This is such a beautiful article and well worth a read!
Horses are sensitive. They are cognitive, meaning they are capable of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses (Oxford dictionary definition). They are sentient. They are conscious. (There is an interesting philosophical history of these terms on Wikipedia should you be interested. )
On July 7, 2012 a group of neuroscientists met at Cambridge to discuss the overwhelming amount of research that has been done that proves that non-human animals are conscious in a way very similar to humans. Witnessed by Stephen Hawking, these prominent scientists signed a document entitled The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness, stating:
“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. Consequently, the weight of evidence indicates that humans are not unique in possessing the neurological substrates that generate consciousness. Non-human animals, including all mammals and birds…
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