Jul 16, 2021
66: "Time has come for animals to be globally protected in UN-iversal law" - Sabine Brels of the World Federation for Animals
Play • 59 min

Sabine is legal advisor to the World Federation for Animals ( In 2014, she cofounded the Global Animal Law (GAL Association and led work on the creation and update of the first complete Animal Welfare Legislation Database.

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

Sentientism is "evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings." The video of our conversation is here on YouTube

We discuss:

0:00 Welcome

1:24 Sabine's Intro - Animal Law & International Governance for Animals

- Founding GAL, building the AWL Database, developing a 100 strong global animal law community

-  The UNCAHP (United Nations Convention on Animal Health & Protection)

- #OneHealth & #OneWelfare

- Working with the new World Federation for Animals to make animal protection a UN imperative

3:57 What's Real?

- Learning about the beauty & value of the natural world from Sabine's grandmother

- "I believe in what I can see but also in things I can't see that are obvious"

- Looking into the eyes of a cat & sensing it's "soul"

- Attending Catholic classes, but always preferring a more holistic, non-religious worldview

- Finding Catholicism restrictive, seeing the downsides of religion, deciding not to attend communion

- "We feel this notion of respect for all beings"

- Respecting all life is common to most religions

- Solidarity & compassion

- The commonalities between religious/naturalistic worldviews. "Souls" vs. sentience. Energy & information processing. Universal connectedness.

- "When I say 'soul' I mean that the being I see has a consciousness"

15:34 What Matters Morally?

- A mother who was a nurse, motivated by human compassion

- Developing a similar sensitivity for animal suffering from a young age

- A close relationship with a German Shepherd dog

- Being brought to a bull-fighting event in France at 4 years old. Seeing an animal being tortured to death - "feeling ashamed of my own species". "I wanted to intervene." Adults told me it wasn't real - then I saw the butchery behind the arena

- "These animals needed some people to defend them" - "I felt it was my moral duty"

- The challenges of going vegan in France

- Facing health concerns from parents

- At 18, asking a doctor how to go veg*an and being told "it's not possible to be healthy"

- Moving to Canada. Finding it much easier there to go vegetarian then vegan. Avoiding zoos & animal tested products

- Social context can make change hard or easy.

... And much more. Full show notes on or YouTube.

Sentientism is “Evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings.” More at Join our "I'm a Sentientist" wall here:

Everyone, Sentientist or not, is welcome in our groups. Main one:

Thanks Graham for the post-prod.

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