We are here; we exist and we have the right to exist. Even non-sentient beings like flowers have the right to exist. If negative force is exerted against them, then, on a chemical level, flowers repair themselves to survive. But more than that, we human beings including insects, even amoebas, the smallest beings are considered sentient beings. And as sentient beings, we have even more mechanisms to help us survive.
Things that can move under their own will or desire, that’s what a “sentient being” means, according to the discussions that I’ve had with scientists. “Sentient” doesn’t necessarily mean being conscious or being human on a conscious level. Actually it’s difficult to define what “consciousness” or “conscious” means. Usually it means the clearest aspect of the mind, but then, is it that there is no consciousness when we are semiconscious or unconscious? Do insects have it? Maybe it’s better to speak of “cognitive faculty” rather than consciousness.
In any case, the main point that we are referring to here by cognitive faculty is the ability to experience feelings: pain, pleasure, or neutral feelings. Actually, pleasure and pain, and happiness and unhappiness, are things that we need to examine in more depth. For example, every sentient being has the right to survive and, for survival, this means having a desire for happiness or comfort: that’s why sentient beings strive to survive. Therefore, our survival is based on hope—hope for something good: happiness. Because of that, I always conclude that the purpose of life is happiness. With hope and a happy feeling, our body feels well. Therefore, hope and happiness are positive factors for our health. Health depends on a happy state of mind.