Animal Cognition & Awareness
Cognition is the process of obtaining knowledge through thought, experience and the senses. Animal cognition and awareness is an area heavily debated between the various groups and increasingly, scientific studies are exploring this area in depth.
A key area of interest is to understand whether wild animals can feel stress and experience pain in the same way as domesticated animals, and indeed humans.
One thought process is that the reason why wild animals are able to carry on their lives with equanimity in circumstances that we would find intolerable, is almost certainly due to their limited range and intensity of feelings. However, this is not to state that animal welfare is of no consequence. Most neuroscientists and experimental psychologists believe that non-human animals possess sensory or core consciousness.