33 episodes

Want a philosophy or worldview that's grounded in reality and has compassion for all sentient beings (mostly humans and other animals)?
Then you might find Sentientism interesting. It's "evidence, reason and compassion for all sentient beings."
In this podcast, you'll hear about "what's real" and "what matters" from a wide range of celebrities, academics, activists, writers - and interested lay people like me.
Find out more at https://sentientism.info/ or join one of our open-to-all, global community groups, like: https://www.facebook.com/groups/sentientism

Sentientis‪m‬ Jamie Woodhouse

    • Philosophy
    • 5.0 • 3 Ratings

Want a philosophy or worldview that's grounded in reality and has compassion for all sentient beings (mostly humans and other animals)?
Then you might find Sentientism interesting. It's "evidence, reason and compassion for all sentient beings."
In this podcast, you'll hear about "what's real" and "what matters" from a wide range of celebrities, academics, activists, writers - and interested lay people like me.
Find out more at https://sentientism.info/ or join one of our open-to-all, global community groups, like: https://www.facebook.com/groups/sentientism

    "Us humans are slow learners" - Kim Stallwood - author & scholar - Sentientist Conversation

    "Us humans are slow learners" - Kim Stallwood - author & scholar - Sentientist Conversation

    Kim is an animal rights author, independent scholar, consultant, and speaker. He has 45 years of personal commitment as a vegan and professional experience in leadership positions with some of the world’s foremost animal advocacy organisations. The Kim Stallwood Archive is held by The British Library. He wrote Growl: Life Lessons, Hard Truths, and Bold Strategies from an Animal Advocate with a Foreword by Brian May (Lantern Books, 2014). He is currently working on the biography of an elephant called Topsy. He became a vegetarian in 1974 after working in a chicken slaughterhouse and a vegan in 1976. You can find Kim at https://kimstallwood.com/​, https://twitter.com/grumpyvegan​ and https://www.instagram.com/kim_stallwood/

    You can find the video of our conversation here on the Sentientism YouTube Channel, along with full show notes.​

    In these Sentientist Conversations we talk about the two most important questions: “what’s real?” & “what matters?”  Sentientism is "evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings."

    We discuss:

    - Growing up in Surrey in a working class, Church of England community

    - Joining the RSPCA and being against animal cruelty as a family

    - Working in a chicken slaughter-house in 1973. An experience that changed everything

    - Going vegetarian in 1974, only knowing 2 vegetarians

    - Arguments with mum about going vegetarian + her going veggie without Kim noticing

    - Going vegan (with mum, then family) in 1976

    - Being the 2nd employee at Compassion in World Farming, then a lifetime in animal advocacy

    - Theosophy's themes of connectedness and opposing animal cruelty

    - Learning philosophy as an animal advocate

    - Making a clear break from Christianity

    - Having a personal belief system: 4 key values, but not labelling with any spiritual system

    - Camberley Kate's care for non-humans and feeling outrage over how we treat other animals

    - Compassion as the first key value. Identifying with the experience of other sentient beings and being motivated to help

    - And much more...!

    Sentientism is “Evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings.” More at https://sentientism.info/​​​​​​​​. Join our "wall" https://sentientism.info/wall/​ using this form: https://sentientism.info/im-a-sentientist.​ ​

    ​Everyone interested, Sentientist or not, is welcome to join our groups. Our main one is here on FaceBook https://www.facebook.com/groups/sentientism.

    • 52 min
    Talking to Humanist animals about other animals (and sentient beings) - A talk about Sentientism to the Dorset Humanists Group

    Talking to Humanist animals about other animals (and sentient beings) - A talk about Sentientism to the Dorset Humanists Group

    I gave this presentation to a meeting of the Dorset Humanist Group in the UK. It was a pleasure to be invited to talk and I really enjoyed the energetic and constructive discussion that followed.

    Don't forget to subscribe if you haven't already - listen to our back catalogue - give us a rating and/or a review - and recommend us to your friends (and enemies).

    Given the audience were mostly Humanists I focused this presentation on how Sentientism extends Humanist concepts of evidence, reason and compassion. Many of those outside the Humanist tradition might prefer to consider Sentientism afresh - given that sentience was around long before humanity even existed.

    If you'd like a copy of the presentation materials, get in touch via https://sentientism.info/​ or visit one of our online Sentientism communities. You can also watch a video of my talk here on the Sentientism YouTube channel.

    You can find the Dorset Humanists at https://dorset.humanist.org.uk/wp/​, their YouTube channel (includes a recording of the Q+A that followed this presentation) is here.​ and they're on Twitter at @DorsetHumanists​.

    Sentientism is “Evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings.” More at https://sentientism.info/​​​​​​​​​. Join our "wall"​ using this form: https://sentientism.info/im-a-sentientist.

    ​Everyone interested, Sentientist or not, is welcome to join our groups. Our biggest is here on FaceBook.

    • 44 min
    "Every individual matters" - Marc Bekoff and Compassionate Conservation - Sentientist Conversation

    "Every individual matters" - Marc Bekoff and Compassionate Conservation - Sentientist Conversation

    Marc is professor emeritus of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He has published  31 books, won many awards for his research on animal behavior, animal emotions, compassionate conservation, & animal protection, has worked closely with Jane Goodall, & is a former Guggenheim Fellow. Marc's latest books are "Canine Confidential: Why Dogs Do What They Do" & "Unleashing Your Dog: A Field Guide to Giving Your Canine Companion the Best Life Possible" (with Jessica Pierce) & he also publishes regularly for Psychology Today. Marc & Jessica have recently written "A Dog's World" about what the world will be like for dogs as & when humans disappear (Princeton University Press, 2021). In 1986 Marc won the Master's age-graded Tour de France. His homepage is https://marcbekoff.com/.

    In these Sentientist Conversations we talk about the two most important questions: “what’s real?” & “what matters?”

    Sentientism is "evidence, commitment & compassion for all sentient beings."

    The video of our conversation is here on YouTube, along with full show notes.

    We discuss:

    - Growing up in Brooklyn & not being a strong student in high-school

    - Talking to a companion goldfish & the neighbourhood animals

    - Imagining perpectives of non-human animals: "Minding animals"

    - Seeming bizarre to question the sentience of non-human animals

    - Selling records, undergrad degree, then a career using animal play behaviour as a window into the animal perspective

    - Michael Fox's work with canids & becoming his grad student

    - Nagel's "What is it like to be a bat?"

    - Donald Griffin's "The question of animal awareness" & "Animal Minds"

    - Animal protection as a lifelong focus

    - Getting academics out of the clouds and into helping

    - Growing up in a culturally Jewish home with Russian Jewish immigrant grandparents, but being an atheist from day one

    - "I never doubted that non-human animals had feelings" (Luna barks in agreement)

    ... and much more!

    Sentientism is “Evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings.” More at https://sentientism.info/​​​​​​​. Join our "wall" https://sentientism.info/wall/ using this form: https://sentientism.info/im-a-sentientist.

    Everyone interested, Sentientist or not, is welcome to join our groups. Our main one is here on FaceBook https://www.facebook.com/groups/sentientism.

    Thanks to Graham for his post-prod work. Follow him: https://twitter.com/cgbessellieu​

    • 58 min
    "If you hand most people a knife they won't stab a cow!" - John Oberg - Sentientist Conversation

    "If you hand most people a knife they won't stab a cow!" - John Oberg - Sentientist Conversation

    John is a professional animal advocate & public speaker. You can support his work at https://www.patreon.com/JohnOberg​ and follow him at https://twitter.com/JohnOberg​.

    In these Sentientist Conversations we talk about the two most important questions: “what’s real?” & “what matters?”  Sentientism is "evidence, commitment & compassion for all sentient beings."

    Full show notes and the video of our conversation are here: https://youtu.be/UTZlwC4nHq8

    We discuss:

    - John's career in animal advocacy and vegan advocacy

    - "It's been the best change of my life

    - it's given my live a lot of meaning & I've made a big difference for animals."

    - Helping other advocates & organisations to be effective via social media

    - Messages being seen by 10's of millions of human eyes

    - Growing up in the mid-West, but in a fairly non-religious context

    - We generally assumed God exists, but it was rarely talked about

    - Thinking at 14 "This doesn't make any sense - I'm an atheist!"

    - Going through a "militant" atheist phase - then softening to just being open minded... "I don't rule anything out"

    - The challenges of coping with family illness & death. Recognising the pull of the hope of an afterlife

    - Given there are so many thousands of religions, amazing how someone can be so sure theirs is the right one. It's just what they were taught as a child

    - How the "golden rule" & broad themes of compassion pre-date, then run through most religions

    - How naturalism needs to be humble & open minded (even to crazy ideas)

    - Avoiding the arrogance of dogma even within atheist/skeptic/naturalistic worldviews

    - Withholding belief until there's evidence. Being comfortable not knowing until then

    - "A Meaningful Life" and "The Animal Activist's Handbook" by Matt Ball, founder of Vegan Outreach

    - The meaning of life is about 2 things: The pursuit of pleasure and joy and the avoidance of pain and suffering (the latter being more important)

    - And more..

    You can find John at https://twitter.com/JohnOberg​, https://www.facebook.com/JohnObergOfficial​ and https://www.johnoberg.org. You can support him via Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/JohnOberg​.

    Sentientism is “Evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings.” More at https://sentientism.info/​​​​​​. Join our "wall" https://sentientism.info/wall/​ using this simple form: https://sentientism.info/im-a-sentientientist.

    ​Everyone interested, Sentientist or not, is welcome to join our groups. Our main one is here on FaceBook​.

    ​Thanks to Graham for his post-prod work. Follow him: @cgbessellieu

    • 42 min
    “Vet training reduces empathy for animals” – Vet Kevin Saldanha – New Sentientist Conversation

    “Vet training reduces empathy for animals” – Vet Kevin Saldanha – New Sentientist Conversation

    Kevin is a community vet, based in Ontario, Canada. He grew up in East Africa & Goa, India & then moved to Canada. He has held leadership roles, originally in Catholic community organisations &, more recently, Humanist community organisations.

    In these Sentientist Conversations we talk about the two most important questions: “what’s real?” & “what matters?” Sentientism is “evidence, commitment & compassion for all sentient beings.”

    Full show notes are here: https://sentientism.info/vet-training-reduces-empathy-for-animals-vet-kevin-saldhana-new-sentientist-conversation

    The video version of our conversation is here on YouTube.

    We discuss:


    Growing up in a Roman Catholic Christian, meat-eating family in Goa, India and in East Africa
    The centrality of Catholicism to the community
    Praying for exam success
    Moving to Canada and becoming deeply embedded in the local religious community (inc. The Knights of Columbus)
    Discussing animal ethics with a priest “do they have souls and an afterlife?”
    Rejecting the homophobia of the Knights of Columbus & Catholicism
    Considering the impossibility of “souls”
    9/11 as a trigger for re-considering Kevin’s religion, morality and purpose
    Telling Kevin’s story in the book “Faith beyond belief”
    Studying science and evolution as a vet, but keeping it separate from faith
    The social challenges of leaving religion (leadership roles, social circles)
    Most friends are still friends. They pray for Kevin’s soul and his return to Catholicism
    Rejecting not just religious, but all supernatural beliefs
    Lacking atheist role models IRL, getting past the militant atheist groups, but finding connections re: Humanism online & then in person
    Leading a Humanist group for over a decade
    People returning to religion because of a wish for simple ethical standards and a comforting community and roadmap of rituals for their family
    Vet school is oriented towards non-human animal agriculture where harming & killing animals is normalised
    And more...

    You can find Kevin at @vegvet or on Facebook here. Kevin’s veterinary practice is at 567vets.com.

    Sentientism is “Evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings.” More at Sentientism.info.

    Why not help Kevin to normalise rationality and compassion by joining him on our “wall”
    using this simple form.

    Everyone interested, Sentientist or not, is welcome to join our groups. Our main one is here on FaceBook.

    Thanks to Graham for his post-prod work. Follow him: @cgbessellieu

    • 49 min
    "It's frustrating that so many atheists & humanists are proud of having broken one form of indoctrination yet remain blind to another" - Godless Spellchecker - Sentientism cross-post bonus episode

    "It's frustrating that so many atheists & humanists are proud of having broken one form of indoctrination yet remain blind to another" - Godless Spellchecker - Sentientism cross-post bonus episode

    This episode is a cross-post from the Godless Spellchecker Podcast where Steven Knight interviewed me (Jamie) about Sentientism.

    We started our conversation by discussing an incident where I was attacked in front of my daughter by a white supremacist gang (it was ages ago and we're both fine thanks). That doesn't have too much to do with Sentientism and contains some strong language, so I've left it out of this version. If you'd like to hear it, you can find it on the Godless Spellchecker feed.

    Stephen's podcast focuses on atheism, secularism, freedom of belief and speech. As a fellow vegan, Stephen seems to fit the Sentientist mould, although he's hesitant about layering specific ethical commitments on top of naturalism, atheism or humanism.

    Sentientism is “Evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings.” You can find out more at Sentientism.info. Why not join our “wall” using our simple “I’m a Sentientist” form?

    Everyone interested, Sentientist or not, is welcome to join our community groups. Our main group is here on FaceBook. We have a fascinating range of compassionate, rational people there from around 90 countries so far!

    • 39 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
3 Ratings

3 Ratings

cgbessellieu ,

Evidence, Reason & Compassion

Jamie is a inspiring thinker committed to reflecting critically on expanding the moral circle for all sentience.

This podcast is an intimate, humorous and in depth exploration on such themes with a range of unique guests and their personal stories.

Recommended especially to anyone interested in moral philosophy, animal welfare, and philosophy of mind!

Paul6 ,

Cool podcast

I enjoy listening to this show for intriguing conversations about humanity’s relationship with the rest of the species on our planet. It offers insightful analysis and interesting commentary on such big picture issues.

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