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Sentient Rats: Their Cognitive, Emotional, and Moral Lives

Research shows rats are clever, sentient, and caring beings. Nonetheless, the U.S. Animal Welfare Act continues to make the utterly inane claim that rats, mice, and other animals aren't really animals.

MARC BEKOFF: ‘2020 is the ‘year of the rat’, and a lot of attention is being directed toward these clever, sentient, and caring beings… Of course, these amazing rodents also are used by the millions in all sorts of horrific research, and the United States’ Federal Animal Welfare Act claims they’re not really animals… The science that clearly shows these rodents are sentient beings continues to be totally ignored

Detailed research clearly shows rats cut deals and trade different favors with one another (they follow “tit-for-tat” when trading grooming for food, and food for grooming); know when they’ve forgotten something; dream of a better future (just as humans do); display empathy for other rats by reading pain in their faces (also see Virginia Morell’s “Rats see the pain in other rats’ faces”); save drowning rats rather than eat chocolate; play, laugh, and like to be tickled; tell you they’re happy by relaxing their ears; regret what they didn’t do and recognize what might-have-been; and free familiar trapped rats from being restrained…

Knowing about the cognitive, emotional, and moral lives of rats is important for a general audience, because more and more research on sentient rodents is clearly showing that we’re not alone in being able to accomplish complex tasks, solve difficult problems, or experience wide-ranging emotions. Nonetheless, the United States’ Federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) continues to make the utterly inane claim that rats, mice, and other animals aren’t really animals…

One would think based on these research findings, all of which have been published in prestigious peer-reviewed journals and covered in popular media, that the U.S. Federal Animal Welfare Act would grant rats at least some protection. The money-driven animal-industrial breeding industry does well to have rats and mice removed from the animal kingdom: It’s a shameful self-serving sham. Scientists also need to speak out about this ludicrous claim, especially those who continue to do all sorts of research on the cognitive, emotional, and moral lives of these fascinating rodents and freely tout how amazing they are. However, rather than being outraged by this absurd and ill-conceived misclassification, very few have actually openly questioned it’. SOURCE…

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