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.
Tobias co-founded the Center for Reducing Suffering with Magnus Vinding. CRS is a research center that works to create a future with less suffering, taking all sentient beings into account. More broadly, Tobias is involved in the effective altruism movement which applies evidence and reason to find the most effective ways to help others. In his new book, Avoiding the Worst: How to Prevent a Moral Catastrophe, Tobias lays out the concept of risks of future suffering (s-risks) and outlines ways to steer the world away from s-risks and towards a brighter future. You can get his book for free on Amazon or read the PDF version. Avoiding the Worst is also on the bookshelf of our Sentientism GoodReads group. His many other writings on how to best reduce suffering in the long-term future are collected here.
Previously, Tobias' research at University College London focused on Cooperative Artificial Intelligence. The aim of this work is to better understand how artificial learners can achieve higher levels of cooperation in social dilemmas (e.g. through mechanism design). Before that, Tobias graduated in 2016 from Ulm University with a Master’s degree in Mathematics and a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Physics. After graduating, he worked as a quantitative trader at Jane Street Capital.
Tobias has a sentiocentric moral scope and a naturalistic worldview.
Melanie Joy, PhD, is a Harvard-educated psychologist specializing in relationships, communication, and social transformation. She is the award-winning author of six books, including the new How to End Injustice Everywhere and the bestselling Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows and Getting Relationships Right: How to Build Resilience and Thrive in Life, Love, and Work. Melanie is also an internationally recognized speaker and trainer who’s presented her work in fifty countries across six continents.
Melanie is best known for her groundbreaking theories on the psychology of violence and nonviolence and building healthy relationships. Her analyses have helped explain why people engage in “nonrelational” behaviors—behaviors that harm other people, animals, the planet, and themselves—as well as how to change this pattern. Her work has been featured by media outlets around the world, including the New York Times, BBC, NPR, and ABC Australia. She is the eighth recipient of the Ahimsa Award—previously given to the Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela—for her work on global nonviolence; and she also received both the Peter Singer Prize and the Empty Cages Prize for her work developing strategies to reduce the suffering of non-human animals. Melanie is the founding president of the international organization, Beyond Carnism.
Melanie is non-religious and has a naturalistic worldview. She is vegan and has a sentiocentric moral scope.
Kendra is a professor of management and organisational studies at Huron University and a fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics. She is a leading expert on animals and work, animal protection organizations and policy, and gender equity. Kendra has led multiple research projects enriching our understanding of human-animal work and animals’ own forms of labour in important new directions including through development of the concepts of humane jobs, interspecies solidarity, and ecosocial reproduction.
Kendra's latest book is Defending Animals: Finding Hope on the Front Lines of Animal Protection. She is the author of dozens of scholarly articles, book chapters, and public reports, as well as the path-making Animals, Work, and the Promise of Interspecies Solidarity. She is the co-editor of Animal Labour: A New Frontier of Interspecies Justice? Kendra has also published more than sixty columns including for The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Salon, Ottawa Citizen, Winnipeg Free Press, Edmonton Journal, The Conversation, iPolitics, and National Observer. Her work has so far been translated into French, Swedish, Japanese, Korean, German, and Bahasa Indonesia.
Kendra is vegan and has a sentiocentric moral scope. She is non-religious and has a naturalistic worldview.
I am in favor of sentientism because I believe 'any individual who is capable of subjective experience should be considered a moral subject'. I also believe in treating feeling beings with compassion.
Molly is a writer, copywriter, editor, creative strategist and an animal rights activist. She is Founder and CEO of the non-existent farm, Elwoods Organic Dog Meat.
Molly is non-religious and has a naturalistic worldview. She is vegan and has a sentiocentric moral scope.
Luke is a lecturer working in the Department of Psychology at the University of Exeter. His research examines social and moral development between childhood, adolescence and young adulthood. Between 2017 and 2020 he worked as a postdoctoral research fellow on the Wellcome Trust, ESRC and NSF funded “STEM Teens” project. This project examined the role of youth educators in informal science learning sites, both by longitudinally following youth educators and by quasi-experimentally examining their role in these sites.
Luke is non-religious and has a naturalistic worldview. He is vegan and has a sentiocentric moral scope.
Jared is a researcher at the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence. Until the summer of 2023 he was a lecturer at the University of Washington School of Computer Science. While there he created a class on the philosophy of AI and created and taught an ethics course as well as teaching technical artificial intelligence courses. His satirical novel "The Strength of The Illusion" was published in the summer of 2023. Previous Sentientism guest Mark Solms called it "extraordinary".
Jared is vegan and has a sentiocentric moral scope. He is non-religious and has a naturalistic worldview.
Kat is an effective altruist who co-founded Nonlinear (incubating artificial intelligence extinction risk non-profits), Charity Entrepreneurship (helping people start new, effective charities), and Charity Science Health. She describes her main focus today as trying "to make transformative artificial intelligence go well instead of poorly."
Kat is an atheist and has a naturalistic worldview. She has a sentiocentric moral scope.
Sentientism most aligns with my moral intuitions.
Alexandra is an actress, activist and health coach. She has appeared in more than 100 feature films and television programs starring alongside actors including Tom Hanks, Pamela Anderson, Pierce Brosnan, Kevin Costner and Dan Ackroyd. She is internationally recognized for her 5-year starring role as Lt. Stephanie Holden in the tv series Baywatch. For 4 years, Alexandra hosted the extreme sports series Wild Waters on the Outdoor Life Network, in addition to hosting the WE network series Winning Women for two seasons. She also hosted 150 episodes of the environmental cable access talk show EarthTalk Today. Alexandra has her own wellness coaching business through which she personally coaches clients all over the world and speaks to groups on how to change their habits for a healthier lifestyle and a happier life. Alexandra co-hosts a weekly podcast, Switch4Good which is heard worldwide and has over 3 million downloads and YouTube views.
Alexandra was honored by the ACLU of Southern California as their “2005 Activist of the Year” for her long history of fighting for the environment, voting rights and peace issues. In 1997, the United Nations commended Alexandra for her work on human overpopulation. In 1999, she won the International Green Cross award. She walked across America for over five weeks on The Great Peace March for Global Nuclear Disarmament, and has been arrested over a dozen times for protesting at the Nevada Nuclear Test Site. She was also arrested during a peaceful 1990 sit-in for AIDS patients to access fast tracked pharmaceutical drugs and protecting electric cars from being crushed. She has been arrested 5 times for peacefully protesting animal exploitation. She has been involved in open rescues of other farm animals. Alexandra wrote, produced and hosted Jam-packed, an educational film broadcast on PBS about the human overpopulation crisis, which has won several environmental awards. She followed that up with The Cost of Cool- Finding Happiness in a Materialistic World, which won a CineEagle award. In 1986, she (along with producer / manager Daniel Sladek) founded Young Artists United, a successful non-profit organization dedicated to helping teenagers in need. Alexandra has also personally spoken, classroom-by-classroom, to over six thousand Los Angeles teenagers on the issue of human overpopulation and continues to speak at universities and conferences on the issue. Alexandra has a TEDx talk on the benefits of a one child family which currently has 675,000 views. In 2000, Alexandra and her identical twin sister Caroline were the recipients of the Christopher Street West Rainbow Award for their ongoing support of gay and lesbian rights.
Alexandra was a certified EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) for 23 years. She competes in long distance swimming and Ironman races, including competing in the World Ironman Championship in Hawaii (2.44 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and 26.2 mile marathon) which she completed in 13:18:52. In 2012, Alexandra swam around Key West, a 12.5 mile race. In 2014, she swam the 22 km Reto Acapulco off the coast of Mexico.
Alexandra is vegan and has a sentiocentric moral scope. She is non-religious and has a naturalistic worldview.
Respect and care for sentient creatures.
Delci is an animal protection lawyer, scholar, teacher and programme builder. She is an associate professor of law and Director & Founder of the Animal Law and Policy Institute at Vermont Law and Graduate School. The Institute is committed to training animal advocacy leaders (e.g. masters degrees and programmes, Farmed Animal Advocacy Clinic) and serving as a resource hub.
Delci previously taught at Lewis & Clark Law School, where she directed the world’s first law school clinic dedicated to farmed animal advocacy. She served as Vice President and Deputy General Counsel at the PETA Foundation, was the first Academic Fellow of the Harvard Animal Law & Policy Program, and was a visiting scholar at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University. Her primary interests are in animal law and administrative law. She has also taught animal law at Tulane University School of Law and Loyola University New Orleans College of Law.
Delci's work has appeared in the Denver Law Review, Florida State Law Review, Ohio State Law Journal, NYU Law Review, and the Animal Law Review. She has also published extensively in the popular press, including The Hill, National Geographic, Newsweek, New York Daily News, Salon, U.S.A. Today, and numerous other outlets.
Delci is vegan and has a sentiocentric moral scope "overlaid with a respect for systems and interconnectedness". She is an atheist and has a naturalistic worldview.
Varda Mehrotra is an animal advocate and movement builder, exploring intersectional solutions. Most recently, she founded Samayu to undertake intersectional work and apply a systems approach for issues surrounding justice and animals in food systems. Under her decade-long leadership, FIAPO - India’s federation for animal organisations - was recognized as one of the most effective animal charities. She has spearheaded several large-scale undercover investigations, campaigns for farmed animals, companion animals and wild animals and was the architect of India’s largest plant-based advocacy network which has created many animal advocate leaders in the country. Prior to that, she spent several years organising within the grassroots animal advocacy movement in Scotland.
Varda has a broadly naturalistic worldview, describing herself as a "nothingist" when it comes to deities. She is vegan and has, at least, a sentiocentric moral scope.
Nicolas is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Environmental Studies at the New College of Florida. In Fall 2023, he will join the College of Charleston as Assistant Professor of Philosophy.
Nicolas is vegan and has, at least, a sentiocentric moral scope (see his work and our conversation below about moral consideration for non-sentient "agents"). He has a naturalistic worldview.
Anita is Executive Director of the Plant Based Treaty initiative & the Animal Save Movement, a worldwide network of Save groups bearing witness to farmed animals & promoting veganism & love-based, grassroots activism. She describes herself as an animal rights and an environmental activist. She is the co-author of the book "The Secret Lives of Pigs".
Anita is vegan and has at least a sentiocentric moral scope. She has a naturalistic and non-religious worldview.
Nicola is Director of Communications for the Plant Based Treaty initiative and works on the Animal Save Movement's communications team. She has over 20 years of experience in pressure campaigning in the UK.
Nicola is vegan and has at least a sentiocentric moral scope. She is an atheist and has a naturalistic worldview.
I have been ethologically studying the behavior of the gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) and almost from the beginning of this work, it was clear to me that these foxes are sentient beings. I've grown to understand that all wildlife and our pets included are sentient.
Elan is a cultural anthropologist focusing on human-animal interactions, environmental justice, and food politics. He is assistant professor of the practice in environmental studies and coordinator of the animal studies minor at Wesleyan University. He is the author of the Gregory Bateson Prize winning book: "Saving Animals: Multispecies Ecologies of Rescue and Care". He also contributed a chapter called "The Empty Promises of Cultured Meat" to the book "The Good it Promises, the Harm It Does: Critical Essays on Effective Altruism".
Elan is vegan and has (at least) a sentiocentric moral scope. He is non-religious and has a naturalistic worldview.
Peter holds a Canada Research Chair in Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence, at Ontario Tech University. He is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Business and Information Technology, where he leads the Trustworthy AI Lab. He co-edited the foundational book, Self-Aware Computing Systems, published by Springer, and is Associate Editor of IEEE Technology & Society Magazine. He has published over 75 papers in academic journals and conference proceedings, and led teams that have worked with dozens of companies in the areas of artificial intelligence, data science, and software development.
Peter has a naturalistic worldview. He is vegan and has a sentiocentric moral scope. His article "Of Fish and Robots" links his sentiocentrism with his work on artificial intelligence.
Tania is the Arthur W. Marks Professor of Psychology at Princeton University. She oversees the Concepts and Cognition Laboratory, which uses the empirical tools of cognitive psychology and the conceptual tools of analytic philosophy to study the human mind. Their research focuses on topics including explanation, learning, causal reasoning, and folk epistemology. Tania is the recipient of numerous early-career awards including the Stanton Prize from the Society for Philosophy and Psychology, the Spence Award from the Association for Psychological Science, a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation and a James S. McDonnell Foundation Scholar Award in Understanding Human Cognition. She blogs about psychology, philosophy, and cognitive science at Psychology Today and for NPR’s 13.7: Cosmos & Culture.
Tania has a naturalistic worldview. She has said "These new strands of research can’t promise a scientifically grounded account of human origins that rivals creationism in its psychological appeal, but they can help to explain how some people find beauty and fulfillment in a naturalistic worldview. There is something deeply satisfying in broadening the scope of what we understand. And that is part of the seductive grandeur of science." She is vegan and has a sentiocentric moral scope.
Andrew is Professor of Animal Welfare and Ethics and Founding Director of the University of Winchester Centre for Animal Welfare, Adjunct Professor in the School of Environment and Science at Griffith University, Queensland, EBVS European and RCVS Veterinary Specialist in Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law, American and New Zealand Veterinary Specialist in Animal Welfare, Fellow of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, and Principal Fellow of Advance HE.
Ever since helping launch Australia’s campaign against the live sheep trade to the Middle East in the early 1990s, he has advocated on behalf of animals. For nearly a decade prior to 2012 he practiced veterinary medicine, mostly around London. In 2013 – 2014 he directed the Clinical Skills Laboratory and taught animal ethics, welfare, veterinary practice management and surgical and medical skills at one of the world’s largest veterinary schools in the Caribbean.
Andrew's books include The Routledge Handbook of Animal Welfare (2023) and The Costs and Benefits of Animal Experiments (2011). He has around 150 academic and 80 popular publications and an extensive series of social media videos on plant-based companion animal diets, climate change and the livestock sector, invasive animal research, educational animal use, humane clinical and surgical skills training, and other animal welfare issues. His papers have been published in leading scientific and medical journals, such as New Scientist, the British Medical Journal USA and PLoS One. He has delivered over 200 presentations at conferences and universities internationally, and has organized or chaired seven conferences and seminars. He regularly works with animal welfare charities to advocate for animals and is often interviewed by the media. Andrew has been honoured with 14 awards and 22 research grants, including the Society for Veterinary Medical Ethics Shomer Award, a University Values Award and the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association Humane Achievement Award. He also received a University Student-Led Teaching Award in 2017.
Andrew has a naturalistic worldview, is vegan and has a sentiocentric moral scope.
Because sentientism is the basic criterion for moral consideration, and all sentient beings deserve respect and consideration of their interests.
Katherine is chief of Science Advancement and Outreach (SAO) at PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). SAO aims to change the paradigm of biomedical research by promoting the development and implementation of cutting-edge strategies in biomedical research and training and eliminating the use of animals in experimentation. Katherine earned her bachelor’s degrees in biology and psychology from Syracuse University and her Ph.D. in experimental psychology and cognitive science from the University of California–San Diego. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins University, she went on to become a research fellow at the National Institute of Mental Health, where she stayed for eight years. Over the course of her research career, she studied the neural correlates of linguistic, spatial, and memory processes, working with children with early focal brain injury, adults and children with schizophrenia, and individuals with Williams syndrome and related genetic disorders. Katherine has more than 20 years of experience conducting brain and neuroimaging research with humans and is an expert at experimental design and data analysis. She has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals and has presented her findings at national and international industry conferences.
Katherine is non-religious, with a broadly naturalistic worldview. She is vegan and has a sentiocentric moral scope.
Sentientism takes John Rawls's "Veil of Ignorance" to its logical conclusion: creating a world I'd want to live in no matter what form of sentient being I was born.
Because sentience matters.
"All morality stems from the fact that sentient beings prefer some experiences over others. The purpose of logic, governance, and society is to cultivate the wellbeing of sentient beings, frequently by opposing or modifying the lumbering, heartless evolutionary processes that seek to dominate and potentially degrade them."