How dare you call Fluffy, your ‘pet’! Fluffy is not your pet, she is your ‘companion animal’, and you are her ‘human carer’. That bear that you saw on the side of the road while on your way to your ffavoritefishing hole is not a wild animal! It is a ‘free living’, or ‘free ranging’ animal. Get it together folks!
The editors of the new Journal of Animal Ethics (JAE) have decided we need new ‘animal language’. According to them, pet is a derogatory term, to both the animal and the human. Regarding ‘wild animals’, whoops, I mean ‘free range’ animals, they claim that ‘wildness’ is synonymous with a uncivilized, unrestrained, barbarous existence.
There is an obvious prejudgment here that should be avoided. Professor Linzey, and his co-editor, professor Priscilla Cohn, of Penn State University in the US, also hope to see some of the more colorful animal-oriented terms in the English language stamped out. They claim that phrases such as, ‘sly as a fox’, ‘eat like a pig’ or ‘drunk as a skunk’, are all unjust and unfair to animals. They state that, “We will never be able to think clearly unless we discipline ourselves to use less than partial adjectives in our exploration of animals, and our moral relations with them.” I’m thinking that these folks need a REAL job!