In Sentientist Conversations we talk about the two most important questions: “what’s real?” & “what matters?”
1:24 Jonina’s Intro
- Lancaster Farm Sanctuary, physical therapy, yoga teaching, sobriety, queerness
2:33 What’s Real?
- Hippie parents, social justice, civil rights
- Catholic father & schooling, more cultural than doctrinal
- Brethren Church family history
- Parents with a spiritual appreciation without buying into religious doctrine
- Feeling the freedom to explore “I just want you to be happy”
- “It felt like a human construct”
- Identifying as an atheist as a teenager
- Finding a beauty in the human body (& a sense of spiritual meaning) through an anatomy class
- Being bullied, as a “young queer kid”, by members of “Youth for Christ”
- “I have no idea what’s real”
- The lower & upper case “Self” in some Yoga practice
- Some things might always be unknowable
- Reverence, wonder & awe… openness
17:10 What (& who) Matters?
- Oneness & interconnectedness
- Unnecessary harm to sentient others
- Might plants have a kind of sentience? “I’m OK with saying we shouldn’t harm plants unnecessarily”
- Seeing the similiarities between human and non-human animals through physiology
- “The idea that non-human animals aren’t sentient is so bizarre to me”
- Movement & intent as indicators of sentience
- Are Roomba’s sentient?
- Evolution, behaviour/comms, information processing as inferential evidence for sentience
- Intrinsic & instrumental value
- The ethical dangers of holistic/ecocentric thinking
- “Spirtual Bypassing”… rushing to find a purpose/meaning/spiritual goal while bypassing compassion & understanding
- Knowing very spiritual people who also own factory farms
- A local factory farm with a Bible verse written on it
- “The foundation of a spiritual practice is caring for others”
- Stages of moral development: Ego, ethno, anthropocentric…
37:30 Vegetarian to vegan
- Rebelling against Jonina’s mother’s vegetarianism as a teenager
- Being vegetarian. Not understanding dairy
- Seeing slaughterhouse footage & going vegan together with Jonina’s partner
- Social indoctrination re: animal ethics & the supernatural
- Climate change
- The relationship between scarcity & morality. Is it harder to be moral under scarcity?
44:09 The Future
- “Treating every sentient being I can with dignity, including myself”
- “We should all adopt Sentientism”
- Embedding a sentientist culture & ethics of care into education & religion & law
- A post-scarcity future? Freeing creative impulses from the bottom half of Maslow’s hierarchy
- Re-wilding, permaculture, agro-forestry
- “A whole new relationship with non-human animals that will blow people’s minds” as at Lancaster Farm Sanctuary
- Existential hope?
- Being clear about problems but radically open-minded about potential utopias
- Extending human concepts (e.g. Universal Declaration of Sentient Rights, Sentientist Development Goals) or something different?
- You can’t just legislate morality. People need to feel it too – by meeting other sentients! Gaps in our compassion are like holes in our brains
- Our most basic, important interests are those we most have in common with non-human sentients
- “Sentientism will look different depending on where it’s practised”
- Indigenous perspectives on sentience & connecteness
- Humanity to Sentientity?
- MLMs, Wellness, “Alternative” medicine, QAnon, Flat Earth…
- The Conspirituality Podcast (https://conspirituality.net/)
- Assessing yoga/spiritual teachers & groups. “Is there a clear call for compassionate ethics towards other sentients?”
- The danger of putting anything as more important than sentient beings
1:05:40 Following Jonina and Lancaster Farm Sanctuary
- Instagram, FaceBook, maybe TikTok soon…
Sentientism is “Evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings.” More at Sentientism.info.
Everyone, Sentientist or not, is welcome in our groups. The biggest so far is here on Facebook.
Thanks Graham for the post-production.