Animal rights activist and PETA’s co-founder Ingrid Newkirk is currently on a crusade to stop people from calling cats and dogs ‘pets’.
The term ‘pets’ supposedly turns them into a “commodity”, the same way that ‘sweetie’ or ‘honey’ makes women feel like “less of a person.” Newkirk opposes this on the basis that we ought to consider these animals our equals and companions.
According to Newkirk, “animals are not pets – they are not your cheap burglar alarm or something which allows you to go out for a walk. They are not ours as decorations or toys, they are living beings.”
“A dog is a feeling, whole individual, with emotions and interests, not something you ‘have'”, she added. “How we say things governs how we think about them, so a tweak in our language when we talk about the animals in our homes is needed.”
“A pet is a commodity but animals should not be things on shelves or in boxes, where people say, ‘I like the look of that one, it matches my curtains or my sense of myself’.” She concluded. “Hopefully the time is passing for that kind of attitude.”
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