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‘Pet’ Is a Four-Letter Word

Written by PETA | May 3, 2011
I prefer ‘Your Highness’

Pet names: good. The designation “pet”: bad. The Journal of Animal Ethics has released a report from three top universities that confirms what PETA has been saying for three decades: The way people talk about animals directly affects how we think about and treat them. Researchers determined that words like “critter,” “beast,” and “pet” are derogatory and suggests using the much more respectful “companion.” 

The journal goes on to recommend dropping “owner” from our vernacular and instead calling ourselves  “human carers” (we like “guardians” too).

You may have noticed that we are always careful about our language usage here at the PETA Files, and, just for the record, we believe the term “sugar lumpkin” is still a-OK.

Written by Michelle Sherrow

Commenting is closed.
  • Foobar says:

    This is ridiculous.. The point is you treat your “pet” with respect, who cares what you call it. A shovel is a spade…

  • Lowqis says:

    I have Pets because I Provide Ethical Treatment to my little fur buddies. Do we seriously spend money on studies like this?

  • Apache Troll says:

    Moore, I’m curious as to where that definition came from. A “thing” can constitute both a “a material object without life or consciousness.”, as you put it. But “creature” or “animal” also falls under that category. Really, the definition of “thing” is far too vast to compress into a few words. LERN2GRAMMAR.

  • Kriss says:

    It’s so pathetic you people don’t see what is ACTUALLY going on here. IF we legally change the name of “pet” it will no longer run under those laws. Meaning, say you want to put your dog down because it is sick…..well now it’s illegal, considered murder. This is just part of PETA’s plan; no more pets (no more companion animals either). Makes you think they care but then as there so caring president says “a generation and out”. End of story no more domesticated animals. No more fur babies, no more best friends, no dogs, no cats, no horses, no cows…..people and animals will be separate.

  • Mary says:

    I call my cats my “babies” is that okay? 😉 To me my cats are my children. I don’t “own” them. That’s like saying you own your sons and daughters.

  • Seth says:

    Jay Leno mocked this last evening on the Tonight Show. Ohhhh Peta… you fools!!!! 😀

  • MA Moore says:

    Apache Grammer lesson: THING: a material object without life or consciousness. Are you an animal, vegetable or mineral?

  • Julie Wilson says:

    Right, we do not own them, objects are owned, not living creatures. Nobody says they ‘own’ three children! My dogs live with me, I took them in from the street, but I don’t own them…. I DO however, much prefer them to people!

  • MA Moore says:

    Apache, are you an animal, vegetable or a mineral?

  • Jim says:

    I love my dogs but they are in no way my equal.

  • Ashley says:

    I have never called my rabbit a “pet” I call her my fur baby. I also refer to her as my little butter cookie, or The Princess, even though her official name is Butters. I refer to other “pet” animals as fur babies, or friends:)

  • Apache Troll says:

    Kathy, you’re actually wrong. Contrary to your “grammar lesson”, “It” refers to a previously mentioned “thing”. Said “Thing” being the animal. inb4 You decide to go off on how “animals aren’t things”. “Animal”, being a noun. It is not a person, nor is it a place, so it must be a thing.

  • dingo says:

    You people are such a bunch of bedwetting “feline companion animals”. I am fond of my dog but ultimately it is property. I am the owner and IT is a pet. You should carefully evaluate your life if you call an animal your equal.

  • kathy says:

    Mar Moore, I especially like your way of putting it.

  • jordan says:

    I agree! I hate it when people call animals “it”! They are living beings, not some desk or chair.

  • MA Moore says:

    I call one of my cats, “Your Majesty”! 🙂 My cats, dogs and horses are my family and have been better friends to me than most people. xoxo

  • Paul K says:

    God that rabbit is so cute!

  • kathy says:

    I like to say “caretakers” to describe people with companions. Also, I really dislike it when people call animals, “it.” It seems even people who care about animals tend to do this. They’re not inanimate objects. Basically, it’s bad grammar.

  • Gina says:

    I like the term ‘Dogters’ for my two baby girls and ‘Mommy’ for Me.

  • MA Moore says:

    In Honor of St. Francis, I would like to call all animals our brothers and sisters as we are all here together in one Earth family! God is present in each and every creature.

  • Moira says:

    Animal nomenclature is an issue I never even considered. Thank you for this insight; I will start referring to my cat as my companion!

  • cute91011 says:

    so good