This is a terrifically interesting and well done video responding to the contention that animals can't feel pain. I'll make some comments below.
1:08 The video starts in a shaky way, speculating that sea mammals may be aware of the feelings of the humans they interact with. Well, maybe. Fortunately that's just the entry point into the main question: do animals feel pain? Wish I could refer to the narrator by name--don't know who she is.
2:00 Neo-Cartesian philosophers Michael Murray and Willian Lane Craig argue that animals have (a) reactions to stimuli, and (b) pain experiences, but no (c) higher order awareness of pain experiences. There's nothing bad about pain, in the absence of (c), so there's nothing bad about animal pain.
Comment: It seems obvious the last person you should ask about the existence of animal pain is someone who has a vested interest in the answer being "No, there isn't any." Theists like William Lane Craig see their whole world view, their whole mission in life, under threat, if animals feel pain, because animal pain creates a terribly difficult instance of the problem of evil. We need to rebut the theists' arguments directly, but should also laugh at the notion that they're unbiased authorities on animal pain.
Craig says animals don't have a pre-frontal cortex so can't have (c). He says it's a tremendous comfort to animal owners to know that animals never suffer. I'm worried about William Lane Craig's dog! If he really takes his own verbiage seriously, he could reduce his veterinary bills by letting the poor animal have surgery without anesthesia. Fortunately veterinarians, whether theists or not, aren't about to listen to crap (crummy religious animal psychology).
4:30 Great clip showing the influence of people like Murray and Craig. Fella says only humans have pre-frontal cortex.
5:30 It's great the video challenges the scientific claim that animals lack a pre-frontal (or frontal) cortex, but it also needs to challenge the view of animal pain that says self-awareness is needed for animal pain.
7:30 Bruce Hood clears it up--yes, other animals have a pre-frontal (or frontal) cortex.
9:00 More on how animals do have a pre-frontal cortex. When I teach the topic of animal pain to undergraduates, I use the same type of diagram the video does. I agree completely that Craig's intellectual integrity has to be questioned.
11:48 Now we get to the good stuff. With Stuart Firestein we get away from the higher order awareness theory of pain.
13:20 Lori Marino talks about animal self-awareness, so now we're again taking seriously what Craig says about the nature of pain--that it is bound up with self-awareness. Marino grants self-awareness to dogs, but my impression is that that's a minority view. She cautions against relying too much on the mirror self-recognition test. Well and good, but that leaves us having to be agnostic about whether many animals have self-awareness. If you think self-awareness is a pre-condition of pain, you're going to wind up being agnostic about pain in many species. We need to hear from animal psychologists and philosophers of mind who think pain does not require self-awareness. I believe that's the majority view.
16:55 Marino says self-awareness can't be localized. So the anatomy of animal brains just doesn't tell us (as Craig thinks it does) whether animals have it or not. Again, I think if you want to counter skepticism about animal pain, it's not your best bet to grant the contention that self-awareness is required for pain.
19:40 Guy reads Craig to Marino. She laughs, "It's nonsense." She thinks pain awareness is not located in the pre-frontal cortex. She says pain reception is sub-cortical. All species have brain systems that are involved in detecting pain. She rejects idea that pain requires meta-cognition. (Yay!!!) "There is no evidence for that." She says fish feel pain.
24:00 Animal joy, empathy, etc. She really wants to press the idea that animals have self-awareness. Maybe yes, maybe no. I think it's much more important to establish the existence of animal pain, and to do that it's important to deny the alleged connection between pain and self-awareness.
28:07 Oh no, Craig believes in an immaterial soul! Narrator rightly points out that raise the question why it matters whether animals have (pre)frontal cortex. Does Craig have to rule out that animal pain is seated in animal souls? (Ha!)
28:45 The Cambridge Declaration on animal consciousness (July 12, 2012) All mammals and birds, at the very least, have consciousness.
30:00 Jane Goodall autotuned! Wow!
Final thought. If I were a desperate theist trying to contend with the existence of animal pain, what would I say? Well, maybe there's a little something to the idea that mild pain makes life more interesting. A dog wouldn't enjoy his dinner as much, if he weren't first hungry. That leaves extreme pain as an unsolved problem, as extreme pain doesn't make life more interesting--it just makes life suck. If you really, really want to pretend it doesn't exist, I find it more attractive to just say God zaps it away miraculously. At least that way we don't do any pretend science. We let the real science of animal pain be as it is, and then allow that it's suspended whenever God's feeling compassionate toward animals. Arguably the science-respecting theist ought to prefer that approach.
Thanks to Spencer Lo for sending the video link.