As human beings, we tend to make a lot of noise about sentience. The challenge I find, at the deepest level, with this is that we seem to equate feeling with awareness in its broadest sense.
To me, feeling focuses inward, toward me, whereas awareness focuses outward, on what is out there. Thus, I’m more interested in soul. Not in the religious sense of who goes to heaven, but in the sense of unity with the greater universe.
One look into the eyes of animals tells you, humans are not the only ones with souls. What do you think?