Tuesday, March 04, 2014


Last night at the dinner table our teenage son posed this question: "What does it mean to be sentient?" I couldn't come up with an answer off the top of my head. Which is terrible because I don't know how many times I've read about sentience in Derrick Jensen's work. Annie threw her definition out there which was being conscious of your own existence. I then fumbled around for awhile with idea of perception. Then got my feet underneath me and a head of steam and explained to him that this is the problem with our culture. Most of us at some level believe that humans are the only sentient beings on the planet. We think that we are the only ones that can perceive with our senses that we exist. The rest of the creatures are basically unfeeling machines. If we didn't think this I'd probably see a lot less frozen dead deer plowed up into the snow banks along the roadways as I deliver mail. Perhaps we wouldn't have cars or roads either.

My Webster's Random House College Dictionary that sentient is: 1. having the power of perception by the senses; conscious. 2. Characterized by sensation and consciousness.

Before posting this, Annie asked: "Isn't that why we believe animals don't have souls?"

Time to get the van warmed up to head to town for a doctor's appointment

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