These people are mostly suspected sentientists that haven’t (yet) explicitly stated their Sentientism on our Wall of Sentientists or elsewhere. For each person, we’ve set out some evidence that suggests they’re committed to evidence and reason (for example, because of their atheism, scepticism, free thinking or humanism) and that they grant moral consideration to all sentient beings (for example, through ethical veganism). In some cases, they’ve since confirmed they’re a Sentientist, some through being a guest on the #SentientistConversations YouTube and Podcast. I’ve left them here as well as adding them to the “Wall“.
You can suggest others on our “I know a Sentientist” page.
Stevan is a Hungarian-born cognitive scientist based in Montréal, Canada. His research interests are in cognitive science, open access and animal sentience. Stevan is currently Editor-in-Chief of the refereed journal Animal Sentience. He is an activist for non-human animals and is vegan. He has a naturalistic, non-religious worldview.
Stevan on Wikipedia
Donald was an animal rights advocate who founded the Vegan Society in 1944. In the same year, Donald and his wife, Dorothy, coined the word ‘vegan’ from the first three and last two letters of ‘vegetarian’. Donald described himself in this interview as agnostic, saying, “I’ve never been clever enough to be an atheist – an agnostic, yes.” He died in 2005 at the age of 95.
Donald on Wikipedia
Peter is an actor known primarily for his roles in television shows such as Big Breadwinner Hog, Prince Regent, Ever Decreasing Circles and Downton Abbey.
Peter is a longtime animal lover and vegan. Starting in 2010, he began to campaign publicly on behalf of animal rights. He works with animal advocacy organisations and sanctuaries in Asia, Bosnia and the UK. He describes himself as a “lapsed Roman Catholic” with a personal morality centred on compassion.
Peter on Wikipedia
Drew is an atheist, activist, science advocate and YouTuber at Genetically Modified Skeptic. He says: “Skepticism and compassion can co-exist.”
In this January 2021 video, “Why I am no longer a Humanist“, viewed over 100,000 times in the first few days after publication, he talks about how a naturalistic worldview challenges both religion and anthropocentrism. He describes his own journey from religion, through atheism and Humanism and on to Sentientism. In the video he says, “I consider humans in my moral framework because they have the capacity to suffer – and now, I consider other animals in my moral framework for the same reason.” While continuing to agree with the core tenets of Humanism (evidence, reason and a focus on human wellbeing), he says “I do like the labels of Sentientist and ethical vegan.” He calls for the end to all animal exploitation, including animal agriculture.
Genetically Modified Skeptic YouTube
GMSkeptic on Facebook
Michael is a writer and activist. He has written, co-written or contributed to seven books and the comedy musical play I, Keano. He has campaigned on many political issues, often with his late wife Anne Holliday, and he is chairperson of the advocacy group Atheist Ireland. He is vegan and a Sentientist.
Michael wrote this article on “Why I am a Sentientist”.
Michael on Wikipedia
Rachel is an award winning writer, podcast host and media consultant. She is on the advisory board for Sentient Media and the board of directors of Our Hen House. Rachel does nonprofit media consulting, especially for vegan organizations and brands. She seems to have a naturalistic worldview.
Jim is a lawyer, journalist and animal rights activist. He was introduced to philosopher Peter Singer in 1974. Their book Animal Factories was first published in 1980 and revised in 1990. It provides a critical review and photographic documentation of factory farming practices in North America. Jim was elected to the U.S. Animal Rights Hall of Fame in 2001. He is a vegan and seems to have a naturalistic worldview. He criticises the dominionism often present in supernatural and religious thinking, saying “Dominionism is the worldview or belief held by one species that it has a divine right to use animals and everything else in the living world for its own benefit.” He has said “Drop the mysticism and the phony irrelevant stories and recognize reality. Biology. We are animals who evolved from other animals who evolved into our animal cousins. Science. Biology. Reality please.”
Jim on Wikipedia
Zoe is the co-founder and president of the Institute for Humane Education (IHE). She is considered a pioneer in the comprehensive humane education movement. She has authored seven books both for adults and children, including Most Good, Least Harm: A Simple Principle for a Better World and Meaningful Life. Zoe writes the Becoming a Solutionary blog at Psychology today. She has made numerous TV and radio appearances and has given six TED talks, including “Extending our Circle of Compassion.”
She has said “How can we… expand our circle of compassion to include everybody who can suffer?”
Zoe is vegan and seems to have a naturalistic worldview.
Institute for Humane Education
Billie is a singer-songwriter. Her accolades include five Grammy Awards, two American Music Awards, two Guinness World Records, three MTV Video Music Awards, and one Brit Award. She is the youngest person and the second in history to win the four main Grammy categories—Best New Artist, Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Album of the Year—in the same year.
Billie is a regular advocate on social media for animal rights and veganism. In 2019, she won a PETA “Best Voice for Animals” award for her activism.
While she was “super-religous” as a child, she says in this article “And then at one point, I don’t know what happened. It just completely went away.” She now seems to have an agnostic/atheistic worldview.
Billie on Wikipedia
Billie on YouTube
George was a lawyer, politician, cricketer, and an advocate of the Shakespeare authorship question. He chaired the first meeting of the Secular Education League, wrote a book on rationalism called “The Faith of an Agnostic” and was a well known animal welfare advocate. This “brief biography” includes a memory from his daughter, Elsie, that he died half way through writing a letter about animal welfare.
George on Wikipedia
Thanks to Maddy Goodall from Humanists UK for this suggestion.
Yves is a philosopher, essayist and editor. He is a libertarian, an egalitarian and an antispeciesist activist. He is one of the founding members of the French-language journal Cahiers antispécistes (“Antispeciesist Notebooks”) and of the events Veggie Pride, Les Estivales de la question animale (“The Summers of the Animal Question”) and the march to close all slaughterhouses.
Yves is an atheist who is critical of humanism, describing it as a form of elitism. He is a hedonistic utilitarian, who advocates placing sentient individuals at the center of moral concern because they have desires, perceptions, emotions and a will of their own. Yves was influenced by Peter Singer‘s Animal Liberation and is a supporter of Singer’s conception of speciesism, seeing it as instrumental in deconstructing anthropocentric morality.
Essay by Yves on Speciesism, Humanism and Sentientism
Documentary Interview with Yves (en Francais)
Yves on Wikipedia
Ezra is a American journalist, political analyst, New York Times columnist, and the host of The Ezra Klein Show podcast. He is a co-founder of Vox and formerly served as the website’s editor-at-large. He has held editorial positions at The Washington Post and The American Prospect and was a regular contributor to Bloomberg News and MSNBC. His first book, Why We’re Polarized, was published in 2020.
John is a professional animal advocate, public speaker and social media consultant. He is vegan and has a naturalistic worldview.
Watch John’s guest appearance on #SentientistConversations
Listen to John’s guest appearance on #SentientistConversations (out soon!)
Peter is an actor, producer and animal rights activist. He is an atheist (lapsed Catholic) and a vegan. While working on the “Face Your Food” film, he said: “The images you’re about to see might make you want to turn away, but this is what you pay for every time you buy meat, eggs, and dairy products.”
Peter on Wikipedia
Khnum Muata Ibomu, better known by his stage name stic.man, is a rapper, activist and author known for his work as one half of the political hip-hop duo Dead Prez with M-1. He is vegan and seems to have a naturalistic worldview. The Dead Prez song “Propoganda” includes the lyric: “Man made God, outta ignorance and fear.”
stic.man on Wikipedia
“I’m a Sentientist because all suffering matters morally and because evidence and reason are the only ways to really understand our world.”
Peter is a moral philosopher. He is the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University and a Laureate Professor at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the University of Melbourne. He specialises in applied ethics and approaches ethical issues from a secular, utilitarian perspective. He is known in particular for his book Animal Liberation (1975), in which he argues in favour of veganism, and his essay “Famine, Affluence, and Morality”, in which he argues in favour of donating to help the global poor. In 2004 Singer was recognised as the Australian Humanist of the Year by the Council of Australian Humanist Societies. In 2005, the Sydney Morning Herald placed him among Australia’s ten most influential public intellectuals. Singer is a cofounder of Animals Australia and the founder of The Life You Can Save.
Peter on Wikipedia
Chris is a naturalist, nature photographer, television presenter and author, best known for his television work including the CBBC children’s nature series The Really Wild Show from 1986 to 1995. He has also presented the BBC nature series Springwatch, including Autumnwatch and Winterwatch, since 2009. He is a Humanist and announced his veganism during his 2020 Darwin Day Lecture, hosted by Humanists UK.
Chris on Wikipedia
Benedict is an actor. He is vegan and, as someone who is “at least philosophically” Buddhist, it is unclear whether he holds supernatural beliefs. He has said “No, I’m quite a rationalist. I’m not superstitious. I think life is too full of natural wonders and logical complexities to worry about illogical things.”
Benedict on Wikipedia
Alex O’Connor, also known as CosmicSkeptic, is a YouTuber, writer and podcaster. He speaks and writes regularly about his atheism and his veganism.
In this video clip he says “I don’t like calling myself a Humanist for the rather controversial reason of not thinking that we should just put humans at the basis of our ethic and morality.” He says “I would call myself a subscriber of… there’s this new term going around… Sentientism” but says “if it wasn’t such a terrible term that just doesn’t roll off the tongue and has no wit about it – then maybe I’d call myself one… there needs to be a better word for that.” 🙂
Leslie is a public speaker and philosopher. While studying philosophy and the history of religions at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia, he received the David Hume prize for outstanding achievement in philosophy. He created and runs Rational Realm, which hosts writing by Leslie and other authors taking a rational approach to philosophy, history and science. He is a Humanist and has written popular articles and academic papers (for example, Animal Rights and the Wrongness of Killing) about how a naturalistic worldview should lead us to grant moral consideration to other sentient beings.
Leslie at RationalRealm
Myq is a stand-up comedian. He has performed on the Tonight Show, Conan, the Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Seth Meyers, the Late Late Show with James Corden, in his own half-hour Comedy Central Presents special, and in his own one-hour special on Netflix and now Amazon, “Small, Dork, and Handsome.” He has been a finalist on Last Comic Standing and recently appeared on America’s Got Talent. His debut album “Vegan Mind Meld” was one of iTunes’ top 10 comedy albums of the year and his latest album, AKA, debuted at #1.
He is vegan and, while having a strong affinity to Buddhist philosophy, has a naturalistic worldview, having described himself as “atheistic”.
Carole is a model, actress, singer/songwriter (she wrote “Slow Love” with Prince), writer and animal activist. She has been a contributor for several animal welfare publications including American Dog Magazine, for who she also worked as an investigative journalist. She had an animal welfare column on Newsvine. She is the West Coast Director of the Companion Animal Protection Society, a national non-profit organisation that investigates puppy mills and pet stores. Carole founded the #MeToo movement in France. She is vegan and an atheist. In our “Sentientist Conversation” video she said “Sentientism feels like home”.
Sentientist Conversations with Carole (YouTube) #1
Sentientist Conversations with Carole (YouTube) #2
Carole on Wikipedia
Carole on Medium
I am an animal rights author, independent scholar, consultant, and speaker. I have 45 years of personal commitment as a vegan and professional experience in leadership positions with some of the world’s foremost animal advocacy organisations. The Kim Stallwood Archive is held by The British Library. I wrote Growl: Life Lessons, Hard Truths, and Bold Strategies from an Animal Advocate with a Foreword by Brian May (Lantern Books, 2014). I am currently working on the biography of an elephant called Topsy. I became a vegetarian in 1974 after working in a chicken slaughterhouse and a vegan in 1976.
Marc is a biologist, ethologist, behavioural ecologist and writer. He is Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He is the co-founder, with Jane Goodall, of Ethologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, a fellow of the Animal Behavior Society and a former Guggenheim fellow. He lectures internationally on animal behavior, cognitive ethology (the study of animal minds), and behavioral ecology, and writes a science column about animal emotion for Psychology Today. He is an advocate for the compassionate conservation movement that aims to improve environmentalism by embedding a moral concern for individual sentient animals. In 1986 Marc won the Master’s age-graded Tour de France. Marc is a vegan and has a naturalistic worldview.
Ziya is a television presenter, producer, author and board member. She was the co-host of Discovery Channel’s long-running primetime science magazine, Daily Planet. In 2019 she wrote the book “The Reality Bubble“. Ziya serves on the boards of a range of NGOs and charities, including PEN Canada, We Animals Media and WWF International.
She seems to be vegan and to have a naturalistic worldview.
Ziya on Wikipedia
Henry was an English utilitarian philosopher and economist. He was the Knightbridge Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Cambridge from 1883 until his death, and is best known in philosophy for his utilitarian treatise The Methods of Ethics. He was one of the founders and first president of the Society for Psychical Research and a member of the Metaphysical Society and promoted the higher education of women. His work in economics has also had a lasting influence. In 1875 he co-founded Newnham College, a women-only constituent college of the University of Cambridge. Newnham College’s co-founder was Millicent Garrett Fawcett. In The Methods of Ethics he granted moral consideration to sentient beings, not just to humans. The term “sentient” appears 47 times in the text.
Henry had a lifelong interest in the paranormal. Despite his role in institutionalizing parapsychology as a discipline, apparently he had upon it an “overwhelmingly negative, destructive effect, akin to that of recent debunkers of parapsychology”. He and his Sidgwick Group associates became notable for exposing fraud mediums. While he was brought up in the Church of England by a Reverend father, he turned away from the church and was later agnostic. Much of his ethical work focused on developing foundations for morality that did not require any supernatural basis.
Henry on Wikipedia
Amanda is an actress. She was born in Adelaide, South Australia and spent her childhood in Papua New Guinea before moving to Britain. A longstanding member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, she received an Olivier Award for her role as Emilia in the 2004 RSC production of Othello. She won the Clarence Derwent Award in 2007. Amanda is vegan, has a naturalistic world view and identifies as a Sentientist. Here she is on our “Wall”!
Amanda on Wikipedia
John is a Strategic Lecturer in the School of Law and a Fellow of the Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences at Queen Mary University of London. Prior to joining QMUL he was a Lecturer in Law at the University of Birmingham. He completed his PhD at the University of Cambridge, Faculty of Law and Fitzwilliam College. He has taught and researched at Cambridge, Durham, Birmingham, the UCL Constitution Unit, the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law and the UK Commission on a Bill of Rights. Although he started out as a Sunday School teacher, he now has a non-religious worldview. He is a vocal advocate for veganism and salsa dancing.
John’s Sentientist Conversation with me on YouTube
John at Queen Mary Uni of London
Woody is an actor and playwright. He is the recipient of numerous accolades, including a Primetime Emmy Award, and has been nominated for three Academy Awards and four Golden Globe Awards. He has rejected the Christian faith he was brought up with but it’s unclear whether he still holds some supernatural beliefs. He has said: “I was getting into theology and studying the roots of the Bible, but then I started to discover the man-made nature of it. I started seeing things that made me ask ‘Is God really speaking through this instrument?’ My eyes opened to the reality of the bible being just a document to control people.” He is vegan.
Woody on Wikipedia
Architects are a British metalcore band from Brighton, East Sussex, formed in 2004 by twin brothers Dan and Tom Searle. The band now consists of Dan Searle on drums, Alex Dean on bass guitar, Sam Carter on vocals, and Adam Christianson and Josh Middleton on guitars. They have been signed to Epitaph Records since 2013. The band members are vegan and atheist.
Architects on Wikipedia
Vicky is Managing Director of The Humane League UK. After working as a veterinary surgeon in the animal agriculture industry she left to focus her career on campaigning for non-human animals. She is vegan and has a naturalistic worldview.
Vicky’s Sentientist Conversation with me is here on YouTube and here on our Podcast (all platforms!).
Shelley was one of the major English romantic poets. He was a naturalistic atheist per his pamphlet “The Necessity of Atheism” and an advocate of non-violent resistance.
Shelly was an ethical vegan (then called vegetarian). His compassion for sentient beings led him to write: “If the use of animal food be, in consequence, subversive to the peace of human society, how unwarrantable is the injustice and the barbarity which is exercised toward these miserable victims. They are called into existence by human artifice that they may drag out a short and miserable existence of slavery and disease, that their bodies may be mutilated, their social feelings outraged. It were much better that a sentient being should never have existed, than that it should have existed only to endure unmitigated misery”; “Never again may blood of bird or beast/ Stain with its venomous stream a human feast,/ To the pure skies in accusation steaming”; and “It is only by softening and disguising dead flesh by culinary preparation that it is rendered susceptible of mastication or digestion, and that the sight of its bloody juices and raw horror does not excite intolerable loathing and disgust.”
Shelley on Wikipedia
Jeremy Bentham was an English philosopher, jurist, and social reformer regarded as the founder of modern utilitarianism. He was an atheist and an early advocate for granting moral consideration and rights to non-human animals based on their sentience, not on capacity to reason. He wrote in 1780: “The day may come when the rest of the animal creation may acquire those rights which never could have been witholden from them but by the hand of tyranny… The question is not ‘Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?'”
Bentham on Wikipedia
Oscar is an animal activist and moral philosopher who is currently a professor in the Department of Philosophy and Anthropology at the University of Santiago de Compostela (USC) and is one of the co-founders of the organization Animal Ethics. Oscar is vegan and non-religious.
Oscar on Wikipedia
“I am a sentientist because: Suffering matters to those who suffer. Sentientism means having compassion for all those who suffer – both human and nonhuman. Sentientism means emancipating all sentient beings who can’t stand up for their own interests. Sentientism is the new moral paradigm. Change will not come by doing nothing. Sentientism is not only a theoretical idea, it includes veganism. Sentientism doesn’t hurt you – nor others.”
Floris’s bio states he is “a philosopher and therefore an atheist”. He is a practical, activist, vegan philosopher. He has written a number of books including “Philosophy for a Better World”, “On Green Liberty”, “De vrolijke veganist” (“The Happy Vegan”) and “Hoe komen we van religie af?” (“How to get rid of religion. An inconvenient liberal paradox”). In 2017, Floris participated in a television series “To Hell With Your Religion”, in which he lived with a group of people of various religions for two weeks, exploring and critiquing religious ideas.
Floris’ Sentientist Conversation with Jamie on YouTube and Podcast
After our conversation, Floris kindly shared a series of posters he has developed that relate to Sentientist themes. These posters, hosted here, remain Floris’ intellectual property but he is happy with them being freely used for educational purposes.
Floris on Wikipedia
David is a philosopher and antispeciesist activist. He is founder of the French journal Cahiers antispécistes (“Antispeciesist Notebooks”), the annual event Veggie Pride and of the annual meeting Les Estivales de la question animale (“The Summers of the Animal Question”). Olivier is also the creator of the term “veggiephobia” and of numerous articles and conferences. He is an atheist. He is an advocate of utilitarian ethics and defines himself politically as a progressive.
David on Wikipedia
AJ is an American journalist, author, and lecturer best known for writing about his lifestyle experiments, including “The Year of Living Biblically”. He is an editor at large for Esquire and has worked for the Antioch Daily Ledger and Entertainment Weekly. Jacobs is a member of Giving What We Can and pledges 10% of lifelong earnings to charity. He donates to the Against Malaria Foundation and other Effective Altruism organizations. He is ~vegan and an atheist (raised secular Jewish). He has said “I love the Sentientism philosophy – we should see all sentient beings as our extended family”.
My “Sentientist Conversation” interview with AJ on YouTube and on our Sentientism Podcast (also on Anchor)
AJ on Wikipedia
Joel is Managing Director of the Centre for International and Security Affairs (CISA), a think tank and consulting organisation working to improve international relations and foreign policy capability in Africa. He is vegan and a humanist.
Tom is a musician, singer, songwriter, actor, and political activist (including advocacy for non-human animal rights). He is best known for his tenure with the rock band Rage Against the Machine and then with Audioslave. Tom is either vegan or vegetarian and seems to be non-religious.
Tom on Wikipedia
Brian is Associate Director of the Yale-Hastings Program in Ethics and Health Policy at Yale University and The Hastings Center, and a Research Fellow in the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford. His work is cross-disciplinary, following training in philosophy, cognitive science, psychology, history and sociology of science and medicine, and ethics. He has written extensively on resisting religious justifications for causing harm – particularly to children through genital mutilation / circumcision. He seems to be ~vegan and have a naturalistic, non-religious worldview.
Brian on Academia.edu
Paul is the author of Clean Meat: How Growing Meat Without Animals Will Revolutionize Dinner and the World. He is the CEO and co-founder of The Better Meat Co. and the host of the Business for Good Podcast. Prior to publishing Clean Meat, he was known for being an animal protection advocate, both as the founder of Animal Outlook (formerly Compassion Over Killing) and a Vice President at the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). In 2008, Paul was inducted into the Animal Rights Hall of Fame. He is vegan and has a naturalistic worldview.
Paul’s Sentientist Conversation with Jamie is here on our YouTube and will also be released on our Podcast.
Paul’s four Ted Talks
Paul on Wikipedia
Zion is an author and activist known for her environmental work and science communication. She is UK director of Environmental Progress. She has been a spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion (XR) UK on TV and radio, and founded and edited XR’s Hourglass newspaper. She has written for The Huffington Post, authored the evidence-based nonfiction book The Ultimate Guide to Green Parenting, and given a TEDx talk. She is vegan and has a naturalistic worldview.
Zion on our SentientistConversations YouTube series and Sentientism Podcast – “Do you want a habitable planet for your children?”
Zion on Wikipedia
Rebecca is a philosophy researcher at the University of Oxford, specialising in political philosophy and migration. Her current research focuses on the political rights of refugees in various settings and the concept of ‘membership’ in political and social theory. Rebecca is also interested in migration studies, the history of political thought, non-human animals and feminist philosophy/political theory. Rebecca co-edited “The Philosopher Queens“, a 2020 book about women philosophers by women philosophers.
Rebecca is vegan and seems to have a naturalistic worldview.
Richard is a writer, psychologist, and animal rights advocate. He coined the term “speciesism” in 1970 and was one of the first to use the term “Sentientism” in a positive light, after it was first used in a derogatory sense by John Rodman in 1977 to criticise Peter Singer and Richard’s thinking. Richard developed the term sentientism in a naturalistic context – using evidence and reason to infer sentience and to grant moral consideration to sentient beings. More recently, Sentientism has been re-cast to include a wider naturalistic commitment – using evidence and reason in all domains. Richard still considers himself a sentientist today. He has also developed painism, a sub-set of the sentientist worldview that focuses on the moral importance of pain over that of positive experiences.
Richard on Wikipedia
Kerry is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bristol East since 2005. On World Vegan Day in November 2011, McCarthy became the first British MP to set out in Parliament the case for becoming vegan. She is a vice-president of the League Against Cruel Sports and an honorary associate of the National Secular Society. She is an atheist.
Kerry on Wikipedia
Deborah is a businesswoman who ran a multimillion-pound family holiday business, before completing a management buyout, but is now best known for her appearances on the BBC Two business programme Dragons’ Den. She supports a range of charitable initiatives spanning human and non-human animal causes. She is ~vegan and an atheist.
Deborah on Wikipedia
Peter is a human rights campaigner, best known for his work with LGBT social movements. He is an atheist, a humanist and campaigns for sentient animal rights, saying: “human rights and animal rights are two aspects of the same struggle against injustice” and that he advocates for a “claim to be spared suffering and offered inalienable rights” for both humans and animals.
Peter on Wikipedia
Alex is an American animal rights activist, Holocaust survivor, and co-founder and president of the Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM), the nation’s oldest (1976) organization devoted exclusively to promoting the rights of animals not to be raised for food. He has played a prominent role in movements for religious freedom and environmental quality, including a term serving on the board of the American Humanist Association.
He has said: “My first hand experience with animal farming was instrumental [in devoting my life to animal rights and veganism]. I noted the many similarities between how the Nazis treated us and how we treat animals, especially those raised for food. Among these are the use of cattle cars for transport and crude wood crates for housing, the cruel treatment and deception about impending slaughter, the processing efficiency and emotional detachments of the perpetrators, and the piles of assorted body parts – mute testimonials to the victims they were once a part of.”
Alex on YouTube talking to Alex O’Connor (CosmicSkeptic) – also a Suspected Sentientist.
Alex on Wikipedia
Theophrastus (~371 – ~287 BCE) , a Greek native of Eresos in Lesbos, was the successor to Aristotle in the Peripatetic school. He was vegetarian or vegan, on the grounds that farming animals robs them of life and was therefore unjust. Non-human animals, he said, can reason, sense, and feel just as human beings do. He seems to have had a naturalistic worldview. He doubted the idea of a spirit independent of organic activity, although stopped short of completely rejecting it.
Theophrastus on Wikipedia
Al-Ma’arri, also known under his Latin name Abulola Moarrensis (973 – 1057) was a blind Arab philosopher, poet, and writer. Despite holding a controversially irreligious worldview, he is regarded as one of the greatest classical Arabic poets. He was a robust naturalist and rationalist and attacked the dogmas and practices of many religions. He was a vegan, known in his time as moral vegetarianism, entreating: “do not desire as food the flesh of slaughtered animals / Or the white milk of mothers who intended its pure draught / for their young”.
Al-Ma’arri on Wikipedia
Strato (~335 – ~269 BCE) was a Peripatetic philosopher, and the third director of the Lyceum after the death of Theophrastus. He devoted himself especially to the study of natural science, and increased the naturalistic elements in Aristotle’s thought to such an extent that he denied the need for an active god to construct the universe preferring to place the government of the universe in the unconscious force of nature alone. He wrote three books relating to animals but his stance on the moral salience of sentience is unclear. He may well have been vegetarian/vegan given the philosophy of Theophrastus, his predecessor, and others in the Peripatetic and Pythagorean traditions.
Strato of Lampsacus on Wikipedia
Jonathan is a novelist who teaches creative writing at New York University. He is known for his novels Everything Is Illuminated, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close and Here I Am. His non-fiction books, Eating Animals and We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast describe his personal exploration of the ethical and environmental horrors of animal farming. Eating Animals was reviewed favourably by Sentientist Peter Singer. Eating Animals was adapted into a 2018 documentary film of the same name. It was co-narrated by Jonathan and Natalie Portman (also a Suspected Sentientist). Jonathan seems to have a naturalistic worldview, being described as Jewish agnostic.
Jonathan on Wikipedia
Marcus Jamal Hopson, known professionally as Hopsin, is a rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, music video director and actor from Los Angeles, California.
He follows a straight edge lifestyle which often implies a serious stance re: non-human animal ethics, including veganism. He seems to have a naturalistic worldview, having left Christianity and not believing in a god – although still saying “I want god to be real”.
Christine is a philosopher and Arthur Kingsley Porter Professor of Philosophy at Harvard University. Her main scholarly interests are in moral philosophy and its history; the relation of issues in moral philosophy to issues in metaphysics, the philosophy of mind and the theory of personal identity; the theory of personal relationships; and in normativity in general. She has a naturalistic worldview and is vegan. Christine wrote Fellow Creatures: Our Obligations to Other Animals which argues that Kantian ethics supports animal rights. She has said: “it is right to think that the real source of all value in the world lies in people and animals.”
Christine at Harvard
Christine on Wikipedia
Ricky is a comedian, actor, writer, producer, and director. He is an advocate for animal rights and for atheism, secularism and humanism. He seems to be vegan. He has said “It’s awful to think of people eating dogs, but some people eat pork. I don’t, but some people do. And a pig is just like a dog, there is no difference between them.”
Ricky on Wikipedia
Natalie is an actress, filmmaker and activist. She is vegan. She has said “Three times a day I remind myself that I value life and do not want to cause pain to or kill other living beings.” Her views on naturalism are unclear. While culturally Jewish, when asked about the afterlife she has said “I don’t believe in that. I believe this is it, and I believe it’s the best way to live.”
Natalie on Wikipedia
Diana is an evolutionary psychologist and senior lecturer at the University of Portsmouth. Her field of research includes the study of disgust, human sexuality, and hormones and behaviour. She is involved in the effective altruism and animal welfare movements and identifies as a feminist and a Sentientist (she just hasn’t joined our “wall” yet). Diana’s 2018 Darwin Day Lecture, hosted by Humanists UK, was part of the inspiration for our work developing and raising awareness of Sentientism.
Diana on Wikipedia
@sentientist (I told you she’s a Sentientist)
Jon is a comedian, writer, producer, director, political commentator, actor, and television host (e.g. The Daily Show). He is non-religious (Jewish heritage) and vegan. He and his wife, Tracey, run a sanctuary for non-human animals saved from slaughterhouses and live markets.
Jon on Wikipedia
Greta is an environmental activist who has gained international recognition for promoting the view that humanity is facing an existential crisis arising from climate change. Her views on naturalism/supernaturalism aren’t clear, but she seems committed to a science-led approach. She is vegan.
Greta on Wikipedia
Corey is a sociologist and scholar of social movements and human-nonhuman relations. She is a lecturer in the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research at the University of Kent. Corey says: “The magnitude of nonhuman suffering is such that activists can’t afford to take chances. My work is designed to take the guesswork out of social movement mobilization and animal rights activism.” She is vegan and has a naturalistic worldview. She is one of the few academics who has explored the intersection of the atheist/humanist/naturalistic thinking and animal advocacy movements – see this article and her book A Rational Approach to Animal Rights.
Corey’s video/podcast interview on “Sentientist Conversations”
Corey on FaceBook
Corey on Wikipedia
Mary was a writer, philosopher, and advocate of women’s rights. She was an advocate of non-human animal ethics and was an inspiration for the satire “A Vindication Of The Rights Of Brutes” that argued if women and men can have rights, then why not non-human animals. She was a rationalist and described herself as agnostic in later life.
Mary on Wikipedia
Thank you to @EileenHBotting for this context.
Michael is an academic specialising in the philosophy of mind from a naturalistic perspective and in comparative consciousness. He is professor emeritus of Biomedical Sciences, Quillen College of Medicine. Michael has written on sentience as the foundation of animal rights and about the sentience of fish and invertebrates.
Michael’s research papers
James Timothy “Tim” Holland Jr., better known by his stage name Sole, is an underground hip hop artist from Portland, Maine. He is one of eight co-founders of the record label Anticon. He has been a member of the groups Northern Exposure, Live Poets, Deep Puddle Dynamics, So-Called Artists, Da Babylonianz, Sole and the Skyrider Band and Waco Boyz. While living in Denver, Sole was active in the local outpost of the Occupy Wall Street political movement. He has been involved in various anarchist projects and he hosts a podcast about revolutionary politics and radical philosophy called “The Solecast.”
Sole is vegan and seems to have a naturalistic worldview.
Mary was a novelist who wrote the Gothic novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. She also edited and promoted the works of her husband, the Romantic poet and philosopher Percy Bysshe Shelley (also a suspected Sentientist). Her father was the political philosopher William Godwin and her mother was the philosopher and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft (another suspected Sentientist). Mary was an ethical vegetarian or vegan and seems to have had a naturalistic worldview, generally being considered an agnostic.
Mary on Wikipedia
Jay is an award winning filmmaker, writer, and podcaster. He directed Islam and the Future of Tolerance, a film based around a conversation between Sam Harris and Maajid Nawaz. He hosts the Dilemma podcast (some co-hosted with Coleman Hughes), including this Hangout on Sentientism. He has a naturalistic worldview and is vegan.
Jay on IMDB
Henry was a writer and campaigner for social reform in the fields of prisons, schools, economic institutions, and the treatment of non-human animals. He was a noted ethical vegetarian/vegan, anti-vivisectionist, socialist, and pacifist, and was well known as a literary critic, biographer, classical scholar and naturalist. Salt is considered, by some, to be the “father of animal rights,” having been an early writer to argue explicitly in favour of the topic, in his “Animals’ Rights: Considered in Relation to Social Progress” (1892). He wrote: “[The] notion of the life of an animal having ‘no moral purpose,’ belongs to a class of ideas which cannot possibly be accepted by the advanced humanitarian thought of the present day—it is a purely arbitrary assumption, at variance with our best instincts, at variance with our best science, and absolutely fatal (if the subject be clearly thought out) to any full realization of animals’ rights.”
He also wrote extensively on his rationalism and naturalism, saying: “Religion has never befriended the cause of humaneness. Its monstrous doctrine of eternal punishment and the torture of the damned underlies much of the barbarity with which man has treated man; and the deep division imagined by the Church between the human being, with his immortal soul, and the soulless “beasts”, has been responsible for an incalculable sum of cruelty.”
Henry on Wikipedia
Thanks to @maddyogoodall for the suggestion.
Brigid was a novelist, critic, and campaigner for social reforms, including the rights of authors and animal rights. Her 1965 Sunday Times article is credited by psychologist Richard D. Ryder (another Sentientist) with having triggered the formation of the animal rights movement in England. Brigid was one of the signers of the Humanist Manifesto and was president of the National Anti-Vivisection Society. She wrote that she and her father were “natural, logical and happy atheists”. She said: “Reason can always disarm the irrational. If reason finds itself to be irrational, it can disarm it; and if one finds reason and discovers that eating animals is immoral, unnecessary, and done largely for superstitious reasons, then one is delivered from the compulsion to do it.”
Brigid on Wikipedia
Elliot is an actor and producer. He is vegan and an atheist.
Elliot on religion: “Religion has always been used for beautiful things, and also as a way to justify discrimination—whether it’s gender, or race, or the LGBT community, or what have you. Personally, I’m an atheist, so I just have no time for it.” (Time).
Elliot on veganism: ““Why are vegans made fun of while the inhumane factory farming process regards animals and the natural world merely as commodities to be exploited for profit?” (FriendlyFig)
Elliot on Wikipedia
Lucius is a postdoctoral researcher in moral psychology at Harvard University. His research focuses on investigating how people give to charity, how they morally value animals, and how they think about the future of humanity. He co-founded and directed the Effective Altruism Foundation (Stiftung für Effektiven Altruismus) and remains an advisor for the foundation. He has a naturalistic worldview. A central focus of his work is countering speciesism and on helping humans extend their moral consideration to other sentient beings.
Jeff is Clinical Assoc. Prof. of Environmental Studies, Affiliated Professor of Bioethics, Medical Ethics, & Philosophy, & Director of the Animal Studies M.A. Program at New York University. He is on the executive committee at the NYU Center for Environmental & Animal Protection & the advisory board for the Animals in Context series at NYU Press. He is a board member at Animal Charity Evaluators, a board member at Minding Animals International, an Exec. Cttee. member at the Animals & Society Institute, and a Senior Fellow at Sentient Media. He is vegan and has a naturalistic worldview. He has said: “My credence that Sentientism is the correct & only theory of moral status is lower than 1 but it is relatively high.”
Jeff’s Sentientist Conversation with Jamie is here on YouTube
(audio also on the Sentientism podcast)
Jeff on Wikipedia
Optimus Prime is a fictional character created by the Transformers franchise. He is a Cybertronian, a fictional extraterrestrial species of sentient self-configuring modular robotic lifeforms (e.g.: cars and other objects), a synergistic blend of biological evolution and technological engineering. In almost every version of the mythos, Optimus is the leader of the Autobots, a faction of Transformers who are rivals of the Decepticons, another faction. He is defined by his strong moral character. He seems to have a naturalistic worldview and has said “Freedom is the right of all sentient beings”.
Optimus on Wikipedia
Jasmin is an animal rights activist, writer, speaker and actress. She is vegan and describes herself as an atheist. She is the co-founder of the non-profit organization Our Hen House and has been the senior editor of VegNews since 2016. She also supports LGBTQ+ and overlapping social justice issues.
Jasmin on Wikipedia
James was a philosopher who specialized in ethics and animal rights. His best-known work is The Elements of Moral Philosophy. James wrote a number of papers defending moral veg*anism. His best known paper on the subject was The Basic Argument for Vegetarianism which argued that it is wrong to cause pain unless there is a good enough reason and that wishing to consume animal products does not come close to justifying the cruelty of animal farming. James argued that the primary reason why cruelty to animals is wrong is because tortured animals suffer, just as tortured humans suffer. James was an atheist and had a naturalistic worldview.
James on Wikipedia
Yuval is a public intellectual, a historian and a professor in the Department of History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is vegan and an atheist (secular Jewish).
He has said: “Industrial farming is one of the worst crimes in history” and called “[t]he fate of industrially farmed animals […] one of the most pressing ethical questions of our time.”
Yuval on Wikipedia
Naomi is the CEO of Best for Britain, the UK’s leading non-partisan advocacy group upholding internationalist values. Before her campaigning and political career she worked in the corporate world and chaired a number of voluntary groups. Naomi describes herself as an internationalist, xenophile, humanist, vegan. She co-hosts the Oh God What Now? (formerly Remainiacs) and The Bunker podcasts.
You can watch her Sentientist Conversation with me here on YouTube and listen here on our Podcast.