We can never get inside the mind of an animal to find out how it feels: we can never know if it “feels” anything. But that is true of humans, too: I can never know what it is to be you, and so I can never be certain that you are not a zombie, walking and talking like a person but feeling and experiencing nothing. But we accept that our fellow humans are thinking beings. Whether or not animals can feel emotion is unknowable, but the safe bet is with Bentham, not Descartes.
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