Note, please don’t take the first paragraph seriously. I’m keeping it to show my thought process, but it’s not entirely correct. @Christy was more correct about the definition of sentience than I was. I was confused with sapience.
I thought sentient simply meant “self aware.” Sentient organisms are cognitively capable of recognizing themselves as separate entities. A sentient organism is capable of having the understanding that itself is an individual, different from the environment and other members of the same species. Dolphins will recognize themselves in mirrors and will even give themselves names. They are sentient: capable of knowing that they are a living individual. As pleasing as it is, I don’t think @Christy’s definition is entirely correct… That’s my understanding, let’s see what it actually means!
Well, I was wrong. Sentient is defined as “capable of feeling and perceiving things.” I was confused with sapience, which means what I tried to define sentience as in the above paragraph.