The ability to feel and perceive is sentience. The sentience of cows, pigs, and chickens is one reason that some people become vegetarians.
In the 18th century, Western philosophers defined sentience as the ability to feel, which they contrasted with the ability to reason or think. For Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, and Sikhs, sentience is something that's present to some degree in all beings, human and non-human. The exact definition of the word varies from "consciousness" to simply "the ability to feel pain and pleasure." The Latin root of sentience is sentire, "to feel or perceive."