How To Treat A Sentient Being With Respect (Republished)

Magpie Luca
Editor’s note: This post has originally been posted on 1st June 2017, and has now been updated and republished.

Animals, also called Metazoa, are multicellular, eukaryotic organisms in the biological kingdom Animalia, which includes the human species. Based on current scientific evidence one can assume that any animal with a centralised nervous system might be sentient, which means that we as humans can affect them through our actions, and for this reason we should give them moral consideration. Sentience refers to the ability to have positive and negative experiences caused by external affectations to our body or to sensations within our body. When a being has an experience, then this experience exists in that being or subject, as objects cannot have an experience. We do not know for certain what causes consciousness to arise. However, it is known that in the absence of at least a centralised nervous system, consciousness will not arise.

Animal Ethics – Introduction to sentience

Carrion crow Emma
Carrion crow Emma

Therefore it makes perfect sense to refer to sentient non-human beings as “he/she” or “them/they”, or by species. The words “it” or “thing” should not be used to refer to a non-human animal, and “who” is used rather than “that”. If you do not know the gender, choose one: “he” or “she”. Even if your gender choice is wrong, it is more respectful than “it.” This is an important way of demonstrating respect towards non-human animals, and will stress the fact that non-human animals are not being regarded or treated as possessions or objects. Please note that this approach is not thought to reflect the complexity of human gender diversity.

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Have you found a barely feathered bird?

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Have you found a barely feathered bird?

Unfeathered or barely feathered baby birds will need your help, as they cannot survive by their own. You need to act swiftly, as they will get cold very quickly. Put them into a secure, padded and well ventilated carrier or card board box.

Slide 2
What shall I do now?

Keep the bird warm and bring it as soon as possible to an experienced bird rescue. If you are sure that the bird is warm, healthy and uninjured, and that you can get him or her safely back into the nest where it came from, then you can try this first. Do not forget to watch the nest closely from a safe distance to make sure that the parents are still in attendance and continue to care for the rescued bird. If there is any doubt, do not waste time and contact your local rescue immediately to get advice how to proceed.

Slide 3
Please do not...

...put any food or water into the box. Please do not attempt to feed the bird, as birds cannot digest food when being cold. Hatchlings and nestlings are prone to aspirate and can easily suffocate. They will require a specialist diet to thrive, to be given after being sufficiently warmed up and rehydrated.

Slide 4
Thank you very much. #corvid_isle
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Shadow

Nesting Season – Spring Wildlife Advice

As this year’s nesting season is already in full swing, it seems appropriate to address some common problems wildlife rescues and rehabbers encounter every year. Most importantly it is worth noting that due to the small size of our sanctuary and our work commitments we are unable to attend wildlife rescues or to give timely social media, email or telephone advice in ongoing emergency or rescue situations.

Starling
Juvenile starling

However, if you have a question regarding bird or specifically corvid rescue, care or rehabilitation, then please check out our Corvid Care page or alternatively go to our Forum. Both sources contain a multitude of information about wildlife and bird emergencies in general and will also give detailed information referring specifically to corvids. For your convenience we have provided a few especially important links here in this blog post. These links will give you access to blog posts containing essential pieces of information about who to rescue and who to leave alone and how to recognise and catch a poorly or sick bird. Furthermore, these links will also provide you with detailed information about general life saving first aid measures focussing in particular on injuries inflicted by freely roaming unsupervised pet cats, which will save lives and will increase chances of survival aimed to bridge the time gap until a patient is being handed over into the care of an experienced wildlife rescue or rehabber.

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Jackdaw Izzy – An Obituary

Jackdaw Izzy

26th October 2021

In July 2020 we took over the care of juvenile Jackdaw Izzy. He has been rescued and cared for by kind members of staff of Monkey Haven, the Isle of Wight Primate Rescue Centre. Izzy suffered a severe concussion and spinal contusion with paralysis of both legs as well as a badly bruised wing. It took him about 4 weeks to recover, but he still showed persisting problems with his right wing and lack of power in both legs, when he came into our care. He was also clearly imprinted and still dependent on being hand fed.

Jackdaw Izzy
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