will end."

Sentientism is “Evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings.” More at

Join our “I’m a Sentientist” wall using this simple form.

Everyone, Sentientist or not, is welcome in our groups. The biggest so far is here on Facebook.

Thanks Graham for the post-production.


"Compassion is a boundless capacity" - Lisa Kemmerer - Sentientism Episode 121

Find our Sentientist Conversation here on the Sentientism YouTube and here on the Sentientism Podcast. Don't forget to subscribe and share!

Lisa is an activist and academic who specialises in anymal & environmental ethics. She was an associate professor of philosophy & religion at Montana State University Billings until she retired in 2020 to found & lead the educational, vegan umbrella organization, Tapestry. Lisa is the author or editor of ten books including "Animals & World Religions". She has written over 100 articles & book chapters. Lisa coined the term anymal as a "correct" term for non-human animals.

In Sentientist Conversations we talk about the two most important questions: “what’s real?” & “what matters?”

Sentientism is “evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings.” The audio is also on our Podcast here on Apple & here everywhere else.

We discuss:
00:00 Welcome

01:28 Lisa's Intro

01:58 What's Real?

  • Linking epistemology & ethics
  • "My mind sees a continuum"
  • Being born with "a more eastern way of thinking"
  • Metaphysical & practical concerns
  • "I don't tend to use philosophy in an abstract way"
  • "I have very little faith in human reasoning… we are not rational beings."
  • Descartes reasoning that anymals aren't sentient
  • "We cannot trust our reason… that doesn't mean reason's out… we need to do it with humility"
  • "It's the extent of our power that makes our arrogance dangerous"
  • "Roe vs Wade was just overturned… don't tell me humans are rational."
  • "Trump's reality… I don't want to know about that"
  • The USA: "Democracy requires education & we're not an educated public"
  • "Our reason is flawed… we need to use it… we have to be sceptical"

11:53 What Matters?

  • "Cultures & people - that's where you have to work"
  • "To try to bring change I need to work with humans where they're at"
  • "I can see the beauty in it… and I can see the problems in it"
  • "Cruelty is not a good thing… compassion is a good thing… fairly universal"
  • "I love religions… they have a committed strong belief… I can get a hold of it"
  • "I have never, never talked to a serious Christian, & had them, after a serious conversation, say 'it's OK, what we're doing with anymals'… an atheist? - whole different picture."
  • Fowler's stages of religion "I was there (stage 6) in my teens"
  • "These religions are rock solid in teaching the core ethic… of compassion"
  • Wild animal suffering & hell as challenges to a benevolent god
  • "Western faiths tend to be very rigid…" Eastern faiths are more pluralistic/flexible?
  • Compassion / empathy as central to Lisa's family's ethics
  • "When you live in a community you can't tolerate cruelty"
  • Rights theory, virtue ethics ("bravery can be stupid or it can be good")
  • Reciprocity
  • Consistency, practicality, flexibility

29:21 Who Matters?

  • Moral scope. Who gets to be in our community?
  • Father saving worms from the pavement
  • Moral luck & privilege
  • "I always found humans to be mean" whereas "my family were honest & not cruel"
  • "I grew up on meat"
  • Sister talking about PETA literature
  • Going vegetarian then vegan in the 1980's "it wasn't like now… there was no reasonable milk… I just did without."
  • "I stopped eating what she [mother] had cooked… I know that was hard for her"
  • Dad: "You kids saved my life by changing my life"
  • "Normal is normal… we all grow up in our little bubbles."
  • "I was very much on my own path… I didn't have to worry about what anyone else thought."
  • Travelling
  • A fascination with religion from a v.early age
  • Bio/ecocentrism "Have regard for everything… why wouldn't we?"
  • "I am going to work on this situation"
  • "Philosophy goes wrong when it runs off… the ivory tower stuff"
  • "Why would I argue between the gnat & the grass when there is a veal calf right here that is dying"
  • "That human being is hungry & that veal calf is going to be slaughtered because we have collectively failed in our compassion"
  • "Everything is harmed by the fact that we're taking up space"

49:10 A Better Future?

  • Do the religious or atheists have the clearest path to universal compassion?
  • "No religious person will say 'I don't care'"
  • Humanism & anymals? … "You're going to have better luck with religious people"
  • "Most people have some religion… most religons feel very strongly about cruelty." It's a mistake for animal activists to reject the religious
  • "You have to be educated about religions to talk to people inside religions"
  • "Every religion teaches compassion, humility & at the centre is not humanity, it is either a god… or your ultimate journey… all of that points to vegan"
  • "All religions have… a core idea that it is best not to be eating anymals"
  • Genesis: “I give you the plants & the seeds to eat”… "We were given a vegan diet by god"
  • “The earth is ruined by humanity”
  • “Should we try to eat the beauty of that original Eden… which was peaceful & compassionate”
  • “On earth as it is in heaven!”
  • “These teachings are so beautiful – did you ever notice them… wouldn’t you like to practice them?”
  • “In the Eastern tradition the ideal is not to harm… the Jewish/Christian/Islamic tradition is to love… which is stronger!”
  • “Helping people to work inside their own traditions… that’s better”
  • “Everything about us is dualistic… but that isn’t the way the world is”
  • “You either have compassion or you don’t… once you start having compassion, why would you only have it for your family… it’s not a zero sum game… it’s a boundless capacity… [although] we’re limited in our energy.”
  • “What I ask is that anymal activists not feed into racism, not feed into sexism… and similarly, that those working to end poverty don’t feed animal products to hungry people and that those working for the environment don’t themselves consume anymals & anymal products… quit working against each other”
  • “They [social justice issues] are all connected”
  • Emotional motivations “not from a mind point of view but from a heart point of view”
  • “I’ll engage with anyone that gets near me”

Sentientism is “Evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings.” More at

Join our “I’m a Sentientist” wall using this simple form.

Everyone, Sentientist or not, is welcome in our groups. The biggest so far is here on Facebook.

Thanks Graham for the post-production.


"The Politics of Love" - Writer Philip McKibbin - Sentientism Episode 120

Find our Sentientist Conversation here on the Sentientism YouTube and here on the Sentientism Podcast. Don’t forget to subscribe!

Philip is a writer from Aotearoa New Zealand, of Pākehā (NZ European) and Māori (Ngāi Tahu) descent. He is a PhD candidate at the University of Sydney, affiliated with the Sydney Environment Institute. He holds a Master of Arts in Philosophy from The University of Auckland & diplomas in te reo Māori (the Māori language) from Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. Philip has written for publications such as the Guardian, Newsroom, & Takahē. His book, Love Notes: for a Politics of Love, is published in New York by Lantern Books. In 2018, he co-organised ‘The Politics of Love: A Conference’ at All Souls College, Oxford. Philip was also kaiwhakatipu (editor) of He Ika Haehae Kupenga.

In Sentientist Conversations we talk about the two most important questions: “what’s real?” & “what matters?”

Sentientism is “evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings.” The audio is on our Podcast here on Apple & here everywhere else.

We discuss:
00:00 Welcome

01:54 Philip's Intro

  • Writing on animals, Maori issues & "The Politics of Love"

03:10 What's Real?

  • Neither parent very religious so grew up agnostic?
  • Anglican Christian high school
  • Sermons talked more about love than god
  • Confirmed at 14 yrs… "ridiculous… what do 14 yr olds know?"
  • "A lot of the metaphysical background was smuggled in"
  • Anglicanism to comparative religion to philosophy
  • Turning from metaphysical to normative/ethics/politics
  • "The final nature of reality is unknowable to us & we just have to proceed on our senses"
  • Albert Camus
  • The risk of being distracted by esoteric philosophical questions… instead "We need to be engaged in work that tried to bring about a better world in the light of obvious suffering"
  • "I do believe there is something transcendent that is true… spiritual… love"
  • "Communing with the spiritual… but through a critical filter"
  • "Prophets of love… Martin Luther King Jr & Te Whiti O Rongomai"
  • God, purpose, meaning, spirit, love… "Our attempts to name it… project our own interpretations on to it… prevent us from fully understanding…"
  • Ethical risks from religious or spiritual epistemologies (unchallengeable, unknowable, incommunicable, obedience, higher purposes, constrained/conditional compassion)
  • Old, new testaments, "what would the next step be?… Something like love?… a more mature ethical outlook."
  • Is something missing from a purely naturalistic ethics? "Not necessarily… we should & can find reasons for acting in a loving way independently from this spirituality I have described."

26:30 What Matters?

  • "I understand ethics in relation to love & relationship"
  • Constructing & affirming the morality we want to see in the world
  • "We are living in an absurd world… we need to determine & assert our own values… try to act lovingly"
  • "The Politics of Love"
  • A communal house as a metaphor "something we create in which to live"
  • "The challenge is to ensure that our ethics & politics has philosophical strength… we do that with tools like reason & critical thinking"
  • "Our ethics & politics will be less coherent, less robust… if we only recognise that human beings are sentient"
  • Black, indigenous & feminist theory
  • "Our anti-racism is undermined if we're not also anti-sexist"
  • "We can't unpick one [oppression] without unpicking the others"

37:44 Who Matters?

  • In 2015 The Politics of Love hardly mentioned non-human animals… "since then my heart has opened, or re-opened, to non-human animals & the rest of nature"
  • Beyond sentience… the "more than human world"
  • "Who matters? Everyone & everything."
  • "Sentience needs to be taken into account morally"
  • Risks of instrumentalism re: non-sentient entities?
  • Is the notion of sentience tethered to the human?
  • Interests, relationships
  • "The environmental movement… has overlooked the sentience of non-human animals"
  • "I'm not convinced that value comes from sentience"

57:13 A Better Future?

  • The Politics of Love
  • Choosing optimism
  • Personal interactions to govt. policy
  • "I understand love as being intellectual & emotional"
  • bell hooks "work as central to love"
  • "Anything short of love isn't going to be enough"
  • "Love is not scarce & it's not limited. We can have more of it simply by choosing it"
  • Veganism & decarceration as examples of a loving politics
  • "Collective action always boils down to individual action"
  • "We cannot effect any change unless we effect that change in ourselves"
  • Pluralism, mutuality, honesty, intersectionality: "It's going to look different in different places"
  • When cultural values clash with a Politics of Love
  • "I don't think indigenous cultures should be engaged with uncritically"
  • He Ika Haehae Kupenga, "The fish who tears the net"… as a Maori vegan
  • "It's harder to do it with love when it's coming from without"
  • "That idea that indigenous cultures… should be preserved and are relics of the past is a patronising idea… a colonial idea"
  • Criticism as a sign of love & respect (Jennifer C Nash)

Sentientism is “Evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings.” More at

Join our “I’m a Sentientist” wall using this simple form.

Everyone, Sentientist or not, is welcome in our groups. The biggest so far is here on Facebook.

Thanks Graham for the post-production.