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.