News & Politics

Academic Journal Deems the Term “Pets” Derogatory


The Journal of Animal Ethics, a publication edited and compiled by a group of university professors from America and Great Britain, has stated that “pets” is not an acceptable moniker for domesticated animals. The Telegraph reports that words such as “owners” and “wildlife” are also determined to be offensive by the journal, as are common phrases like, “sly as a fox” and “eat like a pig.” We’d say this is bullshit, but we don’t want to offend any bulls.

The publication’s first editorial, which is jointly published by the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics and the University of Illinois, makes the following argument:

Despite its prevalence, “pets” is surely a derogatory term both of the animals concerned and their human carers. Again the word “owners”, whilst technically correct in law, harks back to a previous age when animals were regarded as just that: property, machines or things to use without moral constraint…We invite authors to use the words “free-living:, “free-ranging” or “free-roaming” rather than “wild animals.

We here at Runnin’ Scared are animal lovers (have you seen our Adorable Animals in Trouble series?) and the last thing we want to do is set animal rights back fifty years through the use of such outdated terms. We’ve come up with some other names for “pets” that should help usher in this new era of fairness and equality:

  • Furry shit-factories
  • Frisbee-chomping smell bags
  • Lazy, no-job-having income suckers
  • Carpet-staining loyalty bots
  • Big guy!
  • Improved post-divorce family

Calling animals ‘pets’ is insulting, academics claim [Telegraph]

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 29, 2011


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