Sentient Student Member
WanRan Luo, better known as Awa, is a second year vet student at the University of Queensland and was awarded first prize for the 2015 Sentient Student Essay Prize for Animal Welfare and Ethics.
Her interests with regard to veterinary science can currently be described as "everything". While she concedes Nagel's point that she will never truly know What It Is Like To Be A Bat, this nevertheless does not stop her from being avidly interested in the inner life of every sentient, alien being.
Her essay, 'What do we talk about when we talk about dogs?' was an exercise in clarifying her own thoughts about the welfare issues somewhat inherent to pet ownership.
If there is one thing she has gained from the exercise, it is the knowledge that she has so, so much more to learn about people, about philosophy, about veterinary science, and about writing. At the root of all this learning to do, she acknowledges the complexity of animal welfare issues and insists that, amidst the urgent yet chronic need to improve animal welfare, we still remember to be compassionate towards other humans and charitable to their arguments.