Thoughts pertaining to Philosophy and Psychology.
I put it to you: do snails perceive with a conscious effort?
Sure, they can identify their surroundings, but how is this identification not that of reaction, instead of action? It is said that insects do not have brain as we do, but instead possess an intricate set of nerves across their bodies', which only might consist of a central executor (a processor and organiser) somewhere.
I give you the example of a snail’s ascent of a flower. If a snail had a consciousness as we humans do, it might take it upon itself to think ‘aha! this is a particularly nice flower- and to climb it would be advantageous to myself’ (this is from the viewpoint of a particularly intelligent and inquisitive snail); on the other hand, a snail with little affected consciousness would see the flower and react to its presence.
I cannot say if snails ‘hunt’ (though a snail is most parts prey) for flowers or if they simply stumble upon them, after which the innate notion to climb the flower happens, rather than comes to them as an actual thought.
This innate reactionary state does hold gravitas within the human consciousness; we are animals in biology, after all, and we- all notion of rational thinking aside- react to situations both threatening and beneficial. When we remark of occasions in which we have known of the bad before it has happened, we are telling of those times when we fall back upon animalistic tendencies- there where we might react by a ‘fight or flight’ mechanism.
The snail is in possession of such flight notions. For instance, the appearances of a shadow and a large boot above it would certain create a reaction in the snail to move. The question becomes whether it is consciously aware of having made that decision to depart.