Dogs, cats, and other animals are happy to be cuddled and fed by loving owners.
But the president of People for the Ethical Treatments of Animals says don’t call them ‘pets.’
Ingrid Newkirk said that ‘pet’ is derogatory and suggests that the animals are a ‘decoration’ or ‘commodity.’
The animal rights organization also called for owners to be renamed ‘guardians’ or ‘human carers.’
“Animals are not pets – they are not your cheap burglar alarm, or something which allows you to go out for a walk. They are not ours as decorations or toys, they are living beings,” the 70-year-old expressed.
“A dog is a feeling, whole individual, with emotions and interests, not something you ‘have’.”
In the US, almost 67 percent of households have a pet.
The animal rights activist wants people to describe their animals as ‘companions,’ adding: “How we say things governs how we think about them, so a tweak in our language when we talk about the animals in our homes is needed.
“A pet is a commodity but animals should not be things on shelves or in boxes, where people say, ‘I like the look of that one, it matches my curtains or my sense of myself.”
She added: “Hopefully the time is passing for that kind of attitude.”
One internet user commented: “”Human carer”, “guardian”? My cat and dog were horrified when I told them. They said that I had to be content with “slave”, and to hurry up with breakfast!”
Another wrote: “Our pets are loved, even adored, and first of all respected. They couldnt care less about the term we use to address them. Respect doesnt come with terminology but with empathy.”
A third said: “This really wonder how much money she makes a year to come up with these psychological epiphanies. She probably makes way more than the average pet owner and this is her big idea.”
Someone else added: “You can’t even spell PETA without PET.”
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