Professor Nanyuan says that animals are not sentient

Dog grieves for human companion

Dog grieves for human companion

Nanyuan is a Chinese professor of the old school (I presume). He lives in China and is against animal welfare laws being introduced in China. He thinks animals are vegetables.  He represents all that is wrong with the attitude of a large part of Chinese society. I have to say, though, things are changing and the majority of the population are for animal welfare laws. There are almost no animal welfare laws at present in China despite the country having the second largest population of domestic cats in the world after America. There are at least 53m in China.

What does “sentient” mean? I’ll just quote the free dictionary:

Experiencing sensation or feeling.

OK professor, first watch this video about a dog that made friends with a beaver in America. This video was more or less chosen at random. There are thousands of other videos on the internet that tell a similar story. Animals experience the emotion of grief and even on that simple test they are sentient. Animals experience many other emotions.

One of the comments to the video is educational for cat owners:

I always let my pets see the body so they can have closure, too. I learned that the hard way when my cat passed away. My other cat, his constant companion, spent the rest of her life looking for him.

I don’t know about anyone else but to me it is common sense that animals are sentient. Why shouldn’t they be? Do you start with the obvious, namely, that animals are sentient based on simple observation and a basic knowledge of anatomy or do you (like the stupid professor) start on the premise that animals are vegetables. He is so obviously idiotic. He should be discredited as a professor and sent to the brick works in the south of China where he can earn 50 cents a day and sleep in a shed. Perhaps after a few years of that he’ll change his mind.

The professor has a duty to educate and he is doing the opposite as far as I am concerned.

Note 1: the beaver is enormous (200 lbs). This is his natural state. It is believed he was killed by a grass cutter. The dog is Bella. She went missing mid 2013 about one year after the video was made and has not been seen since.

Note 2: the professor is not the only person who believes animals are not sentient judging by the comments to the video. Although most visitors are sympathetic.

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Professor Nanyuan says that animals are not sentient — 17 Comments

  1. Could only watch this for the firsts three minutes. It makes the tears stream down my cheeks… will come back to finish watching when I handle it better.

    I’m glad that you posted this page though, Michael.

      • Well, how long did I wait? 🙂 Three months? to crop this little boy. You probably already conjectured that I don’t have a camera.

        And, btw, I never shot that doe who suffering…i just left her by the shoulder of the interstate, with her fawn next to her. I didn’t know what to do. Didn’t have any pills that would put her to sleep. sigh. Just water which I cupped in my hand again and again. The fawn did not leave her side.

        You may not even know what I’m referring to: remember the page re the bow&arrow hunter? That was fun, huh.

        Anyway, thank you, and Good Morning! I now have my thumbnailed avatar, Shrimpsteraka Shrimp. My kitten, who is five yrs. old now. 😉

  2. Nanyuan is a buffoon, he maybe does think animals are vegetables but he probably, in common with a lot of his fellow countrymen, also thinks dogs and cats are meat. I have no time for anyone who thinks animals are “it”, disposable possessions to use at will. I have no sympathy with the Chinese at all, I think they are sadistically cruel. Sorry if this offends anyone, but this is me.

    • Barbara, please. China is complicated. Yes, this old school prof is a buffoon. He’s a lot more than that, all negative. There are good people in China though, who care very deeply about their families and their animals, aka pets. They tend to migrate to escape the atrocities there.

      • You’re a buffoon, too, Michael! lol. kidding, as you know. 😉

        Why do you folks here on PoC, except for a few of us, insist on treating individuals in other countries as representative of the entire country? I’ve never quite figured that one out about you Brits… 😉

        • Well, because in this instance there is a culture based on factual evidence that strongly suggests that the professor represents a large segment of society in China. That is my opinion, that is all. For example, they like to eat tiger parts which is the single biggest cause of the demise of the tiger. There are many other examples. Look at the pictures. It is 2013 and China has effectively no animal protection laws. They eat cats and dogs in the south and kill them as if they are not sentient beings. Before the Olympics they slaughtered tens of thousands of stray animals in a brutal manner. Things are changing as I said but til now it is not good. Human rights are also poorly protected in China.

          Of course you are entitled to disagree but if you do please support your argument. Sometimes a single person does represent a nation or a good part of it. Take an American vet who declaws and justifies it. I could criticise him justifiably as representing a culture.

          I don’t recall ever “treating individuals in other countries as representative of the entire country” unless they actually do represent a cultural problem as I see it. I normally ask a question if I am not sure. I disagree that Brits do as you say. It is not about people from one country criticising people in another country. It is about one world and animal welfare. We are all entitled to comment on world matters.

          • “I disagree that Brits do as you say. It is not about people from one country criticising people in another country. It is about one world and animal welfare. We are all entitled to comment on world matters.”
            -Michael

            I was wrong in my assessment, and realised it almost immediately.

  3. But they do what they can for their elders. I cannot bear to go back to HH’s comment (forgive me, Harvey) on that page discussing–I don’t even remember because I don’t want to see it again, ha!– it was at the top of the heap, and it mentioned the unmentionable. My doctor Becky, when I first met her, had a small black cat that she had stitched back together. Get the picture. I live my life in images, and I am sorry, but I prefer to not let my mind wrap itself around such torture. I’m done. leaving for awhile, I think.

  4. Btw, it isn’t just the country of China. Take a look at South Korea. We won’t even goto N. The cries of the dogs in Seoul? What do you think about that. Same for the cat. [Michael, stop me, b/c I just might rant. …I’m leaving to try to catch a few nightmares in my sleep now. Goodnight.

  5. Proffessor f***********d is a f************d. Simple as that. I’d still love to hold a flame to his hand and remind him that he is an animal. f************d!

  6. Nanyuan is not a human being, he is a monster, because no human being could think animals are not as sentient as we are.
    He conveniently forgets that he like all of us, is descended from primates, that we and modern apes share apes as our ancestors.

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