MORE MAJOR NEWS FROM BRITAIN – AT 8:17 P.M. ET: Let's not be smug about it, and think that the royal wedding is the only major news coming out of Britain. There is scholarship, deep thought, major research, as London's Telegraph proudly tells us:
Animal lovers should stop calling their furry or feathered friends “pets” because the term is insulting, leading academics claim.
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”.
In its first editorial, the journal – jointly published by Prof Linzey’s centre and the University of Illinois in the US – condemns the use of terms such as ”critters” and “beasts”.
COMMENT: Of course they're right. When I one called my Australian Terrier, Misty, a pet, she sat me down and explained that we no longer use the p-word. Dogs, she said, sometimes use it among themselves as a sign of solidarity, but it was rude for humans to use it. I was embarrassed. I really was. But I did pay Misty's Social Security taxes.
I wonder who's paying for this research.
April 29, 2011