Experts: Stop insulting pets by calling them pets

posted at 1:55 pm on April 29, 2011 by Jazz Shaw

No reasonable person approves of animal abuse, as I’m sure we can all agree. But did you know that words can hurt as much as the tip of a steel toe shoe? A group of experts from the Journal of Animal Ethics have finally stood up for our furry friends and determined that we should stop referring to them as “pets” because, well… I’d better let them explain.

Domestic dogs, cats, hamsters or budgerigars should be rebranded as “companion animals” while owners should be known as “human carers”, they insist.

Even terms such as wildlife are dismissed as insulting to the animals concerned – who should instead be known as “free-living”, the academics including an Oxford professor suggest.

The call comes from the editors of then Journal of Animal Ethics, a new academic publication devoted to the issue.

It is edited by the Revd Professor Andrew Linzey, a theologian and director of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, who once received an honorary degree from the Archbishop of Canterbury for his work promoting the rights of “God’s sentient creatures”.

Sometimes, if you’re really lucky, the stories just write themselves. and this Friday is no exception. Sadly, I was robbed of the opportunity to really open up the snark gun full bore because Jonah Goldberg at NRO beat me to the punch.

I think my pro-animal views are pretty well known and I don’t want Cosmo to think I am a snake in the grass, but you’d have to be crazier than a loon, if not downright batty, to buy into this monkey business. I don’t want to rat these guys out, but they should understand that they are the canaries in the coal mine leading to the end of civilization. If we listen to this bull we’ll all go to the dogs. I mean seriously, don’t have a cow, man. I am all for treating animals humanely, but this is a horse of a different color. When I read it I felt like a deer in the headlights. This dog just won’t hunt.

I’d write more, but I have a meeting with Mr. Basset’s lawyers in fifteen minutes to discuss nineteen years of serial verbal abuse.

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Comment pages: 1 2

In North Korea, they call them dinner.

Emperor Norton on April 29, 2011 at 1:56 PM

Laugh now, but this evil will spread if it is not destroyed now.

ebrown2 on April 29, 2011 at 1:57 PM

I believe it is safe to assume that the experts from the Journal of Animal Ethics are a group of people who seriously
seriously seriously seriously seriously seriously seriously seriously seriously seriously seriously seriously seriously
need a life.

pilamaye on April 29, 2011 at 1:58 PM

These “experts” need to have their nose rubbed in the pile of crap they’ve just dropped at our feet.

teke184 on April 29, 2011 at 1:59 PM

Hmmmm Jazz and Jonah agreeing on something. Well you know what they say, birds of a feather flock together. You guys are the cat’s meow on this issue.

simkeith on April 29, 2011 at 1:59 PM

I can’t think of a thing to add… lol

golfmann on April 29, 2011 at 1:59 PM

because Jonah Goldberg at NRO beat me to the punch.

Hate to break it to you but Rush talked about this on Wednesday…

According to this article, I guess I can start charging the cat for room and board. If she doesn’t pay up, then I will sue and have her evicted.

jeffn21 on April 29, 2011 at 1:59 PM

I believe it is safe to assume that the experts from the Journal of Animal Ethics are a group of people who seriously
seriously seriously seriously seriously seriously seriously seriously seriously seriously seriously seriously seriously
need a life.

pilamaye on April 29, 2011 at 1:58 PM

It’s “animal ethics” in the same vein that PETA is “People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.” What a bunch of useless worms.

gryphon202 on April 29, 2011 at 2:00 PM

Oxford?!? Pretty soon they’ll be known as haraam.

Ward Cleaver on April 29, 2011 at 2:00 PM

I seriously doubt our lab cares what we call her as long as we don’t call her late for dinner ; )

Desert Gardens on April 29, 2011 at 2:00 PM

I call mine my lovepuppy.

Blake on April 29, 2011 at 2:00 PM

They definitely are asses. We need to quit horsing around.

rbj on April 29, 2011 at 2:01 PM

Let’s see…

1. Cats – don’t care what they’re called because they don’t listen to you in the first place.

2. Snakes, fish, turtles, hamsters, etc – can’t understand English.

3. Dogs – pack animals who are happy when they know where they are in the pack, and if it’s at the bottom as a “pet,” they’re just as happy as being alpha. Unhappy dogs are those who get treated as if they’re alpha sometimes and on the bottom other times.

albo on April 29, 2011 at 2:01 PM

By the way, what the heck is a budgerigar?

pilamaye on April 29, 2011 at 2:01 PM

Jonah Goldberg is a national treasure.

Schadenfreude on April 29, 2011 at 2:01 PM

Dogs don’t care. Gary Larson pointed that out years ago.

http://www.made2mentor.com/Images/far-side-what-dogs-hear.jpg

vcferlita on April 29, 2011 at 2:02 PM

I sure wish I could meet one of these people at a party. I would use the term wild animals, then talk about the movie animal house. After that I would tell them that I get as sly as a fox when I’m drunk as a skunk. And to finish them off I’d tell them they are as dumb as a rock.

jeffn21 on April 29, 2011 at 2:03 PM

Domestic dogs, cats, hamsters or budgerigars

Am I the only only one who had to look that up? Just call it a friggin parakeet.

…I don’t want Cosmo to think I am a snake in the grass…

Heh

SnakeintheGrass on April 29, 2011 at 2:03 PM

That photo makes me miss Dean Barnett.

ExUrbanKevin on April 29, 2011 at 2:04 PM

the academics

Yeah. Them. Again.

SOMEONE does need a “keeper” and it ain’t the animals.

GarandFan on April 29, 2011 at 2:05 PM

My rescue dog/spaniel/pooh bear is quite happy to be “owned” by me and wouldn’t have it any other way.

DaydreamBeliever on April 29, 2011 at 2:06 PM

This is what happens to people when they are educated beyond their levels of intelligence. Next thing you know, they’ll be telling me to put air in my tires.

These dopes wouldn’t last 15 minutes in a real job.

CantCureStupid on April 29, 2011 at 2:06 PM

I sure wish I could meet one of these people at a party. I would use the term wild animals, then talk about the movie animal house. After that I would tell them that I get as sly as a fox when I’m drunk as a skunk. And to finish them off I’d tell them they are as dumb as a rock.

jeffn21 on April 29, 2011 at 2:03 PM

You mean a companion rock, right?

Patrick S on April 29, 2011 at 2:08 PM

There was a show on Animal Planet (I think) some months ago about a guy who owned a bull and insisted on trying to raise the animal as a “companion.” The bull trampled him to death.

DaydreamBeliever on April 29, 2011 at 2:08 PM

I think the late Dean Barnett used to use that same guilty-looking puppy photo on occasion.

RBMN on April 29, 2011 at 2:08 PM

No reasonable person approves of animal abuse, as I’m sure we can all agree.

And of course that right there consitutes a whole other avenue of control.
What is animal abuse?
Consider a very old mare or cow.
They always seem to have their ribs showing.
So an ignorant passersby would say they are starving when they are not.
A horse living like a horse on the range with adequate food & water would also be considered by an ignorant person to be ‘starving’.
There are people who think castration is abuse.
There are people who think when you pinch an earthworm by taking it out of the ground for bait is abuse.
We in animal agriculture have fought these myths for decades.
I’ll tell you what abuse is.
Feeding an animal till it’s fat, cooping it up in small places & not giving them a real job to do.
This is cruel & abusive.

Badger40 on April 29, 2011 at 2:09 PM

My rescue dog/spaniel/pooh bear is quite happy to be “owned” by me and wouldn’t have it any other way.

DaydreamBeliever on April 29, 2011 at 2:06 PM

My lab and my kitty own me.

Where are my rights?

JetBoy on April 29, 2011 at 2:09 PM

Schadenfreude on April 29, 2011 at 2:01 PM

He certainly is the bee’s knees.

Seriously, you can curse your dog a blue streak, but as long as you use a pleasant voice to do it, they don’t care. It isn’t the words used, it’s how they’re said. Plus I never saw my dog open a dictionary, he tore up a phone book once though.

Left Coast Right Mind on April 29, 2011 at 2:11 PM

To cats you’re one of the help.
To dogs you’re one of the family.

My dog is my best friend, joins me on long walks and doesn’t complain when I sit under the tree and enjoy a good cigar, and play a good game of ‘fetch the ball’ with him.

ChicagoBlues on April 29, 2011 at 2:12 PM

I know people that call their animals “babies.”

I refuse to even acknowledge such stupidity.

mankai on April 29, 2011 at 2:12 PM

We need to start demanding that the “activists” prove that they have been duly appointed by the animals, and that they are capable of carrying on a conversation with their “clients”.

Unfortunately, most of the pets are under 18, and so they will need their parents’ (owners) permission to make the contract valid…

/sarc>

We need to stamp out this foolishness. The next step will be a demand that animals get citizenship and the right to vote.

landlines on April 29, 2011 at 2:13 PM

We’ve decided to have the budgie put down.

mankai on April 29, 2011 at 2:14 PM

This is great news. I woke up this morning, and realized I didn’t have enough to worry about. Then I told the news to the cat next door. He said he really didn’t give a $#!t, licked his paws, and walked away.

manwithblackhat on April 29, 2011 at 2:14 PM

I think my pro-animal views are pretty well known and I don’t want Cosmo to think I am a snake in the grass, but you’d have to be crazier than a loon, if not downright batty, to buy into this monkey business. I don’t want to rat these guys out, but they should understand that they are the canaries in the coal mine leading to the end of civilization. If we listen to this bull we’ll all go to the dogs. I mean seriously, don’t have a cow, man. I am all for treating animals humanely, but this is a horse of a different color. When I read it I felt like a deer in the headlights. This dog just won’t hunt.

ROFLMAO!!! What he said!

capejasmine on April 29, 2011 at 2:15 PM

Just don’t dare call an unborn child a baby.

Vera on April 29, 2011 at 2:15 PM

My PET dog understands many words, but “pet” is not one of them.

flipflop on April 29, 2011 at 2:15 PM

This is great news. I woke up this morning, and realized I didn’t have enough to worry about. Then I told the news to the cat next door. He said he really didn’t give a $#!t, licked his paws, and walked away.

manwithblackhat on April 29, 2011 at 2:14 PM

ROFLMAO!!! D@mn cat!!! LOL

capejasmine on April 29, 2011 at 2:16 PM

It’s been the law in Boulder, CO for a few years now that you are not a “pet’s” owner, you are their guardian.

Joe Mama on April 29, 2011 at 2:16 PM

Is that puppy sad, or getting ready to bite your head off? I can’t tell.

rhinoishere on April 29, 2011 at 2:17 PM

I know people that call their animals “babies.”

mankai on April 29, 2011 at 2:12 PM

I use this term on occasion, like when I talk about, or to, my 8yo bottle ‘calf’. I raised her when we had to cut her out of her dead mother’s belly.
She’s a ‘pet’ in the sense that if she ever comes up open (not bred), we wouldn’t sell her.
But she’s an animal.
Some of the most conservative people I know end up acting just like liberal wackos when you talk about animal husbandry practices.
It’s bcs they anthropromorphize animals.
They scream about intrusions upon liberty just like most conservatives, but say you cut the nuts off of your calves at branding, or brand them etc. & oh boy the liberal streak emerges!
I like these HA threads bcs it exposes those people for who they really are.

Badger40 on April 29, 2011 at 2:18 PM

There was a show on Animal Planet (I think) some months ago about a guy who owned a bull and insisted on trying to raise the animal as a “companion.” The bull trampled him to death.

DaydreamBeliever on April 29, 2011 at 2:08 PM

Reminds me of that guy who called himself a bear expert, and would spend summers up in Alaska living with grizzlies. He gave them cutesy names like “Cupcake” and thought he was part of their family — until one summer when one of the bears killed him and ate him.

AZCoyote on April 29, 2011 at 2:18 PM

Oh, wait! Let’s devise an entitlement program for pets! That’s the ticket!

Key West Reader on April 29, 2011 at 2:18 PM

Son of a bitch…

nosliwelyk on April 29, 2011 at 2:18 PM

I can’t wait til the gay-marriage people tell us that pet owners should be called parents.

DavidM on April 29, 2011 at 2:19 PM

I call them pets because I pet them.

The humiliation doesn’t enter the picture until we take them to get their butts waxed.

disa on April 29, 2011 at 2:19 PM

Dr. Doolittle social “science”

phreshone on April 29, 2011 at 2:19 PM

Boulder, CO
Joe Mama on April 29, 2011 at 2:16 PM

Liberal cesspool.
I know bcs I’ve been there before.
Pathetic.
A so many ranching communities are not far from there.

Badger40 on April 29, 2011 at 2:19 PM

Just kidding, we don’t really wax their butts.

disa on April 29, 2011 at 2:19 PM

I’m not hunting.

I’m simply ‘releasing the animal spirit’.

catmman on April 29, 2011 at 2:20 PM

The next step will be a demand that animals get citizenship and the right to vote.

Mine already has a passport, complete with photograph and vaccination record, because we brought him with us from Europe. He can also say “hello” and “please” in English.

Fortunata on April 29, 2011 at 2:21 PM

By the way, what the heck is a budgerigar?

pilamaye on April 29, 2011 at 2:01 PM

They usually just call them “budgies”.

Ward Cleaver on April 29, 2011 at 2:21 PM

James Taranto on that article:

We’ll refrain from observing that these guys sound dumb as a rock, lest the editors of Mineral Ethics have a cow.

My 3 dogs don’t mind me being their owner but we all like to refer to me as “pack leader”.

cartooner on April 29, 2011 at 2:21 PM

Hey, prof, come and lecture some of the wildlife in my neck of the woods that they are ‘free living’. They will eat your lunch.

Kissmygrits on April 29, 2011 at 2:22 PM

“I’m Mr. Peabody, and this is my boy, Sherman.”

Before its time.

Aardvark on April 29, 2011 at 2:23 PM

The picture of the little pet is just darling. That is a pet you could cuddle, put in your lap, and hug.
L

letget on April 29, 2011 at 2:23 PM

the academics
Yeah. Them. Again.

SOMEONE does need a “keeper” and it ain’t the animals.

GarandFan on April 29, 2011 at 2:05 PM

Touche!

Archimedes on April 29, 2011 at 2:23 PM

Just kidding, we don’t really wax their butts.

disa on April 29, 2011 at 2:19 PM

I’m calling PETA on you. LOL

Key West Reader on April 29, 2011 at 2:23 PM

It’s been the law in Boulder, CO for a few years now that you are not a “pet’s” owner, you are their guardian.

Joe Mama on April 29, 2011 at 2:16 PM

More like servants! We have one dog we call the Princess.

Honestly, sometimes she runs the house. Definitely the Alpha female. She is a tiny Italian Greyhound (8 lbs). And if she sits on your lap it is impossible to get up because you might disturb her sleep. I don’t know why, but she really has a command attitude the other two dogs just obey and we humans have to fight to stay in command.

And huge watery eyes that make her look so vulnerable, until you realize you are obeying her!

petunia on April 29, 2011 at 2:24 PM

The bull trampled him to death.

DaydreamBeliever on April 29, 2011 at 2:08 PM

LOL!
Our bulls (Angus) are quite sweet.
But you must never forget they are only ‘domesticated’ wild animals.
To be sure the Angus breed is more docile than some of the others.
When I have cake, the bulls come running. You can feed them by hand & pet them.
Sometimes they ‘nudge’ you while you’re pouring the bag into the feed bunk or on the ground.
But you must never forget they can smoke your a$$ in a second.
They are extremely quick & powerful when they want to be.
Same with horses.
My old Red horse (~16) is top hand.
And I trust him with my life.
My he still messes with me when I get lazy.
2 days ago I had to spend an HOUR putting him in circles before he quit being a knothead.

Badger40 on April 29, 2011 at 2:24 PM

You sure this didn’t originally appear in “The Onion” or some similar site?

Carl on April 29, 2011 at 2:25 PM

Experts: Stop insulting pets by calling them pets

Us: Stop insulting us by calling yourselves “Experts”.

ZenDraken on April 29, 2011 at 2:25 PM

Just like rights for the planet, animal rights is just another way for lefties to push back against individual human rights, garner more centralized power to tell people what to do, and win big government funding for their efforts to “represent” their victim group (i.e. make sh*t up about their imaginary grievances so they can sue others, get money, and tell others how to live their life.)

Socratease on April 29, 2011 at 2:26 PM

This is like discussing something stupid the village idiot did.

Akzed on April 29, 2011 at 2:26 PM

That is a pet you could cuddle, put in your lap, and hug.
L

letget on April 29, 2011 at 2:23 PM

Or eat. I could eat that cute little puppy if i had to.
Only I’m pretty sure the steer in my freezer tastes a whole lot better.

Badger40 on April 29, 2011 at 2:26 PM

And to finish them off I’d tell them they are as dumb as a rock.

jeffn21 on April 29, 2011 at 2:03 PM

C’mon, Jeff – Mother Nature has rights too. And don’t be organocentric.

disa on April 29, 2011 at 2:26 PM

1. Cats – don’t care what they’re called because they don’t listen to you in the first place.

albo on April 29, 2011 at 2:01 PM

Myth. The only people who say this are the ones who can’t connect with their (or more likely, someone else’s) cats. My cats come individually when called by their names. It’s much more rewarding to have this deeper connection than the training wheels of dog ownership.

James on April 29, 2011 at 2:28 PM

Churches have “blessing of the animals” services.

[vomit]

mankai on April 29, 2011 at 2:28 PM

The call comes from the editors of then Journal of Animal Ethics, a new academic dopey publication devoted to the issue.

Fixed
Who decides what is “academic?”
Who is paying to publish such crap?

dentalque on April 29, 2011 at 2:28 PM

I call my pets stinky and stupid all the time. I didn’t know they spoke english.

lorien1973 on April 29, 2011 at 2:29 PM

budgerigars
Am I the only only one who had to look that up? Just call it a friggin parakeet.

I learned what budgies were from watching Monty Python in the 60′s.

disa on April 29, 2011 at 2:29 PM

Why oh why do these dodos feel compelled to badger us with this nonsense? I smell a skunk.

Kafir on April 29, 2011 at 2:31 PM

All of the dissenters can stop being manly men here because you all know you treat your “human companions” like they’re part of the family. You know they have the feelings you humans have as well.
.
If you don’t know this, and you’re one of those “owners” who have a human companion, but leave it tied up in the backyard day and night, then you don’t deserve any species for a companion.

stacman on April 29, 2011 at 2:31 PM

My PET dog understands many words, but “pet” is not one of them.

flipflop on April 29, 2011 at 2:15 PM

My daughter had a kitten/later a cat… I swear that cat called her name. The meow was two syllables with the stress on the first and even seemed to have vowels! It was sort of creepy. Definately shocking.

petunia on April 29, 2011 at 2:32 PM

In North Korea, they call them dinner.

Emperor Norton on April 29, 2011 at 1:56 PM

Also in South Korea.

mizflame98 on April 29, 2011 at 2:34 PM

insulting to the animals

Must why our last dog defecated all over the back yard and chewed the new golf shoes. We didn’t call him “pet” though, we called him “da#$” dog.”

obladioblada on April 29, 2011 at 2:34 PM

I know people that call their animals “babies.”

I refuse to even acknowledge such stupidity.

mankai on April 29, 2011 at 2:12 PM

We call our two cats “the girls” and not only do they have to put up with that sexism, but we also make them let us smell their bellies.

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm catbelly.

disa on April 29, 2011 at 2:34 PM

lets try this question….

Are animals subject to our rule and we are free to do with them as we please OR do animals have rights?

offroadaz on April 29, 2011 at 2:35 PM

Suddenly I feel hungry.

Snaqwels on April 29, 2011 at 2:36 PM

Subservient Quadrupeds Revolt!!

Meh, Honey Badger don’t care.

BDU-33 on April 29, 2011 at 2:36 PM

I learned what budgies were from watching Monty Python in the 60′s.

disa on April 29, 2011 at 2:29 PM

Those were my 1st pets. Ralph the parakeet. He took baths in the sink & liked to sit on your shoulder.
They’re like chickens: extremely amusing to watch.

Who is paying to publish such crap?

dentalque on April 29, 2011 at 2:28 PM

Probably tax payers through ‘grants’ from the federal govt.

It’s much more rewarding to have this deeper connection than the training wheels of dog ownership.

James on April 29, 2011 at 2:28 PM

They both have their purpose.
My 3 housecats Sniffy, Kitty Boy & Mr Kitty all know their names.
So do the dogs that live outside.
But i love my dogs best.
They never shy away from affection like a cat does & they are just as smart.
Plus they keep the coyotes out of the yard so the cats don’t get eaten by them.
The barn cats love the dogs. Love ‘em up all the time except for Nipper tha alpha dog.
They know what’s good for them.
Those dogs keep the large predators of the cats away from the house.

Badger40 on April 29, 2011 at 2:36 PM

disa on April 29, 2011 at 2:34 PM

I guess should qualify my comment… they call them and TREAT them like “babies,” comparing situations with their pets with situations others have with their real children.

mankai on April 29, 2011 at 2:37 PM

I learned what budgies were from watching Monty Python in the 60′s.

disa on April 29, 2011 at 2:29 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npjOSLCR2hE

mizflame98 on April 29, 2011 at 2:37 PM

More Larson

Akzed on April 29, 2011 at 2:37 PM

Churches have “blessing of the animals” services.

[vomit]

mankai on April 29, 2011 at 2:28 PM

Just think. It was only a few years ago when we had services that blessed the Children.

Liberalism stinks like cat poo.

/And there is no bigger stink than that, unless you are an Obama.

Key West Reader on April 29, 2011 at 2:38 PM

As Charles Barkley once said… animals are good for two things… eating and testing on.

mankai on April 29, 2011 at 2:38 PM

lets try this question….

Are animals subject to our rule and we are free to do with them as we please OR do animals have rights?

offroadaz on April 29, 2011 at 2:35 PM

Well, dressing them up in cute little costumes is probably a bit much.

obladioblada on April 29, 2011 at 2:38 PM

“I’m Mr. Peabody, and this is my boy, Sherman.”

Before its time.

Aardvark on April 29, 2011 at 2:23 PM

The editors of the Journal of Animal Ethics must have graduated from the same school as Bullwinkle, “Wassamatta U.”

GrannyDee on April 29, 2011 at 2:39 PM

Prediction: Dogs and cats uniting together in a class action lawsuit against PetSmart.

redridinghood on April 29, 2011 at 2:39 PM

Domestic dogs, cats, hamsters or budgerigars should be rebranded as “companion animals” while owners should be known as “human carers”, they insist.

Companion animals? Are you kidding me? They couldn’t figure out a “catchy-er” name than that? How about LCATH’s? That stands for Living Companion Alternatives To Humans. It is important to denote “Living” to differentiate pets from inflatable dolls.

olesparkie on April 29, 2011 at 2:39 PM

disa on April 29, 2011 at 2:29 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npjOSLCR2hE

mizflame98 on April 29, 2011 at 2:37 PM

Hah!!! It’s Swishy Maffews behind the counter. That parrott is just stunned, it is not dead. I swear it.

Key West Reader on April 29, 2011 at 2:41 PM

James on April 29, 2011 at 2:28 PM

I love cats. They make great targets.

Akzed on April 29, 2011 at 2:41 PM

you know, this could’ve been a monty python sketch back in the 70′s and I would’ve laughed my ass off. This is what happens when you spend your whole life in college and don’t DO anything for a living. heh

zhohlz on April 29, 2011 at 2:41 PM

I have 6 pets -
2 dogs who know I’m their master
2 parakeets who think I’m the person who covers them at night; and
2 cats who think I’m staff.
They are not my animal companions, they are my pets.

lonestar1 on April 29, 2011 at 2:42 PM

I love cats. They make great targets.

Akzed on April 29, 2011 at 2:41 PM

They’re easy to mow, too.

Key West Reader on April 29, 2011 at 2:42 PM

I guess should qualify my comment… they call them and TREAT them like “babies,” comparing situations with their pets with situations others have with their real children.

mankai on April 29, 2011 at 2:37 PM

And you think this is something new?

BTW, everyone should read James Herriott’s novels — the All Things Bright & Beautiful; All Creatures Great & Small” etc etc series. They are both gritty and heart-warming.

DaydreamBeliever on April 29, 2011 at 2:43 PM

Prediction: Dogs and cats uniting together in a class action lawsuit against PetSmart.

redridinghood on April 29, 2011 at 2:39 PM

And Petfinder.com, And Adopt-a-Pet

DaydreamBeliever on April 29, 2011 at 2:44 PM

My PET dog understands many words, but “pet” is not one of them.

flipflop on April 29, 2011 at 2:15 PM

Yep. My dog has a more formal macho name, but answers more to “Boo Boo” or “Smushyface” when you call him in. I don’t think he minds.

BakerAllie on April 29, 2011 at 2:45 PM

Thousands of years of top philosophers being on the job and we haven’t even agreed on ethics for people yet. I guess these Oxford “animal ethicists” are just that good.

That said, do they have any evidence that animals have the capacity to acquire and understand language? I’m not simply talking about them learning that if they hear a certain sound sequence and do a certain behavior they’ll be rewarded, I’m talking about an actually language capacity.

It seems to me that a dog will associate any action with any sound as long as you consistently use the same sound during training. No matter how long the dog lives with you, it never seems to pick up variations of the word or synonyms like a child does. A well-trained dog that is accustomed to sitting at the command ‘sit’ will never sit if you say, “you may be seated” or “take a chair”. A child, on the other hand, will learn that “go to bed”, “it’s sleepy time”, “say night night”, etc all have the same expected action.

I’m thinking that unless you hit your dog every time you call him a pet, it’s unlikely he’ll think much of the word ‘pet’ at all.

JadeNYU on April 29, 2011 at 2:45 PM

Mine are either ‘puddies’ or ‘teh kittehs’.

ladyingray on April 29, 2011 at 2:46 PM

I guess should qualify my comment… they call them and TREAT them like “babies,” comparing situations with their pets with situations others have with their real children.

mankai on April 29, 2011 at 2:37 PM

I know people like they. Sometimes it’s a serious disorder.

Cats are better than human kids, they don’t get mouthy and they don’t go to college and they don’t pester me to buy them technology.

disa on April 29, 2011 at 2:47 PM

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