Mirza DB. Beyond Animal Testing: Open Rescue, Sentient Empathy, and Research-Informed Theatre - As an extension of ourselves… at our sentient best! Masters of Art thesis, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, 2016


If sentience is defined as the capacity of living beings to experience sense, cognition andfeelings, then the concept of sentient empathy can be described as the direct identification with,understanding of, and affection to another animal's situation, feelings, and motives. As a pressing social issue, can an awareness of animal testing within universities elicit sentientempathy among a wider public? This thesis explores this question by analysing the findings frominterviews with three ‘open rescue’ activists. It then examines the possibilities of utilizingResearch-informed Theatre (RIT) for sharing the interview findings, with a view toward elicitingsentient empathy among the public