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

I love my dog–she’s like family to me, except that, unlike my family members, she listens to what I say.

I think this animal rights stuff is a bunch of crap, but I do call her my doghter out of love and devotion. Mostly for puns, but also of the dog.

DailyDanet on April 29, 2011 at 2:48 PM

Churches have “blessing of the animals” services.

[vomit]

mankai on April 29, 2011 at 2:28 PM

Yo, don’t diss my church. Of course I want all of my extended family blessed, including livestock.

disa on April 29, 2011 at 2:48 PM

I want that pet doggie in the picture!

scalleywag on April 29, 2011 at 2:48 PM

DaydreamBeliever on April 29, 2011 at 2:43 PM

Maybe not new… but still pathetic and offensive.

mankai on April 29, 2011 at 2:48 PM

Revd Professor Andrew Linzey has no horse sense. I took a poll of my pets, and not a one of them objected to being called a pet.

@DaydreamBeliever: Re: James Herriott novels – I agree, 100%

sadatoni on April 29, 2011 at 2:48 PM

So two guys are walking along when they see a dog licking it’s own balls.

Guy #1 says, “Boy I wish I could do that.”
Guy #2 says, “I think you ought to pet him first.”

MJBrutus on April 29, 2011 at 2:48 PM

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

redridinghood on April 29, 2011 at 2:39 PM

Why would they? Wouldn’t you want your caretakers to buy you fun toys and snackies?

disa on April 29, 2011 at 2:50 PM

I have three cats… if we moved out tomorrow and another family moved in and continued to feed them, they wouldn’t give a Krugman.

mankai on April 29, 2011 at 2:50 PM

A bunch of “experts“ have written an editorial arguing that we should stop using, er, dehumanizing labels on non-humans:

LOL!

peski on April 29, 2011 at 2:50 PM

Love the Gary Larson links.

These twits could learn a lot by studying Larson’s cartoons. He understands animals much better than they do, and I’m being perfectly serious.

juliesa on April 29, 2011 at 2:50 PM

How dare they call them animals. How degrading. They should be called cerebrally challenged persons.

pedestrian on April 29, 2011 at 2:50 PM

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

+100
Dogs that ‘misbehave’ are doing so bcs they need a JOB.
My horses act like spoiled children when they aren’t being used.
They chew on the cars all the time (I’m too poor to own a garage & I drive crap anyway).
They come and scrape their teeth across the hoods of vehicles, push the rails on the fence around the house to get in the yard, etc.
They’re jerks.
You gotta give animals a job. Or they get bored.

Badger40 on April 29, 2011 at 2:51 PM

/Growling Casey Abrams was voted off American Idol since family pets don’t call, according to the show’s professional mentor.

maverick muse on April 29, 2011 at 2:52 PM

Too beta – didn’t read.

Pablo Snooze on April 29, 2011 at 2:53 PM

So two guys are walking along when they see a dog licking it’s own balls.

Guy #1 says, “Boy I wish I could do that.”
Guy #2 says, “I think you ought to pet him first.”

MJBrutus on April 29, 2011 at 2:48 PM

*tears rolls from eyes*
LMAO!

Badger40 on April 29, 2011 at 2:53 PM

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

Too true. In fact, I think it’s a shame that people are allowed to have children who have never demonstrated enough responsibility to raise a puppy.

MJBrutus on April 29, 2011 at 2:54 PM

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

Orwellian.

Key West Reader on April 29, 2011 at 2:55 PM

2 cats who think I’m staff.

lonestar1 on April 29, 2011 at 2:42 PM

That’s pretty much what we are. Who cleans the catboxes twice a day? Who opens the door to let them in, then opens the door to let them out, then in again. Then out again.

disa on April 29, 2011 at 2:55 PM

My cat doesn’t care what I call him as long as I don’t call him late for dinner.

JimK on April 29, 2011 at 2:56 PM

I have three cats… if we moved out tomorrow and another family moved in and continued to feed them, they wouldn’t give a Krugman.

mankai on April 29, 2011 at 2:50 PM

LOL

Key West Reader on April 29, 2011 at 2:58 PM

Prof Linzey and his co-editor Professor Priscilla Cohn, of Penn State University in the US, also hope to see some of the more colourful terms in the English language stamped out.

Phrases such as “sly as a fox, “eat like a pig” or “drunk as a skunk” are all unfair to animals, they claim.

So I shouldn’t say these bird brains are “crazy as loons” or “nuttier than a sh1thouse rat?”

How about we call them “oxygen thieves” since they are stealing air from all the useful beings on the planet.

RadClown on April 29, 2011 at 2:59 PM

Badger40 on April 29, 2011 at 2:36 PM

How many barn cats?

ladyingray on April 29, 2011 at 2:59 PM

How about we quit insulting Obama by calling him POTUS when he should be called POTW.

PresentDunce Of The World.

Key West Reader on April 29, 2011 at 3:02 PM

Hope this doesn’t mean we have to quit eating them….

Robert17 on April 29, 2011 at 3:03 PM

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

BB gun keeps my brand new porch clear of the multitudes of barn cats that roam my ‘yard’.

Badger40 on April 29, 2011 at 3:04 PM

So two guys are walking along when they see a dog licking it’s own balls.

Guy #1 says, “Boy I wish I could do that.”
Guy #2 says, “I think you ought to pet him first.”

Guy #1 says, “That sounds reasonable.”

olesparkie on April 29, 2011 at 3:05 PM

How many barn cats?

ladyingray on April 29, 2011 at 2:59 PM

I counted like almost 30 the other day. I know we had almost 80 up until last fall.
IDK-how many cats fit inside the carcass of a cow?

Badger40 on April 29, 2011 at 3:06 PM

While I cannot agree completely with these experts, I can agree that one term often used to refer to liberal women is extremely insulting to female dogs.

malclave on April 29, 2011 at 3:10 PM

I have two rescue pit bulls – got them as pups. Daycare is the bomb. The wife and I are not able to enjoy an evening without Doggie Daycare. O and not sure they care what I call them…they do what they want anyway. This weeks surprise was lounge chairs in the pool so they could get in the pool and lay on them without having to tread water…no joke.

Brian on April 29, 2011 at 3:10 PM

Gays argue that it’s silly to suggest that legalizing marriage would lead to the legalization of bestiality of pedophilia. Wouldn’t this article indicate a step in that direction? After all, once you humanize Fido, why not marry him?

hawksruleva on April 29, 2011 at 3:11 PM

Churches have “blessing of the animals” services.

[vomit]

mankai on April 29, 2011 at 2:28 PM

Well, you would probably be horrified by my St. Francis statue in the backyard.

redridinghood on April 29, 2011 at 3:15 PM

Goes perfect here – from the “Leading from Behind” thread in the headlines

…and we the people are stuck looking at his posterior, which really does make him a horses’ ass.

Buy Danish on April 29, 2011 at 2:53 PM

Schadenfreude on April 29, 2011 at 3:16 PM

While driving home last night came across a 6 month approx old black lab trying it’s damnedest to get run over on a busy street. As the dog had no collar or id i took him home and called the police and SPCA,thus far no one has inquired about him,was just about to take him to the SPCA and a friend stopped by who owns a 300 acre farm,problem solved. It strikes me that if someone can’t be bothered to inquire about him since 7:00 pm last night till 3:00 today they don’t warrant having him anyway.

heshtesh on April 29, 2011 at 3:16 PM

Interesting article – however, where does all of this lead us but right into the clutches of a UN administered New World Order shaped by Agenda 21 and an attempt to justify itself by creating a supporting earth centered religion. Leading proponents have included Maurice Strong, Robert Muller, and supporting NGOs including Greens and PETA. The recent Bolivian sponsored Animal rights draft at the UN giving “Mother Earth” the same rights as people is very much a part of this dynamic.

Many Leftists have rationalized that a primary failure of the USSR to implement universal Communism was in underestimating the influence and durability of religion. The solution to furthering the gospel of a One World socialist government has been to add an earth oriented religion to the Marxist model. We can understand it best as a green New Age paganism. This new paradigm would first muddle then undermine Christianity and our Judeo Christian values, while giving a supernatural endorsement to a new ruling class. Of course, this ruling class would be the UN as High Priest mediating between the new godhead and the people – a modern variant on the “divine right of Kings”.

Christian Evangelicals and Fundamentalists in America are anathema to these Socialists because their ethos is perceived as one of the World’s great stumbling blocks in furthering the New World Order. George Soros has been prominent with many of the groups pursuing this New World Order. Although one of the wealthiest, he is only one of many influential power brokers supporting this cause. I believe the Soros assignment is to put all his energy into demoralizing America on the home stretch to UN world control.

A review of Agenda 21, the Rio Summit of 1992, Club of Rome, Deep Ecology, and Garret Hardin’s “The Tragedy of the Commons” will get you started connecting the dots in understanding the history of this movement. The research exercise will help you know the enemy by revealing bare naked sophistry attempting to hide what is little more than a ruthless attempt to control humanity on a scale unmatched since the rise of the corporate state leading to Napoleon.

talking stick on April 29, 2011 at 3:18 PM

BB gun keeps my brand new porch clear of the multitudes of barn cats that roam my ‘yard’.

Badger40 on April 29, 2011 at 3:04 PM

Saves on true ammo.

I like cats. Other people’s cats. I’m a doggiemomma. Have three; small, medium and large. Two rescue’s one purchased. All loved dearly. All spoiled.

Key West Reader on April 29, 2011 at 3:19 PM

Me thinks that beagle pup just got caught piddling on the rug.

RustyFeedramps on April 29, 2011 at 3:20 PM

Animals are not our equals and should never be treated as such:

26And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
28And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
29And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
30And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
31And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
~Genesis 1: 26-31

Nuff said.

mizflame98 on April 29, 2011 at 3:20 PM

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”.

Dear morons:

Judgement will start with the Church. You might want to act accordingly.

TexasDan on April 29, 2011 at 3:22 PM

IDK-how many cats fit inside the carcass of a cow?

Badger40 on April 29, 2011 at 3:06 PM

Your barn cats took down and killed a cow? Wow, I’m impressed!! ;p

ladyingray on April 29, 2011 at 3:25 PM

If animals knew how scummy humans act toward each other and how low they are capable of decending, they would be offended by any attempts to “raise” animals to human status.

Kuffar on April 29, 2011 at 3:27 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

May the mighty ban-hammer of Allah strike you both where you stand… :P

JetBoy on April 29, 2011 at 3:29 PM

I like my pets. I enjoy my pets. I do not love my pets. Love (in the sense of commitment to sacrifice for the other’s well-being) is for people.

itsnotaboutme on April 29, 2011 at 3:32 PM

They’re easy to mow, too.

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

The ghost of Ernest Hemingway is soooooo going to haunt you.;)

redridinghood on April 29, 2011 at 3:36 PM

These so-called professors are complete idiots. These fucking morons need to get a life; I mean these clowns are as DUMB AS SLUGS!

Confederate on April 29, 2011 at 3:36 PM

How dare they call them animals. How degrading. They should be called cerebrally challenged persons.

pedestrian on April 29, 2011 at 2:50 PM

I just can’t keep up with the correct lingo. It seems like only a year ago we switched over to calling them animal-americans.

Peri Winkle on April 29, 2011 at 3:39 PM

It’s easy to see through this. Animals (and I’m an animal-lover) are hairy, stupid, unoriginal, completely lacking in any sense of ethics, and can be trained to follow orders unquestioningly. In other words, liberals are hoping to give them the right to vote one day for the obvious reason that they find them to be kindred spirits, politically.

morganfrost on April 29, 2011 at 3:42 PM

Just after my last post at 3:16 another friend called willing to take the dog,simply stated he and his wife would rather give the dog a home than have me bring it to the SPCA.

heshtesh on April 29, 2011 at 3:46 PM

So using cats as clay pigeons would definitely be frowned upon by this group?

*throws camo net over clay pigeon thrower*

Bishop on April 29, 2011 at 3:56 PM

I took a poll of my pets, and not a one of them objected to being called a pet.

I asked my cats if they minded being called and they said

Hurry up and open the can!!

fluffy on April 29, 2011 at 3:56 PM

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

ebrown2 on April 29, 2011 at 1:57 PM

I remember talking with people last year about how insane the Obamacare legislation was, and we all said that it would NEVER happen in the USA. Now we have a whole list of things that would NEVER happen in this country! This is just one more stupid liberal idea to make us subservient to the fascists that created global warming and outlawed the incandescent light bulb. If we don’t stop it soon, we are all doomed to relive the 18th century.

Susanboo on April 29, 2011 at 3:57 PM

In other words, liberals are hoping to give them the right to vote one day for the obvious reason that they find them to be kindred spirits, politically.

morganfrost on April 29, 2011 at 3:42 PM

That’s cool with me. I’ve got 2 cats & 3 dogs … all conservative Republicans.

redridinghood on April 29, 2011 at 4:09 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

The Dems in Congress are gonna add this as an amendment to the Obamacare plan. Insure your pets, uhhh…. I mean companions, or pay the fine!!!

Susanboo on April 29, 2011 at 4:12 PM

If you lock up your wife and your dog in the garage, who is going to be happy to see you in the morning?

Mirimichi on April 29, 2011 at 4:12 PM

A few years ago I traded in a really bad wife for a really great dog. We added an additional pup last year. I’m much happier living with my canine kids than I was with my narcissist, manic, chronically medicated, roller derby queen ex.

Quite frankly, there are a lot of people who simply aren’t as good as animals….

PetecminMd on April 29, 2011 at 4:12 PM

PetecminMd on April 29, 2011 at 4:12 PM

Where?

Laura in Maryland on April 29, 2011 at 4:31 PM

How about we call them “oxygen thieves” since they are stealing air from all the useful beings on the planet.

RadClown on April 29, 2011 at 2:59 PM

We have a larger than average Boston Terrier and two cats. The dog eats the cat food no matter how much we protest. Because he practically inhales it, he gets a lot of air in his tummy, and then two hours later, watch out!!

I wonder what the global warming police would do if they knew how much methane he produces.

Susanboo on April 29, 2011 at 4:31 PM

If our follically enhanced, quadrapedal co-habitators are so special, maybe they should be entitled to entitlement too.

I’m getting a couple of pregnant cats, and I want my gubmint check!

Laura in Maryland on April 29, 2011 at 4:34 PM

I refer to Sasha and Sheldon-my brain-dead cats-as ‘furr-sons’, furry children, or ‘persons-of-fur’.
Y’all already knew I was crazy. LoL

annoyinglittletwerp on April 29, 2011 at 4:36 PM

IDK-how many cats fit inside the carcass of a cow?

Badger40 on April 29, 2011 at 3:06 PM

And you thought…cows smelled bad on the outside!

James on April 29, 2011 at 5:31 PM

The “group of experts from the Journal of Animal Ethics” are seriously confused. Perhaps Humpty Dumpty can help:

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master that’s all.”

These “experts” obviously feel that words govern thought, …and not vice-versa. They are further confused about the nature and limits of human/animal communication: let me assure these idiots that WORDS DON’T MATTER in cross-species communication!! And they are MOST confused about both the meaning and the connotations of “pet”!!

PS –
And in answer to the next demand from these loonies, my black cat strenuously objects to being called an “afro-feline.” And no horses have yet complained because we call the cat down the street a “calico”…

landlines on April 29, 2011 at 5:32 PM

What does <a href="“Earl Pitts have to say about it?

ricelchew on April 29, 2011 at 5:46 PM

We have two cats in the house. I consider that to be 1-1/2 cats too many, but that’s beside the point. I don’t consider them animals. They are furry spawns of Satan, sent to wreck mischief, usually late at night. My dog Brewski is as close to human as a dog can be, but she’s still an animal. I asked her and she doesn’t mind being thought of that way as long as the yummies keep coming. I promised her they would. She licked my hand…then her butt. Don’t know which tasted worse.

SKYFOX on April 29, 2011 at 7:03 PM

Where?

Laura in Maryland on April 29, 2011 at 4:31 PM

Where in Maryland? Olney.

PetecminMd on April 29, 2011 at 7:15 PM

My collie says:

Does this mean that I have to stop referring to CyberCipher as “my pet human”?

CyberCipher on April 29, 2011 at 7:34 PM

I know this puppy dog.

Personally even.

daveintexas on April 29, 2011 at 9:53 PM

Where in Maryland? Olney.

PetecminMd on April 29, 2011 at 7:15 PM

Cool. Now there’s enough of us for a conservative BB team.

Laura in Maryland on April 29, 2011 at 11:03 PM

Linzey is a theologian? Of the Book of PETA.

I want the dogs, rats, snakes, bees, deer, and other assorted animals, domestic and wild, to tell me this for themselves. Better yet, I want them to put it in writing, sign, and send me three copies.

SilentWatcher on April 30, 2011 at 9:05 AM

If you lock up your wife and your dog in the garage, who is going to be happy to see you in the morning?

Mirimichi on April 29, 2011 at 4:12 PM

Now that would be animal cruelty.

LMAO

Trainwreck on April 30, 2011 at 3:18 PM

Did you hear about the pony who had trouble talking?

He was a little horse

(hoarse, get it?)

CatchAll on April 30, 2011 at 11:23 PM

(this is for my fellow Louisianans – the rest a y’all won’t get it)

How do you tell a Cajun dog from a non-Cajun dog?

The non-Cajun dog, you step on his tail he goes “yipe! yipe! yipe!” But the Cajun dog, you step on his tail, he goes “Ai-eeee!”

CatchAll on April 30, 2011 at 11:26 PM

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