The Cambridge Declaration On Consciousness has declared that animals exhibit a similar level of consciousness and awareness that humans do. The people involved included cognitive scientists, neuropharmacologists, neurophysiologists, neuroanatomists, and computational neuroscientists. All of which attended the Francis Crick Memorial Conference On Consciousness In Human and Non-Human Animals.
Does this mean people will stop treating animals with unnecessary brutalities? Even though it might not seem like much that a declaration is saying animals are conscious and aware like us now, but rather the fact that they are acknowledging the issue. The scientific evidence of this is increasing, and shows that animals are aware and conscious. This is something we cannot ignore.
“The absence of a neocortex does not appear to preclude an organism from experiencing affective states.” Stated in the declaration. “Convergent evidence indicates that non-human animals have the neuroanatomical, neurochemical, and neurophysiological substrates of conscious states along with the capacity to exhibit intentional behaviors.”
Regardless of a declaration on consciousness, is this going to stop people from being unnecessarily cruel to animals? Obviously, with cruel intentions in mind, the answer is both depending on who it is we are talking about. What the answer should be is “no”. No one should be that pointlessly cruel.